She’s played sports for so long that Kayla Gastineau doesn’t know what she’d do without them.

So the Columbus East senior is considering playing not one, but two sports at the collegiate level next season. The soccer and track and field athlete may play one of those sports, or both.

“I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and I just can’t imagine going to school and not doing sports with it,” Gastineau said. “It just keeps me on track, and I want to continue that in college.”

Gastineau also is a top-notch student. She has a 4.0 GPA and is considering majoring in pre-med in college.

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Indiana Wesleyan has offered a partial scholarship for track. Gastineau also has been looking at DePauw and Hanover.

In the spring, Gastineau ran on the Olympians’ regional-qualifying 4×100-meter relay team. She also runs the 100 and 200 and long jumps.

“It’s a lot of running back and forth, and I’m really tired by the end of it, but it’s fun to keep busy at the meets,” Gastineau said.

Gastineau has been playing soccer since age 6. She’s in her third year on the East varsity and her second as the starting left back.

Being an experienced varsity player, Gastineau said it’s easier to talk to her teammates and knowing where she needs to be and where they need to be.

“Kayla is one of the cornerstones defensively,” East coach Ilya Schwartzman said. “As a senior, she’s one of the leaders on the back line. She’s very aggressive, very fast and has done a tremendous job. She continues to improve every day. She has a very, very positive outlook, and I absolutely expect great things from her on the defensive side.”

The Olympains opened the season Wednesday with a 2-1 win against Bloomington North.

“I think we played awesome,” Gastineau said. “We have a lot of new freshmen coming in, and they’re going to be big contributors on the field. So just trying to learn how to play with new people on the field who we haven’t been playing with for years, I think it turned out really good. We have a lot of work to do, but I think we’re doing great so far.”

East play at Bloomington South tonight. On Saturday, the Olympians face crosstown rival Columbus North.

Last year, East beat North to win the sectional title. The Olympians then beat New Castle in the regional semifinals before falling to host East Central 1-0 in the regional final.

“That was incredible,” Gastineau said. “It was so cool to be a part of and to see that team come together for the sectional. I really hope we can do that again this year. We really think that we have the talent this year to get back to regional, so we’re just going to keep working and hope we get there.”

Kayla Gastineau

Name: Kayla Gastineau

School: Columbus East

Year: Senior

Sports: Soccer, track and field

Favorite sport: “I like them both a lot. I’ve been with soccer longer, so I’ve learned to love it, so I think that would probably be my favorite.”

Other activities: National Honor Society, Health Occupation Students of America, Family Career Community Leaders of America, Dance Marathon, Best Buddies

At a glance

For her senior project, Kayla Gastineau is organizing the Third Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event in Columbus. The event will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 10th at Columbus Learning Center.

This is a one-mile walk to benefit Turning Point and raise awareness about domestic violence. High heels are recommended but not required.

Participants can register at cbuswalkamile.eventbrite.com. Registration by Friday is $30, and a t-shirt is guaranteed. After Friday, it is $35 and a t-shirt is not guaranteed.

For more information, contact Gastineau at kkgastin@gmail.com.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.