As the high-school state track meet starts today at Jeffco Stadium, one girl is looking to go out on top after an unusual career. Kayla Fisher-Taylor, the subject of a profile by The Denver Post, has found a way to parlay a fierce work ethic into success.

“She squats 400 pounds on a very small frame, but she has done that progressively since she was a freshman,” Montbello High School track coach John Trahan tells the Post. “She does coordination drills and things like that on her own that a lot of athletes aren’t willing to buy into.”

Fisher-Taylor has been running with a Montbello High School feeder team since she was 11 and has contributed to the team’s success ever since. The kicker: Fisher-Taylor doesn’t actually attend the school. Instead, her parents send her to Martin Luther King Jr. Early College School in northeast Denver.

Despite not being a student at Montbello, Fisher-Taylor was a key factor in the team’s 2008 state championship, and placed third in the 100- and 200-meter sprints that year. Last year, she placed second in those events, so this year, she says it’s time for her to take first.

“I want it this year,” she tells the Post. “I mean, I wanted it the past two years, but this year, I am really gunning for it. I want to be on the podium. And not just second or third, but standing on that highest step.”