WHO: Kate Cassidy.
SPORT: Track and field.
HIGH SCHOOL: Broad Run, 1995 graduate.
UPDATE: 1999 recipient of Catholic University's Donley Cup, which recognizes athletic achievement, scholarship, community service and leadership, and is the highest award given to a female athlete at the school. Qualified for the NCAA Division III track and field championships, finishing 10th in the first flight of the hammer throw. Won the Mason-Dixon Conference (150-1) and Capital Athletic Conference (130-7) championship in the hammer throw, establishing a conference record at both meets. Graduated in May with a degree in history and is applying to graduate school to pursue her master's in secondary education. Would like to become a high school teacher and track coach.
WHAT APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT TRACK AND FIELD?
"I played soccer and basketball while growing up, but track was the most mentally challenging sport I'd ever done. In track, you're the only one out there. You're trying to help your team score points, so in that respect it's a team sport, but if you mess up it's your fault. It's not the coach's fault, it's not your teammates' fault -- it's your fault. The first time I saw someone throw the hammer, I was fascinated by it. The hammer is so technical; if you're not technically sound, you can't be good at it."
WHAT KIND OF ADJUSTMENTS DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE WHILE COMPETING IN COLLEGE?
"I was a very, very average thrower in high school; I never even made it to regionals. I wasn't sure I would make the team [at Catholic]. That was a big challenge for me in college, because when I started to win, it blew my mind. I remember one time this year, I came in second at a meet by half an inch, and I was so frustrated. My dad told me that I used to tell him in high school that all I wanted to do was to win one time. In college, I was at a point where I wanted to win all the time. I had to redo my goals, my focus."
WAS THERE A TURNING POINT TO YOUR COLLEGE CAREER?
"Sophomore year was a major turning point for me. That was when I tore part of my rotator cuff [in her throwing shoulder], and I wasn't allowed to do the shot put or the hammer. I could only do the discus, which was my weakest event. At the time, shot put was my best event, but I couldn't even watch it because I missed it. At meets, I had to watch the runners instead. I realized then how much I loved track. I was faced with a choice: surgery or no more track. I had surgery that summer."
CAPTION: Kate Cassidy prepares for hammer throw, an event in which she set conference records at both the Mason-Dixon and Capital Athletic conference championships.