Tuohy Becomes First in Gatorade Awards History to Win Top Athlete in Two Sports
“Talents like this don’t come along all the time, and I really want to make sure I get it right—for her sake, her parents’ sake and for running’s sake.”
By Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated
The fastest girl in the country can’t sit still. She doesn’t remember the last time she made it through a movie. She fidgets in class. Except for the few times she’s been sick, she doubts she’s gone 24 hours without exercise since she took her first steps. Even now, perched on a red bench in the hallway of North Rockland High in Thiells, N.Y., 16-year-old Katelyn Tuohy is playing with two hair elastics, threading them through each other and tying them together as she patiently explains her impatience. People are always telling her to relax, but she’s not even sure how to. “I don’t know,” she says. “Maybe go for a walk or something.”
Her ideal day begins with a predawn wake-up and a 10 mile run. Then grab breakfast, go for a hike and hit the gym. End by barbecuing with friends, get to bed early and do it again the next day.
Instead Katelyn is on this bench in the idle moments before she heads out to the track for her SI cover photo shoot. She has just finished her sophomore year and in a few days will jet to Los Angeles, where she’ll be presented with the Gatorade National Female Athlete of the Year award. (Katelyn has already become the first athlete in the 33-year history of the Gatorade program to be named the top athlete in two sports nationally—in her case, track & field and cross country.) Nearly every week there has been a banquet honoring her. It can be hard to keep track of her successes: This winter she had the nation’s top indoor times for high school girls at 1500 meters (4:23.38), 3000 meters (9:05.26) and 2 Miles (9:58.89). In January she set the U.S. under-20 female record for the 5000 (15:37.12). Four months later she broke the 22-year-old girls’ high school outdoor 3200mr mark, running 9:47.88. In June she won her second straight Mile title at the New Balance Nationals with a time of 4:33.87, eclipsing a U.S. high school record that had stood for 36 years.
Katelyn has been running competitively since she was 12, a tiny seventh-grader staring up at high school seniors before the gun fired. She has won nearly every race she has entered. So, Katelyn, what’s the farthest you’ve ever run? She steals a glance at North Rockland’s outdoor track coach, Kyle Murphy. “I can’t answer that when he’s right here,” she says, giggling. “I’m going to get in trouble.”
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