She was not among the top 20 finishers in the Schools' National cross-country championships in 2012 and 2013.
But, yesterday morning, Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School runner Natalie Soh clinched the Girls' B Division title at Bedok Reservoir Park.
The 16-year-old finished the 3.6km route in 14min 28.7sec, a marked improvement from last year's 16:24.54 that saw her finish 40th.
In 2012, Natalie came in 30th at 17:00.25.
After the race, the Secondary 4 student revealed that winning the Under-15 800m race of the Singapore Athletic Association's Series 7 last December motivated her to train harder.
Natalie said: "It was last year when I participated in Series 7 and won the 800m race that I realised that, hey, I could actually do this.
"Once you taste success, it becomes a real confidence-booster.
"I realised I could do this so I started to train harder, training very regularly and even in my free time."