LARAMIE, WY. – Transitioning from high school to college can be hard for most athletes. But for one of the cross country Cowgirls, it has been easier and more successful than expected.
Katelyn Mitchem was named the Mountain West Conference’s Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week in her second week as a Cowgirl. This award is given to the student-athlete who gets the best results, individually and for the team, during that week’s competition.
The Broomfield, CO native recorded Wyoming’s best finish at the Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational hosted by the University of Nebraska. She finished 19th out of 142 runners with a time of 22:06.7 and posted her fastest kilometer pace of the season at 3:41.2. Mitchem scored 16 points for the Cowgirls, which lead them to a fifth-place finish out of 12 teams with a total of 138 points.
Mitchem had her debut as a Cowgirl in the Wyoming Invitational, hosted by the University of Wyoming in Cheyenne on August 31st. The freshman finished the five-kilometer course in 18:28 in the sixth position overall, leading the Cowgirls to a fourth-place finish.
Mitchem’s impressive debut as a college athlete was not something unexpected for the coaching staff. During high school she was the 2017 Colorado 5A Region 4 individual champion as a senior. She also competed at the 2016 Nike Cross Country Nationals along with placing 10th in the 3,200 meters and 11th in the 1,600 meters at the 2016 Colorado 5A State Championships.
Cross country might seem like an individual sport because the runners compete by themselves, but for Mitchem and the Cowgirls team encouragement is really important, and most of the time it is the key to success in this sport.
Mitchem said the Cowgirls will look to keep up the intensity and the good results in future competitions this year.