Malverne native Kylie Pearse was honored by the village board for her achievements in track and field on Sept. 4. Pearse finished second in the women’s field in the 23rd annual New Jersey Marathon on April 28, and her time — 2 hours, 43 minutes, 2 seconds — qualified her for the Olympic trials in Atlanta next February.
“It’s not something you can say every day about a resident so it’s really a privilege on behalf of the board to recognize you for this great achievement,” said Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett said at a village meeting. “We know that you put a lot of time, dedication and effort into it.”
Pearse, 26, said that the first run she ever went on was with one of her neighbors. It was a mile loop around the village.
“I actually made her stop and walk three times because I was so tired, and I told her that would never run again after this,” she said.
A few years later, Pearse reluctantly joined the Kellenberg Memorial High School track team as a long-distance runner in 2007, after being cut from the soccer team. Pearse’s coach, Martin Brown, who lived across the street from her at the time, encouraged her to try out for track, and she ended up making the varsity team.
“It honestly was the best experience I’ve had to this day,” Pearse said. “In short, I don’t think I’d be going to the Olympic trials if I didn’t grow up here in Malverne.”
Pearse, who now lives in Philadelphia, trains regularly with Meghan Bishop, the only woman who beat her in the New Jersey Marathon. Pearse said it was the first time they had tried to qualify for the Olympic trials. She ran up to 80 miles a week to prep for the marathon.
She said she would likely run a half-marathon next month to prepare for the Olympic trials next year.