Senior Sendoff: Katie Kostelic - Sayre

Athlete Name: Katie Kostelic 

School: Sayre School

What was your most memorable meet and why?

My most memorable meet was the Region meet in Danville. I stayed up late the night before, and I was a little tired the next day. While I was running, I saw an Owen County girl who I race in XC and track and I knew she was a fast runner. I was so tired and I felt like giving up, but I got up to her, and we raced together all the way until she passed me at the finish. After the end of the race I saw she got 5th place and her team qualified for the state meet, while I got 7th place and qualified on my own. I saw her after the state meet too, and we were able to talk about how we felt during the race and told each other good job. 

Where did you face your biggest competition?

My biggest competition was faced at the E. G. Plummer Invitational in Danville. My competition wasn't a person or a goal I couldn't reach, it was the weather that made me doubt whether I could do well or not. I was so overheated and I was yelling at my parents and coaches that I couldn't do it. I ended up finishing 9th place and earned a trophy, but I had to learn how to face competition, whether it was a person I'm racing or not favorable weather conditions.

Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most and why?

Becoming Bluegrass Conference Champion at my school's course stands out to me because not only was it my senior night, there was a middle school race, and my middle school's team was there with the coaches that got me started in cross country. It was so special to see them when I achieved my first-career win. 

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

I would probably do more runs on the weekend. I mean, I would, but not all the time. I realize now how much better I would've been in races if I put more effort into working out when I wasn't with my team. 

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

This year, there were only three girls on our team. This was difficult for me because I knew all season that we would not all make it to the state meet. This made me feel like I didn't need to work towards anything because there was no team award for us in the end. It took me a while to realize that this final season was still important and I still had to work hard if I wanted to get what I wanted, a bid to the state meet and a PR.

What will you miss the most?

The thing that I will miss the most is that for nine years, I've had something to do every fall season. My parents always looked forward to seeing me race, and I was always excited to work with my coaches and unlock my full potential. I'll miss the excitement that every new school year brought, because that meant another season of working hard and training to the best of my ability. And after cross country was over, it was time for winter track to begin, so there wasn't really an "off season". I'll miss meeting with my coaches in the summer talking about the races were participating in and the new goals we can achieve.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?

Yes-Younger athletes, nothing is more fun then being a senior in high school and saying that you've ran for almost a decade, so in other words, stick with running. I know it's a tough sport physically and mentally, but one day you'll thank yourself for sticking with such an incredible sport. It's helped me because I know that I'm able to accomplish things, whether I believe I can or not. It's fun to look back over the years and watch your times improve year by year, and your coaches from the years before will still watch your times, even if they don't coach you anymore. Cross country is such a unique sport, and the longer you spend running, the more you learn how special it is, and special you have to be as a person in order to succeed as a runner.

What are your post-highschool or college plans?

Although local schools have scouted me, I plan on attending college in Chicago.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

I would like to thank my middle school, The Lexington School, and my middle school coaches, Jim Kaiser and Tom Parlanti, for helping me get started in the program years ago, and still looking at my times and watching me run today. I also want to thank my parents for enduring painfully cold, muddy, and rainy mornings just to watch me run for 20 minutes, and driving me all over Kentucky. A final thank you goes to my coach Kyle Burton, for reminding me why cross country (and track) are great sports, and teaching me what it's like to be a teammate and captain, train like a champion, and to always be aware of my time capsule.