Friday, 15 June 2018 10:11

Athlete of the Week: Katie West

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Katie West, a 17-year-old recent graduate from Saratoga Central Catholic is no stranger to chasing her goals; she was a cross-country and track and field star with plans to run her first half marathon in October, where she’ll be attending Loyola University in Maryland and majoring in English. The reason she became so invested in running? That’s easy.

“Honestly, just having something to do every day after school, I always loved that. Overall, just the team and being able to always have a group of kids to have your back and being a part of something,” West explained.

West transferred from Shenendehowa to Saratoga Central Catholic in tenth grade.

“Transferring gave me such a better opportunity to excel, not only in athletics, but in so many other clubs that I’ve participated in, and it gave me the chance to be a captain and a leader and learn so many things that I don’t think I could have learned at a bigger school,” West said.

West was a team captain for cross-country. Leadership responsibilities included a lot of little things; making sure all of the girls are doing what they’re supposed to do, making sure everyone is revved up and ready to go.

“Our team had a lot of younger girls so that was definitely something cool to be a mentor and a captain,” West explained humbly.

West’s inspiration to run came from her mother and grandmother.

“My grandma and my mom have always been huge marathon runners and just runners in general so when the time came in seventh grade to join a modified sport, cross-country was a natural fit,” she said.

“I like that it isn’t like any other sport. There’s no ref, there’s no time out, or penalty box, or benches. It’s an individual sport and it’s also a team sport and I think I really like that aspect of it. It’s all on you but it also can affect your teammates,” West stated.

Spa Catholic is widely known for their charity work and encouraging their students to follow suit.

“Spa Catholic is very big on charity work so when I first came, it was a little different for me, but I love being able to do so many charities through Spa Catholic and to see how motivated all of the teachers are and how many community service programs and opportunities they have for everybody. Besides that, my family has always been really big on giving back and my parents of course are huge on giving back so I think that’s really inspired me,” she said.

West was a part of Peer Ministry, which is an organization mainly focused on connecting and helping the younger students at Spa Catholic; Community Service Club; President of the student government, where she did a lot of work with Code Blue, Shelters of Saratoga, Ronald McDonald House, and more; the Fresh Air Fund; and last year she went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with the Foundation of Peace. West cites her family and coaches, Damian Fantauzzi and Bryan Halligan, as her biggest supporters throughout her high school athletic career.

“Definitely my family, they’ve never missed a race or a track meet. And of course my coaches, Damian Fantauzzi and Bryan Halligan, have always supported me and given me so many opportunities,” she said.

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