Five questions with Katie Kennedy

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday throughout the fall, we’ll catch up with track and field student-athletes and coaches for five questions.

Q: Take me back to your senior year of high school. What was the main reason why you chose Virginia Tech?

KENNEDY: “So, I was actually a military kid growing up and I only lived in Springfield, Virginia, for two years. I really didn’t get good at running until my junior year of high school and then my senior year was when I started to excel. One of my sister’s coaches, his daughter, was running at Virginia Tech at the time. So, he really just encouraged me to just take a visit. But my head coach told me, it stuck with me the most, to focus on the athletics during recruiting is important, but you have to think about the school itself if you were to ever stop running, would you be happy there? So, I took a visit and decided that Virginia Tech was the school if I ever stopped competing in the sport, I still would feel at home.”

Q: How come you have shown progress each year since your arrival to Blacksburg?

KENNEDY: “I think in terms of me progressing well every year has just been the consistent training. In high school I wasn’t at a particular high mileage or anything, so the big transition was from high school to freshman year. And yeah, just getting consistent training under my belt. Coach [Ben] Thomas has a really good training program that has been proven to work for other people. So, it’s just kind of when you get frustrated or things aren’t going well, it’s just a trusting the process type of thing. Also, focusing on the little things I can do outside of practice, and they say that running is even more mental than physical – that aspect as well. And we have such a great coaching staff.”

Q: What was it like making it to the NCAA East Preliminaries this past spring?

KENNEDY: “It was kind of unexpected (laughing). The 1,500 meters is the event in track that I really want to pursue and I hadn’t PR’d since freshman year in that event, I just kept running the same time over and over again. Then at ACCs, I just kind of had my final breakthrough in that race, which was really exciting considering the girls’ team won and I got to contribute with some points. I never made it to a final before that either and I won my prelim heat, it was like the perfect ending to a season for me. And then I made it to regionals and was only a few spots off from making it to NCAAs. So, I still think there is still something left in the tank there, that’s definitely my goal for this track season.”

Q: You have competed in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meters. How do train for all of those and is there a favorite of the three events?

KENNEDY: “The 1,500-meter run is definitely my favorite I think, mainly because I ran the mile in high school and that’s what I’m used to doing. And I think it is a fun event. When people ask if someone is on a track team, they usually ask after that what’s your mile time, you know? If you don’t know anything about running or the events, that’s the first thing that person will ask (laughing). In terms of training in track, there’s a mid-distance group and a distance group. And last year, I was doing the 3K during indoors, so I was with the distance group. It was my first year ever doing the 3K or the two-mile. I think I might do a couple of those this year, but it’s exciting that I get to have such a diverse range, it makes it fun.”

Q: What would you like to do with your public relations degree after graduation?

KENNEDY: “So, after I graduate which is this spring, kind of crazy, I think it’s funny because my all of my years in college I’ve transitioned through a bunch of different career goals I guess. But currently what I’m thinking of doing is something with brand development awareness through community involvement and impact. I think my main thing is that I just want to make a difference, and I know that sounds cliché, but I want to do something where I can say that I made a difference in someone else’s life. But I’m definitely interested in the sports industry in general, since I have a strong personal tie with it.”

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