Katie Fankhouser: Lyons To Fort Lewis


Katie Fankhouser's Best Marks 

High Jump - 5-0

Long Jump - 14-9.5

Pole Vault - 10-7

200 - 29:56

400 - 1:01.90

800 - 2:21.23

1,600 - 5:37.22

3,200 - 12:34.56

2 Mile - 12:08

5k - 18:41


Q) Talk about the recruitment process - what other schools were you looking at, and how did you come to choosing Fort Lewis College?

Originally, I didn't want to run in college. I love going on adventures like kayaking, skiing and camping and I just wanted to go off to school and do that. I thought it was one or the other.

I visited Western Colorado University, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Utah State. I liked those schools but it really seemed like all my time was going to be spent running or pole vaulting. I actually had pretty much decided I was just going to go to Utah State and not do athletics at all.

I was planning on visiting Fort Lewis but I heard a lot of opinions about the school from other people and I almost didn't visit. But last minute, I decided I would go, form my own opinion, and basically check it off the list so I could confidently say I didn't want to go there. 

That's definitely not what happened. I went there. I fell in love with the small school atmosphere, the location, the team and the coach. I realized Durango was my niche. I can run, get my degree, and still adventure all I want. 

Q) What do you plan to study at Fort Lewis? 

I will be majoring in engineering. I'm exited about this because their program is just general engineering and each student can pick and choose what they want to learn about or specialize in. This is going to work well for me because in the long run I want to design outdoor products like jackets and tents and picking my own classes gives me the freedom to learn what I need to do that. 

Q) What event do you see yourself focusing on at Fort Lewis?

I will be running Cross Country. In track I will probably be running the 400m dash and the 800m run. 

Q) You've had success in the pole vault to the 800, and on over to the 5k, which event would you say is your favorite, and why? 

I love pole vaulting because it's so different from any sport I've ever done but I think my favorite is still the 800. I feel that it is the hardest race on the track and I love the way it challenges me. 

Q) You made a big leap from sophomore to junior year, what would you say attributed to such an improvement? 

We had a fast freshman girl, Quin Gregg, join the team my junior year. She came in and beat me my first race. I almost quit but instead I decided I was just going to try to beat her. The whole season we ran side by side, pushing each other all the way through the state finish line where we went 1-2. We've been best friends ever since that season. 

Q) The first results we have on you on MileSplit is 6:33 (1,600), 37.07 (200 Hurdles), 4-8 (High Jump) triple from Frank Stenson Memorial Meet in April of 2015  - what do you remember from this competition?

I'm not sure about high jump or hurdles, but I definitely remember that mile. Until that point I thought I was strictly a sprinter, and I would have never voluntarily run a distance race. But our coach had a rule that if you missed the event sign up, he would still put you in three events of your choosing but you had to run the mile too.

So needless to say, I missed the sign up for that day and got forced into the mile as a punishment. It wasn't much of a punishment because turns out I actually love distance running. I quit volleyball and went out for cross country the following fall. 

Q) What got you interested in competing in XC/Track and Field in the first place? 

Well that was just the story of how I ended up running cross country. But, I've been running track since 6th grade. I really started because both my older sisters were pole vaulters and I knew I wanted to do that too.

Q) Could you share any goals you have for your final track and field season?

I want our girls to win state. We have been runner up two years in a row and I think we are all ready to take a step up the podium. I also really want to focus on staying healthy and having fun in my last high school season. 

Q) What would your favorite high school moment be?

That's hard because there are so many great memories but I think one memory from this year's state cross country meet tops them all: 

As a lot of people already know, I had mono for most of my (senior) season and we weren't even sure if I was going to be healthy enough to run at state. I decided I was going to go for it, but there were a lot of unknowns going into that race.

So as we were walking from team camp to the start line I started to break down. When Quin saw my fingers shaking and the tears running down my cheeks she grabbed my hand. The rest of the team followed and we walked up the hill hand in hand. Without any words, I knew that my team had my back and that we were going to have an amazing day on the race course.