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Scott caps impressive rookie year by earning academic all-America honors

Katie Scott

Jan. 25, 2007

By LINDA BOUVET, LSSU Sports Information Director

Redshirt freshman Katie Scott burst onto the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference cross country scene last fall and had the kind of season that put her on a pace to become one of the best female runners in Lake Superior State history.

LSSU coach Steve Eles knew the Mitchell, Ont., native was a runner who could help improve his women's distance program, but even he couldn't have predicted that Scott would earn a spot on the awards podium in every meet she ran during her rookie season.

"I could tell she was good, but I didn't know how good," Eles said. "Last year we had a lot of good ladies on our team, and I don't know if she was afraid to pass them. As the season went on, she eventually started to lead workouts. Then she won the 3K here, during our Lake State Open (indoor track meet), and she would have set a school record if she had been on active status. But this year she surprised me with how well she did."

During her first collegiate cross country season, Scott earned All-GLIAC Second Team and All-Great Lakes Region First Team honors and was named an academic all-American. She maintains a 3.80 grade point average while majoring in exercise science. She was part of an LSSU women's squad that carried a team GPA of 3.52 and earned team academic all-America honors.

"Katie was beating good Division I runners all season," Eles said.

She opened the 2006 cross country season with a ninth-place finish at the Spartan Invitational held at Michigan State University, where she was the second-fastest among division II runners. She was 16th in her division at the nation's largest cross-country meet, the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota. She was sixth at the Michigan Intercollegiate hosted by Ferris State and ninth at the GLIAC Championships held in Columbus, Ohio. Scott clocked a 6K school record of 22:05 in the GLIAC meet despite being less than thrilled with the flat course. She felt much more at home on Wisconsin-Parkside's hilly course during the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, where she placed 11th. She missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships by one spot.

"I was the next girl to go, but I had to make up a minute," said Scott, who was the fastest freshman in the regional. "It looked good on paper, but the girl in front of me was way ahead of me."

"She was really impressive from start to finish," Eles said of Scott's cross-country season. "She had more than just one good race."

"At my first meet I was surprised at how well I did," Scott said. "I put myself in such a position that I wanted to keep doing well. I set high goals, and I trained with the guys."

According to Eles, Scott ran 60 miles per week during the summer to prepare for cross country.

"The two people on our team, Scott Hosie and Katie Scott, who did exactly what you're supposed to do, were our consistent No. 1s all season," Eles said. "They were fit. They had 12 weeks of a solid base behind them."

Practicing with the men's team also helped her push her race pace.

"The guys are really supportive of Katie," Eles said. "I ran a lot of workouts in her group to make sure the results were what we wanted - a consistent effort."

Scott also made her mark on the Canadian national scene by placing 22nd at the 2006 Canadiana Cross Country Championships held Dec. 2 in Vancouver, B.C. She was one of the three youngest competitors to place in the top 24 and qualify for the North American Central American and Carribean Championships selection pool.

"I had never experienced running in snow before," said Scott, whose ultimate goal is to make the top 10 and represent Canada in the world championships. "There was one 2K loop, and we ran it three times. By the time I raced, it had been ran on 20 times. It was all muddy, and the puddles were a foot deep. It was quite an experience."

Scott teamed with other college-age runners from Sudbury, but most of the women competing in the race were in their late 20s. Eles noted that the international environment is much different from anything LSSU runners see during the collegiate season.

Scott will specialize in the indoor 5,000-meter run and outdoor 3,000-meter steeplechase during track season. Eles, who is a steeplechase specialist, believes that Scott has the potential to qualify for nationals in both events.

Lake Superior State Cross Country
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