Captain embraces leadership role


Photo courtesy of UWW T&F

tion: Katie McNamara sets up in the blocks and prepares to race at an indoor track event

Mikey Rottier, Women’s Sports Editor

Katie McNamara entered her second season with the Warhawk track and field team and has already found success this season. In her first season as a team captain McNamara took first place in the 400-meter run in the Warhawks very first meet of the season, the Karl Schlender invitational. Both the men and women took first place at the meet for the Warhawks.


Q: What has your experience at Whitewater been like as both an athlete and a student?


A: I have loved being an athlete at Whitewater, because I have made my best friends on the track team. Ever since my freshman year everyone in the program is so supportive on meet day and in practice but even if you need help with anything school related they are there to help you. Being on a sports team in college is really nice because you get an automatic group of friends and they all have the same interests as you. I have also really enjoyed going to school here.


Q: How did you get your start in track and field and how did it lead you to Whitewater?


A: I started track in seventh grade and the reason I started was because my mom did track and she really wanted me to try it for a year and see if I liked it. I stuck with it because I really didn’t mind it and then in high school I started to get really serious about it and I really enjoyed it at that point. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do college track. I had visited a few schools and thought that maybe I just wanted to go to Madison and not do track, but after COVID happened I realized I wasn’t ready to be done with my sport and Whitewater had been my front runner.


Q: What is it that motivates you and keeps you driven as a student and an athlete?


A: I love the competition. Obviously results are a huge thing but the idea of what you put in is what you get out of it motivates me. You work so hard at practice during the week and then at the end of the week you get to see the results in the form of a time and see that you are getting better. Another big thing is my team and friends around me always push me to be better.


Q: What do you think it is that makes the Warhawks athletic program so special and unique?

A: I think the biggest thing is the support and the community we are. I am not only friends with people from my sport but other sports as well and we go to different events to support each other which is a huge thing for me. Within the team it is amazing how we all come together and cheer for each other. All around the track everywhere you go there is someone cheering for you and motivating you and proud of what you are doing.


Q: What characteristics of Warhawk culture do you feel like you have taken up and embody through your own performance on the track and in the classroom?


A: I think the biggest thing is leadership and commitment. When I came here I was just a quiet little freshman and at this point now I am a captain and feel like I have learned how to be an effective leader. Just from being in this school and being around the people I am around everyday I am able to fit myself into that leadership role.


Q: What are your goals for your athletic career?


A: I really am focused on forward progress and just getting better. I have a lot of times I want to hit and I am just aiming for those personal bests. Also just to have a healthy season and at the end of the season have a feeling that I did everything I could’ve and left it all out there. 


McNamara and the Warhawks will compete in their next meet on Saturday, Feb. 11. The Midwest Elite invitational will be held at Whitewater’s home track.