FORK UNION, Va (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Fork Union Military Academy opens up many doors for its cadets and that holds true for senior runner Robel Lulseged, who has developed into a top student athlete and leader over the years.

"Academically, athletically even just as a person. I've grown a lot. I've learned a lot of life skills living here kind of on my own," said Lulseged. "I strive for greatness."

Coming from Northern Virginia, Robel followed his brother's footsteps to FUMA and onto the track and cross country teams.

"I first met Robel seven years ago," said FUMA track and cross country coach Winston Brown. "His brother was on the cross country team and was one of our better people and he was just tagging along, he was just there to watch his brother, he was out with his parents, and I said 'one day you're gonna be running for us'."

For the past six years with the Blue Devils, Robel has improved on the track and pushing closer to his ultimate goal his senior year.

"For me it was just chasing that time, chasing a PR every time I was out there," said Lulseged. "That was driving me to the end. Especially this year being my senior year I wanted to improve to hit the fastest times I could and eventually hit All-State at the state meet so I did everything I could every day."

Robel leads the cross country team as captain but his leadership extends beyond athletics at FUMA.

"Now senior year I'm the batallion commander which is like the highest ranking guy here," said Lulseged. "I'm in charge of everybody and it's just taught me a lot just climbing through the ranks on how I'm going to deal with people later in life."

While he's lead in many aspects of life at Fork Union, including in the classroom as the top ranked student in the graduating class, Robel has pushed himself to grow while also making those around him better.

"He's one of those rare leaders where everybody can come up and talk to him. He's someone who's accessible. It's pretty neat to watch," said Brown.

"I think I am a leader but specifically like an in your face leader not so much," said Lulseged. "So it's kind of contrasts my personality to be honest. I'm learning a lot from it by stepping out of my comfort zone, learning to talk to big crowds, managing people. Before I liked to keep to myself but this was a good opportunity for myself for the future in life."