It’s December, so that means it’s swim season for Marquette sophomore Katelynn “Katie” Quade, who is coming off a successful cross country season – her first.
“Last year, swimming was my main sport, but currently I would say both sports are a major part of my life and I love them,” Quade said. “I didn’t run cross country my freshman year because I am a year-round swimmer and I wanted to prepare and get ready to make Marquette’s high school swim team.”
Marquette cross-country co-coaches Mike Ebert and Missy Burger talked to her about coming out for the team.
“She ran track and qualified for the 1,600 meter at state,” said Ebert. “We definitely talked to her about how much she would enjoy cross country.” And she does.
“Running is definitely a passion of mine because I love the feeling of reaching a desired destination and my hair flying back with the wind,” Quade said. “Running makes me feel very happy and free.”
She works hard on the running part of her athletic training regimen.
“Our coaches set up a great plan for our team,” Quade said. “There are different groups for mileage and I average approximately 15 to 20 miles a week. There is a long run and a work out once a week if there is a competition coming up.”
Quade enjoyed competing in the Stan Nelson Northeast Invitational and the Rim Rock Invitational races during the regular season.
“My teammates made it enjoyable because we told stories about how the race went and we were ready to get muddy,” Quade said. “Races like that are going to be extremely hard to forget because of [their] uniqueness due to the weather. But in my opinion, it [the weather] made it so much fun.”
The Rim Rock Invitational is a huge meet held in Lawrence, Kansas. Many of the top runners from across the country compete in the meet. Quade finished 10th. It was a nice milestone for her.
“Rim Rock was awesome. Travel meets are so much fun because you learn a lot about the people on your team, and we become a closer and stronger team,” Quade said. “The course for one was beautiful and flows very nicely. I went into the race wanting to do my best and I was happy with my results.”
Quade earned a major accomplishment when she won the All-Suburban Conference championship.
“The All-Suburban meet had great competition, and I really had to push myself,” Quade said. “I remember being third or fourth for a big portion of the race. All the girls were very strong and determined. I was so proud of our team …”
“Her race at Rim Rock Farm was a big moment,” Ebert said. “She finished 10th against some great Midwestern competition on a course that is similar to the state course in many ways. Her win at the All-Suburban Conference Meet was pretty memorable as well.”
Quade was ready for postseason competition. She finished second in the district meet with a time of 18 minutes, 37.58 seconds.
“At districts, every girl pushed themselves so hard; it was great to be part of it,” Quade said. “The girl who beat me was so strong and she did fantastic toward the end of the race. She is a great runner and helped push me throughout the race. ”
Quade followed her district performance with an even better one at the sectional meet in Washington, winning with a time of 19:30.20.
She learned a key fact in the race – everyone competes on the same course.
“I was told that the Big Driver was a tough course. I tried to go into the race with a clear mind and without too many expectations,” Quade said. “That race taught me not to get overwhelmed by a tough course because, at the end of the day, you know that everyone in the race is running the same course. I tried to be strategic throughout the race and pace myself.
“Looking back at sectionals, I was very happy about everyone’s performance. It was so exciting to find out that both the boys and girls Marquette cross country teams were able to make it to [Class 2] state together.”
Burger said the expectations at state were for Quade to run well.
“I knew there were a lot of incredible runners and I made the goal to get the best place I could by being determined throughout the race,” Quade said.
Ebert said they discussed what she would be facing.
“We let her know about some of the top-end competition in that race, and how fast it would go out,” Ebert said. “We cautioned her to be smart in the first mile and after that she made great decisions.”
Quade finished fourth in 19:16.01.
“The state course was great, the grass was soft and the weather was chilly,” Quade said. “When tough hills came, I tried to increase speed but maintain the energy I used, which is a tip I got from a teammate. I am happy [with my finish] and have many goals for the future.”
Ebert said, “She has the fastest time in school history for a sophomore.”
Quade credited her coaches with helping her have a successful first season in the sport.
“My coaches have influenced me in a very positive way. I feel like they have gotten to know me very well and I have learned about them, too,” Quade said. “They are great people as well as coaches and will go head over heels for anyone who needs help. I am very thankful for all the coaches Marquette has to offer because they really care about you.
“Cross country was an extraordinary experience from all of the supporters, including my family, friends, teammates and coaches. It is an amazing sport to be a part of.”
Burger noted the future in the sport looks good for Quade.
“Certainly, but most importantly we want her to have fun. When our kids are having fun, they seem to compete best,” Burger said. “We are so proud of all of our athletes and all that they do to achieve. With that said, we want our athletes to understand the importance of balance and have a healthy perspective from their Marquette cross country experience.”
Ebert likes having Quade on the team.
“We’re excited to have her back for two more years,” Ebert said. “She is very upbeat and fun to coach.”
Now, Quade has turned the page to swimming.
She swims mainly freestyle races at almost every event the Mustangs enter. Her main races are the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle. Quade said she also enjoys swimming the 200 IM, which involves all four strokes.
“I loved my freshman season,” Quade said. “Marquette swim girls have a lot of great swimmers and a lot of depth. [This year], I would like to swim the 100 free, 200 free, 500 free and 200 IM. I want to improve my swimming technique and strength.”
Quade swims year-round, including for the Parkway Swim Club.
Swim practices are usually 2 to 2.5 hours long depending on the day and if she is doing dry land training.
“I try to swim six days a week,” Quade said. “This year, I am going to try and swim more in the morning.”
When swim season is over, Quade will slide back to running and compete in track. Last spring, she qualified for the state meet in the 1600-meter run. She finished 11th in the 1,600 meter at state. She also was on the 800-meter relay team that took ninth place.
In spring, Quade would like to run the 3,200, the 1,600 and be on the 800-medley relay.
“I am excited to be a part of another track season with a great team,” Quade said. “High school sports and activities are a great way to get involved and create another family. I have made so many friends and I am so excited to make more memories.”