Quinnipiac senior Katie Gwyther chased a national championship for the second time this season on March 11. Gwyther placed 11th in the 3000-meter distance at the NCAA Women’s Indoor Track Championships on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
In November, Gwyther finished 12th in the NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships. The two races represent the first times in Quinnipiac history that an individual athlete competed for a national championship.
Gwyther, who was seeded 17th, finished with a time of 9:26.16 at the Indoor Track Championships.
“It was an unbelievable honor that I really do cherish,” Gwyther said.
If not for physical sickness, she may have placed even higher. Gwyther attributed her mental strength as a reason she placed well despite the sickness.
The season as a whole has been a great experience for Gwyther on both an individual and team basis.
“It was a really great ending to my indoor career,” Gwyther said.
Gwyther has finished her cross country and indoor track career. But the spring track season still lingers in the future.
Gwyther races first in the spring season at the Penn Relays on April 27 in Philadelphia, Pa. She will concentrate on the 5k distance in her final track season.
The 2004-05 Quinnipiac Female Athlete of the Year hopes to earn All-American status in the spring season. She became Quinnipiac’s first Division I All-American in the cross country season.
As her career nears an end, Gwyther proudly views the progress that the track team has made throughout her collegiate career.
Gwyther may have broken ground by twice competing for a national title, but she holds only one spot on an up-and-coming Quinnipiac track team.
In the future, other members of the team may follow her in competing for that honor.
For Gwyther, her teammates and coaches represent the greatest aspect of her collegiate career.
“I have so much support from our team and from my coaches,” Gwyther said.
Quinnipiac has recognized Gwyther most for her actions on the track. Yet, Gwyther maintains that running forms only part of her responsibilities at Quinnipiac.
Gwyther places significant emphasis on her studies. Her hard work in this area was recognized as she earned the honor of Northeast Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year for women’s cross country.
“I was very honored by that because I’m not just here as an athlete, I’m here as a student, and I take my studies seriously,” Gwyther said.