Q&A With Athlete of the Week: Katie Collins

Photo by John Sangiolo

By Noah Whiting
Managing Editor of Sports

Junior Katie Collins has been a dominant member of the girls cross country and track teams since she joined freshman year. Her career boasts multiple DCL All-Stars, a trip to Nationals, and many state meet appearances.

This past week her career became even more distinguished, as she won the two mile at the Dual County Championship meet in a huge personal record of 11:09. She followed this incredible performance up with another giant personal record the following weekend in the one mile run, placing fifth in an invitational with a 5:13.

Following her amazing week, Denebola got a chance to sit down for an interview with Katie Collins.

Why did you start running?

“My family has been running a lot. Both of my parents ran and all of my cousins on my mom’s side run. It is just kind of in the family and I enjoyed it when I started running in middle school.”

You’ve had a couple big personal records these past two races. Have you changed up your training at all to get these?

“I think that in workouts Emily [Bulczynski], Caroline [Barry] and I have been running a lot faster which has really helped us in the long run. Our normal run pace has picked up as well. Generally the last quarter mile of my mile and the last half of my two mile has been very slow compared to the rest of my race so I have been trying a new strategy where I just surge with 900 [meters] to go. That has seemed to help.”

Can you walk us through winning the two mile at the Dual County League Championships?

“So before the race a girl from [Concord-Carlisle] was asking us what pace we wanted to run. Caroline and I just decided to stay behind her throughout the race and then with 900 [meters] to go I just decided that I wanted to take the lead. I passed her and then I started to kick but I realized 100 meters in ‘Oh no, I am really tired’. But then I heard my dad yell just ten meters more and I would have broken her sprint. So I just kept going and somehow I was able to keep up that pace for the rest of the race.”

How does winning an individual event at the Dual County League Championships compare to your other accomplishments?

“I was really excited because I was not expecting it because I had not had a fantastic two mile at the Andover meet [the weekend before]. I was very pleased with it but I think doing well in a relay means more because then three other people also get to do really well.”

Do you have any special ways you train or prepare for a race? Any pre race superstitions?

“I eat pasta the night before and then I eat a Luna bar an hour and a half before the race, but sometimes only an hour. I always drink an orange vitamin water also very soon before the race. [For superstitions,] I wear the same sweatshirt, hat, shoes, socks.  I have a lot of superstitions before races but those are the big ones.”

What do these recent personal records and times mean for the season moving forward?

“It gives me a lot more confidence than I had going into the season about the bigger meets like States and Nationals. It gives me more confidence because generally I don’t have much confidence going into races.”

What are your plans for the future with running

“I’d like to run in college, but I’ll look more for academics in a school first and if I can run there, great! I look forward to next year also, especially cross-country!”