On the right track with Rachel Overgaard


Overgaard posing with two MHSAA trophies. Photo courtesy of Overgaard

Zach Phelps, Staff Writer

Despite exiting the 2022 track season with a foot injury, senior track sprinter Rachel Overgaard committed to a division two college to run track, and is looking to finish her decorated high school running career on a bounce back.
For Overgaard, it started from races against her mom in elementary school, to now running against the best in the state of Michigan. Eventually, she will be running against the entire country at the biggest university in Detroit, Wayne State University.
“I’ve always liked running,” Overgaard said. “I started doing track in middle school. Then I started to take it really seriously in eighth or ninth gradeMy mom and dad both run, and in middle school, I’d choose a sport every season. I liked track and all my friends did it. I thought it was fun to learn new techniques, and I like pushing myself hard.”
During her junior year, Wayne State started recruiting Overgaard in the most 21st century-way possible — through Instagram DMs. After numerous messages and various unofficial visits to the campus, she took her official visit and committed to run track and study biology.
“There was a little bit where I was like, maybe I wanted to run at certain schools, but eventually I was like I really want to run in college.” Overgaard said. “I just thought about, ‘do I really want to run there,’ and I decided I liked Wayne State best, location wise and I thought I would enjoy it.”
During the spring of her junior year, Overgaard felt a pain in her left foot. “I felt a sharp pain every time I took a step, I honestly felt like I couldn’t walk on it. I couldn’t put any pressure on it at all.”
After being bothered by foot pain for three months, Overgaard got an x-ray, MRI and a CAT scan.The result was a stress fracture that didn’t require surgery, but forced Overgaard into a walking boot and crutches.
“I still ran because I didn’t know at the time that it was actually injured, I just assumed it was hurting a little bit,” Overgaard said. I was still able to race because the races were so short. It was affecting me more in workouts. I couldn’t last that long, so I wasn’t able to reach my full potential in the workouts.”
Now, after multiple months of physical therapy to strengthen the weakened bones, Overgaard is “feeling fine now,” and ready for her senior season.
“This season I’m really trying to get a PR (personal record) because I haven’t gotten a PR since my sophomore year for the 100, 200 or 400,” Overgaard said. “So I’m really hoping this season’s gonna be good. I really just want to do a lot with this season.”