Three time SWC cross country champion, Class L champion and Wickham Park record holder Kate Wiser has committed to Notre Dame to continue her academic and athletic careers.
The Pomperaug senior won the 2019 Class L title by breaking the course record with a time of 17:39 shortly after capturing her third straight SWC title.
“She is the pinnacle of our program,” Pomperaug cross country coach Mark Goodwin said. “Anybody who wants to see what happens when you work hard she shows that good things happen and she is being rewarded for a lot of hard work.”
The commitment was unconventional due to NCAA pandemic regulations, but for an athlete who has garnered as much attention as Wiser since her sophomore year, it was inevitable.
“I would say it was probably a bit of a different process than usual,” Wiser said. “I was able to go on an unofficial visit to the school which was nice. It was the only school I actually got to see. We had some zoom calls with the team and I really connected with the coach and I like the girls so it fit what I was looking for.”
For Goodwin, who has been coaching cross country since 1973, Wiser is the most successful runner he has coached.
“She is probably the best I’ve had in terms of performance and quality of races,” Goodwin said. “Kate has won so many honors and it is a pleasure to coach kids who are excited to run and have goals. She has really stepped up when she had to in competition. Even on bad days, what she would consider bad days, she still had quality performances. It is important because not everybody is going to hit a personal record every time they run, but she learns something every time she runs.”
From what Goodwin has seen, he believes Wiser will find success in the next chapter of her career.
“It’s a stage, and she has done well in stages one, two three and four,” Goodwin said. “She should be able to take that next step up in adjusting to college running and academics.”
Wiser, who has become familiar with winning, is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“I am really excited. It will be amazing training with these girls and the workouts we are going to be doing,” said Wiser, who will join an Irish women’s team that place 15th at last year’s NCAA championships. “It will really push me and it will be upping the intensity and I think that will be great. I’m pretty excited about every aspect of college.”
With her senior season approaching, Wiser will look to leave her final mark on for a Pomperaug program that has helped prepare her for what is to come.
“I think Pomperaug was a nice build up for college, “Wiser said. “In high school, I started running more and taking it more serious. Learning how to put in the time and effort and how to handle the workouts have helped prepare me for college. I hope to be a good leader for the team. I have been trying to help out coach because I know he is trying very hard to keep everyone following the rules, like to wear masks. I am just trying to help make the team the best it can be, a lot of things can’t go on this year but we want to make the best of it.”
Goodwin will look to get the best out of Wiser that he can in her final season under his tutelage.
“She is going to be one of the leaders,” Goodwin said. “We are fortunate to have a season and to be running at all. We only have seven meets and we will see just six or seven schools. We have to make the best of it. It is going to be a year of seeing how we can really develop our Nos. 2-7. They are young kids, a couple of them have experience, but Kate will be taking on a mentorship this year.”