Interview With Katie Gorczyca, freshman cross country runner at
Palo Verde HS, Las Vegas, Nevada
1. Quite a start to your high school career…fastest time at The Palo Verde Labor Day Classic, fastest time at the Larry Burgess-Las Vegas Invitational. How does it feel to be the girl everyone will be gunning for after just a few weeks on the high school running scene?
Although I’m extremely happy to have done well at my meets so far, I know there are faster runners in California—those are the ones that I am gunning for. It feels great to be the girl that everyone talks about after a few weeks on the high school running scene especially since I’m a freshman
2. I know your running career hasn’t just started. We’ve seen you run at the Las Vegas Track Classic in the middle school races. When did you start running and racing?
I started running and racing in the middle of 6th grade (about 2 ½ years ago). However, I played soccer for a long time before that and was midfielder and forward. Basically, I’ve been running all my life but I just didn’t know it. The coach that actually got me into running was Coach Browne. He was very supportive and a good coach.
- Does anyone else in your family run?
My sister runs for her school but she’s not as competitive as I am and both my parents run occasionally just to stay healthy. I’m pretty sure that I’m the first one in my family that has pursued running in the way that I have.
- You’re on a high school team for the first time. What is the difference from training on your own to training with a team?
I LOVE MY TEAM!!!!! Since this is the first time running with a team, I am glad that it’s with these girls because they are extremely encouraging and nice. Training on my own wasn’t that bad because I got used to it. I do like having a team though because of all the activities that we do together. It’s like we are a family.
- How has the team and your coach supported you?
I couldn’t ask for a better team or coach. They are all very supportive of me as I am for them. We all want everyone on the team to do well and that’s what is important. My Coach, Robert Davis, is very supportive of me even though I always want to do more workouts or longer runs
- How do your parents support your running?
I’m certain that I could not compete at this level without the support of my parents. My dad is always there for me. When I didn’t have a team, my dad and I would get up early (before school) so that he could help me train. That shows a lot of dedication because I know that he is busy too. My mom makes sure I get proper nutrition and plenty of rest is more like the cheerleader and will always tell me how great I am.
- What other athletic activities to you participate in?
Athletics are my life. I run, swim, and bike, and can play soccer, basketball and volleyball. If you put me in any type of sport, you can guarantee that I will work hard because sports are my passion. I do triathlons as well (hence the run, swim, bike part). I placed 12th in the nation for the USA triathlon Nationals this summer
- What is your typical training week? Miles, intervals, hills? Morning runs?
My typical training week consists of the usual distance runs, intervals, hills, and speed work.
- What other major invitational meets will you participate in this season?
This season I will participate in the Stanford Invitational, Laughlin Invitational, Huntington Invitational and the Mount Sac Invitational.
- Do you worry about going from a runner that raced just a few times a year to a runner with a 12-14 meet schedule between September and November? In other words, what are you doing to insure that your best races will be in October and November?
To insure that my best races will be in October and November I will be careful about injuries and stay healthy. I will keep working hard and making sure that I get enough rest at the same time.
- Will the Palo Verde girls cross country team qualify for the State Meet? Why?
Palo Verde girls cross country team will definitely qualify for the state meet. I’m not saying that we will win but I think that we have a really strong team and can do really well. We can only do our best!
- Are you planning on racing at Footlocker in December?
- What did you think when you found out that you won the Yellow Jersey in the first week of the season?
Before practice started, I walked over to my water bottles and found an envelope with something inside. My teammates told me to open it. Excited, I pulled out a yellow shirt. I had no idea what it represented or why I got one so I blew it off and put it back in the package. Nicole, my teammate said, “Oh My God! You got a yellow jersey?!!” Kind of embarrassed, I had to ask what it was. When I found out what it was, I then realized what an honor it was to receive one.
- Quiz question…..Who is Abby Miller and why is she important to the history of Southern Nevada track and cross country?
Abby Miller ran for Green Valley. She was an extremely fast runner and ranked really well at footlocker. Abby was such a good runner that she helped shape Southern Nevada track and cross country.
- What runner do you look up to and say “I want to be like her.”
Jordan Hasay is my running inspiration. Jordan has great form and puts lots of dedication into her running. She is so popular to all track and cross country runners that it makes me want to be as good as her (or even better) than her one day.
- Even though it’s 4 years away, but do you have any colleges in mind? Like… I really want to go to ???? .
I haven’t really thought about college since I just got finished choosing a high school. However, I heard that Stanford and Oregon are nice colleges and have great track and cross country teams.
- What do you think your best track events will be?
I think that my best track events will be the1600m, 3200m, and possibly the 800m.
Thanks Katie…If you want to add anything else, feel free to do so.
One day after soccer practice, I went with my mom back to my middle school to pick up my sister from track practice. They had a small team and I was watching them run on the field. I got bored waiting in the car so I went up to the field and asked if I could try running with them. The team was a bit hesitant because they were already tired and didn’t want a hyper 6th grader screwing up their practice. Finally they agreed and I ran with them. I LIKED IT. Ever since that day, I kept on running and eventually quit soccer because I didn’t want to get injured at the competitive level I was at.