Katie Hamilton shatters record after record


Photo by Varsity Vantage

Took place on 1/19 at the NJSIAA Group Relays

Sierra Byrne, Iris Commentary Editor

On March 8, junior track and field athlete Katie Hamilton competed in the 2020 NJ Meet of Champions and walked away with a first-place finish, becoming the only female from WHS to ever win this title during a winter track season in the 1600m. With a time of 4:57:15, Hamilton is showing the world that with enough dedication and grit, anything is possible. 

Hamilton’s track career began in sixth grade when she ran for the YMCA Flyers Club; since then, she always had an interest in track but also dedicated her time to playing soccer. When she entered high school, she tried out for the Lady Blue Devils soccer team and made junior varsity her freshman year and then varsity her sophomore year.

“I soon realized the only reason I was good at soccer was because of running,” said Hamilton. “So when I got into high school, I started taking [track] more seriously and I joined the team during the winter and spring seasons.” During both track seasons, Hamilton broke countless records including, her own personal records, school records and meet records. 

Hamilton started her high school career as a sprinter and ran about three events per meet; now, she is strictly a distance runner since she has had so much success in the 1600m and the 3200m.  Despite this, she still competes in shorter relays from time to time.

Just this year alone, in addition to being crowned state champion in the 1600m, Hamilton finished first place in the 1000m at the Len Pietrewicz Individual, where she not only won the race but also broke the school and meet records with a time of 2:57:27. She also placed first at the Yale Invitational in the 1600 m, setting a new school record and a personal record (PR) of 5:00:86.

Before she starts any race, Hamilton’s mindset is the same: getting a PR. Going into a meet, she doesn’t know how the race is going to go, but she is focused on setting a goal for herself and achieving it. Before each season begins, Hamilton sits down with her coaches and discusses her goals for the upcoming months.

Hamilton credited her success to the Westfield Track and Field program and feels as though she wouldn’t be the athlete she is today without the motivation her team gives her. “There’s a huge sports culture here [in Westfield], and there’s always the expectation that every Westfield team should do well,” Hamilton said. “We take it into our own hands to represent the track team and be just as good as football, lacrosse, soccer and all of the other sports.”

Although her winter track season came to a close with a Meet of Champions victory, Hamilton is already training for the spring track season in hope of returning to the season this year. Next year, she will look to lead the Lady Blue Devils soccer team in her final year as a senior. She is also hopeful to continue her track career in college; she hopes to attend a school where she can balance both her athletic and academic career while majoring in political science.

Despite the spring track and field season being postponed right now due to COVID-19, she isn’t going to stop training. “What’s great about running is that you don’t need any special equipment or others to train with,” said Hamilton. “So until we’re prevented from running as a team, you can most definitely find me outside running.”