Catherine Liggett: Aiming for More of Rim Rock Farm

Catherine Liggett's strong cross country season helped make the case for an offer to run with the Kansas Jayhawks. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Catherine Liggett's Best Marks:

800 Meters - 2:13.69 (at altitude)

1600 Meters - 5:01.65 (at altitude)

3200 Meters - 11:07.88 (at altitude)

5K Cross Country - 17:59 (at altitude)


Tell us a little about the decision for the University of Kansas. What made KU the right fit for you?

During my visit to KU, I could really tell there was a strong connection between the athletes and the coaches. Coach Redwine and Coach Whit not only want their athletes to succeed on the track but also in the classroom and in the real world. Every member of the coaching staff is committed to helping the athletes which is something that really attracted me to the KU. I also felt like I just fit in with the team. Before I even left my visit, Lawrence felt like home. All the girls are serious about their running, but they also find ways to have fun with it and laugh. I know as runners, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves, so I really liked the idea of being on a team that knows how to be competitive yet enjoy the sport at the same time.

You ran at Rim Rock this fall. Was the decision for KU already made by then, or was that part of what clinched it?

When I ran Rim Rock, I was still visiting colleges and trying to figure out where I wanted to go. The trip actually worked out perfectly as our team ran at Rim Rock on Saturday morning and then afterwards I started my visit. Getting to race on KU's home course made the idea of running there next year very real for me. Running at Rim Rock had to be one of my favorite races since the course is definitely a "true" cross country course. Getting to race there just validated every reason why I felt like KU was the right school for me.

What will you be studying there?

I will be majoring in Biology on a Pre-Med route. After undergraduate school, I am hoping to go on to medical school to become a pediatrician. I have always been very interested in health, and I love working with little kids.

Your cross country times showed an enormous jump from your sophomore to junior years. What happened there that led to the jump?

Before high school, I had never ran competitively, so I had no idea what to expect. I think it took me a while to figure out how to pace myself and how to train for endurance events. Once I realized what type and intensity of workouts I needed to do, everything seemed to click. I have also been lucky to have great coaches and family friends to help direct me in my running. Without the guidance of all these people, I would not have been able to reach the level of running I am at today.

Realizing you still have a high school season left, as you look back on your high school career to date, is there a single moment that stands out above the others as a favorite moment?

Being able to place at the State Cross Country Meet this past season was really special for me since I missed my junior track season because of an illness. I was very excited but also anxious going into this season because I had no idea how I would be able to rebound. Competing in such a large and competitive field, validated that I was back. I have always felt more confident with my abilities on the track rather than cross country, so being able to compete with some of the best runners in the state in cross country makes me look forward to what the track season will bring.

Do you have any particular time goals you'd like to reach this spring for the 1600 and 3200, or is that the sort of thing you try not to think about too much?

In the past, I have always been one to run based off of time. But this cross country season, I tried to think less about time and more about running based off of my competition and how I feel. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself before races so directing my focus on being competitive with other racers rather than time helped me push myself to better times overall. Since I missed my last track season, I am excited to go out this spring and just run my best. Also, being I had a few bumps and bruises at the end of the cross country season and had to miss out on Nike and Footlocker, I feel fired up to race again soon. All my track times are from my sophomore year, so I am really hoping to see a lot of improvement.