Gwyther racking up awards

Andrew McDonough

Anyone examining Katie Gwyther’s list of accomplishments as a member of Quinnipiac’s track and cross country team better have some spare time on their hands. Despite the magnificence of what she has done on the track, Gwyther is proud of simply representing Quinnipiac University and being a part of the team.

Last year, a phenomenal junior campaign was capped off by Gwyther being named the 2004-2005 Quinnipiac Female Athlete of the Year. “That was one of the biggest honors I’d ever gotten,” Gwyther said.

She was also named the NEC’s Most Outstanding Performer in Cross Country and earned a spot on the All-NEC team in both cross country and outdoor track. Gwyther won NEC titles in the 1500 meters in outdoor track, the mile-run in indoor track, in addition to the cross country title.

Gwyther was also part of a distance medley relay squad which repeated as NEC Champions. She capped off the season by once again qualifying for the NCAA Regionals where she finished 17th in the 1500 Meters.

Five times over the course of the year she earned Athlete of the Week status in various NEC categories and once was the ECAC Division I Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week. In addition to a cache of school records, Gwyther holds two NEC Indoor Track records, one individually in the mile run and another in the distance medley relay.

Despite her many accolades, the most rewarding part of Gwyther’s experience as an athlete at Quinnipiac has been her teammates. She says her experiences competing in the New England Championships as part of Quinnipiac’s 4 X 800 meter relay team was one of the highlights of her season. “I love the relays because it’s more of a team atmosphere,” Gwyther said.

The combination of Gwyther, Joanna Perez, Erin O’Connell, and Jenna Nechamen produced a second-place finish in New England Relays during the outdoor track season and also set a school record in finishing fifth during the indoor season.

Gwyther credits much of her success to the team’s strong chemistry. “My team is like a family,” Gwyther said. “I owe a lot of the success I’ve had to my teammates.”

Another of Gwyther’s greatest attributes is her sheer determination. During her first few years at Quinnipiac, Gwyther repeatedly endured problems with injuries. Yet rather than let these obstacles bring her down, Gwyther has used them to become a better athlete.

“You know she’s giving all she’s got in a race, and that’s a great example for others,” coach Shawn Green said.

Gwyther will graduate Quinnipiac this year with a degree in general health sciences before moving on to graduate school. She plans to study sports nutrition and exercise science with the hope to remain around sports.

Before leaving Quinnipiac, however, Gwyther plans to savor one last year with her teammates.