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Runnels senior Annie Fink at the Catholic High Invitational in Baton Rouge.

Annie Fink, a senior at Runnels High School and state champion distance runner, has been recruited by LSU to run cross-country and track and field as a preferred walk-on next year.

Heavily recruited by other schools, including McNeese and UL, Fink decided to go with her heart and chose to run for the Tigers. She’ll be training with coach Houston Franks, who led the Mississippi State Bulldogs’ women’s cross-country team to the NCAA South Region crown in 2016.

Fink, the defending LHSAA state cross-country champion, continues to soar across finish lines in her senior year. As the 2019 season draws to a close, she’s nailed four first-place wins and two second-place finishes.

According to her mom, Runnels cross-country coach Julie Fink, Annie Fink made up her mind to work toward becoming a college-caliber runner two years ago when she came in sixth at the state meet in Natchitoches. “She began strength training on her own and changed to a clean diet, eliminating sugar, junk food and processed foods,” Julie Fink said. Annie Fink trains year round and works consistently on increasing her long run.

“There’s also a huge mental component involved in running,” Julie Fink said. “You have to believe you can get there,” she explained, adding that Annie Fink and the whole Runnels cross-country team has been training at Highland Park Road with a community of runners who have proved inspirational.

Fink, who upholds the scholar-athlete tradition that’s often part of the Runnels experience, was named to the 2019 LHSAA All-Academic Composite Cross Country Team for maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She also holds the position of concertmaster (first chair, violin) in the Runnels String Orchestra and is active in the National Honor Society. Annie plans to follow a pre-dental/medical major as a freshman at LSU.

She is the daughter of Julie and Linn Fink.