CHICAGO – Ole Miss senior track & field/cross country runner Katie Breathitt was recently honored as the Muscle Milk Female Athlete of the Year by the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA).
Breathitt received one of eight national awards recognizing special achievement and contributions to advanced-practice sports nutrition at the CPSDA’s awards ceremony in May.
Breathitt arrived on the Ole Miss campus in 2008 with her twin sister to play soccer, but suffered a knee injury that required surgery, after which she lost a substantial amount of weight and became iron deficient. She was referred to Ole Miss registered dietitian Melinda Valliant, PhD, who struggled at first to persuade Breathitt to adopt her nutritional recommendations.
Weekly meetings with Dr. Valliant eventually enabled Breathitt to resolve her iron deficiency and gain 27 pounds, setting the table for success in Katie’s newly adopted track & field and cross country events, which included school records in the 3,000 meter steeplechase (10:26:39) and 5,000 meters (16:49:76); SEC Athlete of the Week; All-SEC cross country team in 2012; All South Region cross country team in 2011 and 2012; and the first cross country woman in Ole Miss history to advance to the NCAA Championships.
A native of Lexington, Ky., who attended Lexington Catholic High School, Breathitt graduated from Ole Miss in May while on the Dean’s Honor Roll, SEC Academic Honor Roll, and having been named as one of only 104 women nationwide to the All-Academic team among college Track & Field athletes.
Said Dr. Valliant of Breathitt’s focus and dedication: “Katie is one of the most hardworking, respectful and appreciative athletes I’ve had the pleasure to work with. She graciously exemplifies all that a student-athlete should be. She fought through hard times to become an example for all women.”
In all, eight national awards were presented in May by the CPSDA: - CPSDA Trailblazer Award: James Harris III, Philadelphia Eagles administration - CPSDA Excellence Award: Jennifer Ketterly, University of Georgia Sports RD - CPSDA Service Award: Jonathan Tanguay, Texas A&M University Sports RD - Tom Osborne Award: Greg McGarity, University of Georgia Athletic Director - EAS Scholarship Award: Laura Kunces, University of Connecticut - DuPont/Solae Scholarship Award: Sydney Snellman, Auburn University student - Muscle Milk Female Athlete of Year: Katie Breathitt, Ole Miss - Muscle Milk Male Athlete of the Year: Adam Duvall, MLB’s San Francisco Class AA team Richmond (Virginia) Squirrels
Click here for photos and more information about CPSDA’s Scholarships and Awards program.
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