Brianna Welch was one of eight inductees into North Shore Schools Athletics Hall of Fame at halftime of Saturday’s homecoming football game. Ironically, where she was recognized was just yards away from the track on which she'd made her mark starting as a seventh grader.

It was both a successful and challenging time for Welch, who earned all-state honors 10 times in cross country and track despite suffering a stress fracture during her sophomore year at North Shore.

Her successes carried into her collegiate career at Duke University after she graduated from North Shore in 2010. Although the injury took a physical toll, the Glen Head native has persevered through the pain and has now is reconnected with her longtime passion as a competitive runner with the Central Park Track Club.

“I have been running since I was 6 years old so it is a big part of who I am,” said Welch, 24, who competed for two years in track and cross country at Duke after sitting out her first two years due to injury. “I don’t think I could ever picture my life without running.”

Welch, who now lives in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, hopes to qualify for the 2020 Olympic trials. She credits her mother, Donna Jean, who ran track at Arizona State from 1986-88, with providing the training to her at a young age to set up running as a lifetime sport and source of invaluable leadership skills.

“Running has shaped who I am, ”she said. “It’s more than just a sport to me.”

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When not running, Welch is program director for Futures and Options, which aims to empower New York City's underserved youth to explore careers through career development and paid internships.

In college she co-founded the Duke Culture Initiative, which advocates for creating a diverse community centered on values of solidarity and compassion.

A dozen years have passed since Welch first earned a spot on North Shore’s varsity cross country and track teams while still a seventh grader. Despite her successes, when Welch looked at the North Shore track Saturday, thoughts of what might have been crept into her mind.

“It’s bittersweet because I was great in seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th grade but then I was hurt, and I had a big dip and I don’t think I really [had the success] that many expected,” she said. “I’m trying to get back there now.”