By John Torsiello
School: Granby Memorial High School.
Katie Pinson of Granby Memorial High School has played soccer since the third grade and became interested in track in middle school. When she got to high school, she played junior varsity soccer as well as competed in outdoor track. Her junior year was her last year of soccer before she joined the cross-country team this fall. Academically, she challenges herself by taking honors and AP classes, and has received honors almost every quarter. “Although it is sometimes difficult to balance school work and sports, I like the challenge and welcome it every season,” she says.
Sports Played And Position(s): “For my first three years in high school, I played midfield and defense for the junior varsity soccer team. In my junior year, I decided to become a three-sport athlete by adding indoor track to the mix. In track (indoor and outdoor) I run the two mile, the mile, the 800, and the 4×800-meter relay. I really value all the lessons that I learned in soccer and all the excellent coaching that I received. I feel like I would not be where I am today with my running without the help of my previous soccer coaches.”
Athletic Accomplishments: She received a varsity letter her freshman year in outdoor track, and in her junior year received a varsity letter for soccer, indoor track, and outdoor track. She was a member the Granby All-North Central Connecticut Conference 4×800-meter relay team, and at the recent Wickham Invitational cross-country meet she came in third place.
How You Prepare Before A Game: “Contrary to other athletes, I am not a big fan of listening to music when I am preparing for a big meet. Instead, I like to talk to my dad and to my coach (Walter Hansen) about race strategy. When the bus arrives at the course my good friend and teammate, Alexa Cipkas, and I run warm ups, do dynamic stretches, and put on our game faces so that when we step up to the starting line we are ready to go.”
Most Memorable Moment In Your High School Career: “The most memorable moment in my high school career took place last outdoor track season when my 4×800-meter relay team won at the NCCC meet. We had raced against Avon previously in the season and they had beaten us at the Stafford Invitational. When NCCCs rolled around, my relay team–Cindy Jones, Alexa Cipkas, and Ashley Piccirillo-Horan and I–were ready to challenge Avon again. Each of us put a little more distance between themselves and the Avon runners until we beat Avon and were All-Conference. It was a really exciting time and I’m glad that I got the opportunity to compete with other great Granby athletes.”
What Are You Most Excited About This Season: “I am most excited about how our cross-country team has come together over the course of the season. As with most teams, we grew a lot closer as we headed towards championship season; it was just a really cool thing to watch. I’m thankful for my good friend and teammate, Alexa Cipkas, for teaching me all the ins and outs of cross-country and making my first year on team memorable and exciting. It is also really exciting watching my teammates continuously running faster times than the race before.”
Favorite Pro Or College Athlete: “Although it is a little bit corny, I would have to say that my favorite college athlete is my good friend and previous teammate, Ashley Piccirillo-Horan. I ran track with Ashley and she was quite an inspiration to me. Even though she might not have meant to, Ashley taught me a lot about what it means to be a runner and what is required to be successful. She was always excited for me when I ran a new PR (personal record) and always pushed me to run faster the next time. Ashley was a major player in getting me to join the cross-country team and I am forever grateful for her encouragement and advice.”
College Plans: “As far as colleges go, I am looking for a big school with lots of options. I would absolutely love to be part of a cross-country/track team in college and I am currently pursuing that. I am leaning towards a career in physical therapy because I love the idea of helping other runners continue to improve. Now that I discovered my love for running, I want it to stay a major part in my life.”