Katelyn Cartwright: A Tribute to Seniors

Athlete Katelyn Cartwright, Hernando High School

Katelyn had a great career winning Class 6A Cross Country 2 times, Outdoors 3200 meters 1 time, 1600 meters 2 times and 800 meters 2 times. 

What is your GPA and ACT score?

 4.52 GPA; 29 ACT

 Describe why you choose the college you are going to attend and what you liked about the college.

I chose the University of Southern Mississippi because of all the love, support, and opportunities that it has to offer. From meeting the XC team to touring the school, I felt so welcomed and enjoyed every second of it. I have to be honest, getting to know the coach also had a huge impact on my decision. Coach Kindt was extremely supportive of me throughout my senior year of races. His effort of coming out multiple times to watch me race in person even if it meant driving many hours for him proved to me that he was willing to invest in me, so I have no doubt that my collegiate racing career will be great!

 What do you plan on majoring in at college?

Major- Biology Minor- Spanish

Is there any other athlete that might have helped influenced you choosing that college?

Seeing and talking with Kate Mattox and Lina May definitely influenced my decision. Both of them are very admirable not only in their running journey but also in their daily walk of life. Southern Miss has had a great impact on both of them, so I am excited to call them my teammates!  

 Name a lesson that running and training as a runner has taught you.

One of the greatest lessons that training has taught me is that complaining is useless and only wastes energy. Being in a positive and happy state of mind while training will more the workouts more enjoyable and easier to complete. After all, the workout won't change. Just like in life, complaining about your situation does not help you in any way. The situation won't change by you complaining so you might as well stay in a positive state of mind.

 Do you plan to continue competing in college?


 Did you sign to run track in college? If so was it a full or partial scholarship?

I signed to run track and xc on a partial scholarship

 What are you most looking forward to about your future career as an athlete at College?

The thing I am looking forward to the most about my future running career is my growth. I never thought I would be running at the next level, yet I signed a scholarship. I can't wait to see just how much faster I get by the end of my college journey and how I grow as an athlete in general.

 What is your favorite workout your Coach has you do?

My favorite workout in high school was 800m repeats on a track. I had a love/hate relationship with that workout. Of course, the workout was challenging but that was what I loved about it. I could feel the pain in my legs and could feel my body tiring, but it was when I got those feelings and kept on running that I knew I was getting faster.

 What is your least favorite workout?

 My least favorite workout was anything with hills. We would run 1000m repeats that had a big hill in the middle of it, making the rep seem to last FOREVER.

 What events do you think they'll have you run in track as a freshman?

Hopefully I will run the 800m and/or the 1500m.

 What motivates you to run?

My ability to run is what motivates me to run. There are so many people in this world who wish they were able to get up and run. I have the ability so why not run as fast as my legs will allow me? God has blessed me with an ability that not everyone in this world has so I show Him how grateful I am for it by running.

 What do you think about when you're running?

When I'm running, I literally think about everything except for running; Most of the time I have a song on repeat in my brain. If the race is very competitive, I usually think about how the quicker I reach the finish line, the quicker I can sit down and eat something.

Do you have any superstitions on race day or perhaps an odd pre-race routine?

I do not have any superstitions but I do have a pre-race routine. The night before, I HAVE to eat spaghetti. On the way to my race, I have to listen to my Christian playlist. As soon as I walk to lineup at the start, I splash water on my face and of course, I always pray before every start.

Do you take ice baths?  If yes, what do you think about during an ice bath?

I hardly ever take an ice bath. I've only had about 4-5 ice baths my entire running career. But when I do take one, I play candy crush on my phone to distract me from my misery.

 Do you have a rival runner? 

I wouldn't say that I have a specific "rival runner." I don't like to lose so I guess you could say everyone I race against is my "rival," at least for that specific race.

 What do you do to recover after a race?

My high school coach will be the first to admit that I do not like recovery. I'd rather just sit straight down, but the more I have raced, the more I have understood the importance of a recovery. So, I usually just jog around for at least 5 minutes and do a quick stretch.

How do you intend to balance academics and athletics in college?

I am a very self-controlled person, so I'm not really worried about trying to balance academics and athletics in college. I know it'll be tough at times, but Southern Miss has a great program for athletes that works to ensure that academics is the a main priority.

What is the strangest thing you've seen during a race?

The strangest thing I've seen during a race was a deer crossing my path at a cross country race out at Shelby Farms.

Who is your biggest fan?

My biggest fan would definitely be my high school coach, Coach Clark. He has played a SIGNIFICANT role in my success the past two years. When I didn't believe I could win a state title, he did. Whenever I was frustrated or in a state of doubt, he was always right there encouraging me and pushing me past my comfort zone. I really wish I could I bring him with me to Southern Miss.

What advice would you like to share with younger runners just starting out their high school careers?

Sometimes you just have to go. I think a lot of runners get so caught up with the numbers and technicalities of running that they don't perform as well because all of their energy and focus are put into that. My best race was when I didn't have a watch and I wasn't worried about my exact pacing and time. Instead, I kept telling myself, "Go. Just go now." Worry about your time and exhaustion afterwards.