Second-year runner Katie Hirko hopes to improve in sophomore season
Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 22:10
Katie Hirko is 19 years old and a sophomore here at ETSU majoring in pre-nutrition. She is also one of the top female runners in the ETSU cross country program.
Before she ran here, though, she attended Oley Valley High School in Oley, Penn.
“I have been running since seventh grade, and joined the high school cross country team my senior year with only three weeks remaining in the season,” Hirko said. “This will only be my second full season of cross country.”
Despite not being a very seasoned runner, Hirko took first place in the women’s cross country meet on Sept. 20 at Virginia Tech.
“My biggest accomplishment in the sport of cross country is earning the Alantic Sun Freshman of the Year Award,” Hirko said.
She won the award after her 2012 campaign with ETSU.
What drew her to run at ETSU was cross country coach George Watts.
“My coach definitely had a major impact on me running here at ETSU,” Hirko said.
She didn’t originally want to run in college after finishing high school.
“Then one thing lead to another, and along with my interest in the track and field program here, I decided to give cross country a try as well,” Hirko said.
One thing that she is looking forward to this season is the conference meet. Both the men and women’s team last season placed high in conference last season, and placing even higher this season would mean both teams going to the NCAA regional championship.
This being her second year in the program, she wants to build on her success and live up to the ‘Freshman of the Year’ hype.
“Running to the best of my ability, challenging myself, and never to give up,” Hirko said. “I also hope to make it to the regional meet.”
What she likes most about running cross country here at ETSU is that the team is very close.
“The team and my coach, they’re like family,” Hirko said.
As for her possible running career after ETSU.
“I never know what the future is going to hold,” Hirko said. “If it was meant to be, I would not be opposed to furthering my running career. I am still going to run for fun no matter what happens.”