MIDLOTHIAN – Running – few do it better than Carly Kitts. Over the last three-plus years, the Midlothian runner has shined in both the cross country and track high school worlds.

Next year, she’ll get the chance to keep shining in both at the college level.

Kitts signed her national letter of intent to continue her distance running career at UT-San Antonio next season on Monday during Midlothian’s signing day celebration. In a career filled with plenty of high points, the pen to paper routine standing still was one that brought about a different kind of feeling.

“It’s exciting. I’m excited. It’s a new level of running so that’ll be fun to compete in,” Kitts said.

Since her varsity debut, Kitts has been a standout at both cross country and track. She qualified for the state cross country meet each of the last four years with four straight individual district titles and two sixth-place finishes.

On the track side of things, Kitts won gold at state in both the 1600m and 3200m in 2009. She took the 2010 track season off to recoup from injury but will run in this her senior season.

For cross country coach Cindy Williams, watching Kitts sign was almost like watching a child of her own get the honor. The two have been paired up since Kitts’ arrival at Midlothian, spending countless hours on the course and traveling to meets together.

“That means everything. I’ve just watched her grow up and become a part of her life. This is very, very important to me in that she is going on with her career,” Williams said.

Kitts made her commitment to UT-San Antonio months ago, citing the chance to compete at a high level, stay somewhat close to home and live in a big city as reasons for the decision. The San Antonio program features athletes who take part in both sports.

More importantly, Midlothian track coach Christina Gann points out, Kitts will get the chance to train year-round with the guidance of college coaches pointing her in the right direction. While she already takes part in running events year-round, this system will have more structure and be more informed, both of which will help Kitts become the best runner possible.

“Well the great thing is that she’ll have a year-round season. She’ll run cross country in the fall, indoor track and then she’ll run outdoor track,” Gann said. “She’ll get the chance to compete year-round which makes her stronger and that’s what she loves.”

The Roadrunner program did send a runner to the NCAA Southern Central cross country meet last season and had a runner advance to the NCAA Championship in the 800m in outdoor track last fall.

Kitts hopes to be able to lend her skills to the distance running teams and keep elevating the school’s status. She’s already met most of the runners she’ll be with next season and has developed some chemistry. While it’s an individualized sport, she’s hoping to help the team do well.

“I really liked the team. I really connected well with them. They were really awesome. I liked the school and both coaches are really nice,” Kitts said. “I think I’ll help the team out quite a bit. They’re pretty good this year so we’ll just get better.”

Contact Alex at alex.riley@wninews.com or at 469-517-1456.