SPOTLIGHT: Rebel Runner Wastes No Time Breaking Records

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Katie Breathitt (Photo by Beth Hall)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Katie Breathitt (Photo by Beth Hall)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 14, 2011

By Suzanne Floyd
Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

Out of all the people who graduate high school each year, a very small percentage have the talent level to play sports at the collegiate level. Possessing the ability to make not only one, but two varsity Division I teams is even more of a rarity.  

For Ole Miss junior Katie Breathitt, the journey from lifetime soccer player to school record-breaking cross country and track and field standout has been anything but commonplace.  A self-described "extreme competitor," Breathitt has taken little time to show that she has what it takes and more to succeed as a runner.  

"After my freshman year playing soccer, I was approached by the track program to see if I was interested in running cross country in the fall.  I ran in a few meets and realized how much I enjoyed it," Breathitt said.

Breathitt, a native of Lexington, Ky., never participated in cross country or track in high school. She was a member of Ole Miss' soccer team in 2008 and 2009 before making the switch.

"I never ran on a team in high school because I was always playing soccer," she said. "Soccer obviously involves a lot of running, but running in meets is completely different than in a soccer game."

After taking a chance at a sport in which she had never participated, she hit the ground running - literally - and hasn't looked back since.  

"I just really love to run.  People think it's crazy that I stopped playing one sport to go to practice to strictly run.  That was like conditioning before, but now it's all I do."

Though her record on the track was nothing short of outstanding for the Rebels in her first season, Breathitt was very quick to admit that the transition from soccer to cross country and track was not as easy as one might think.

"The biggest change for me was waking up at five or six in the morning to run and then having practice later on in the day again.  It's not easy some mornings getting out of bed to train, but I'm pretty used to it now," she said.

Her training has certainly paid off thus far in her short but impressive running career.  Breathitt smashed the Ole Miss record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 10:39.95 to place fifth at the 2011 SEC Track and Field Championships.  Another record broken by Breathitt was in the 5,000 meters.  She ran a time of 16:49.76 to finish eighth at the SEC Championships.  

"It's cool that every time I get a personal record that it is also a school record," Breathitt said.

"Katie has been a great addition for us," cross country coach Doug Blackwell said. "She even started out last year with some health issues, so her cross country performance wasn't nearly as good as it could have been. After scoring in two events at the SEC Outdoors, it really ups our expectations for this cross country season."

For someone who has had so much success in a short time, Breathitt attributes her achievements to everyone but herself.

"I really enjoy training with my teammate (fellow distance runner) Logan Waites," she said. "She pushes me to try hard in all of our workouts and is extremely good to train with.  Also, my twin sister is someone I've competed with and against my entire life, so she definitely has impacted me and made me want to stay on top of my game."

Breathitt's twin sister Kelsey is also an Ole Miss student-athlete.  Kelsey, a member of the soccer team, is following in her sister's footsteps by becoming a cross country and track athlete.

"She has recently joined the track program as well, and I am excited to get to be on the same team with her again," Katie said.

If history repeats itself, the addition of another Breathitt sister to the team will prove to be positive for the Ole Miss cross country and track programs.  Goals for the season are at an all-time high as far as Katie is concerned.

"My goal for the season is to keep getting better, especially at the 3,000 meter race and the steeplechase," Katie said. "I really love the steeplechase race because it is so different from the others with all of the hurdles and obstacles.  I hope that I can improve in that area the most."

If her first season as a cross country and track athlete at Ole Miss is any indication for the next few years Katie Breathitt will have as a Rebel runner, more school records and championships are on the horizon.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Chadwick'sTop Moments: No. 10

      Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - Men's Tennis

      Moving along chronologically, today we delve into the top 10 moments of Ole Miss men's tennis coach Billy Chadwick continuing with the 2005 season, which was one of the most exciting seasons in Ole Miss tennis history. In 2005, the... read more

    • VIDEO: SEC Network 'Take It All In' Promo

      Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • Chadwick's Top Moments: No. 11

      Monday, April 21, 2014 - Men's Tennis

      On this Monday we take a look at moment No. 11 of the top moments in Billy Chadwick's career.  This moment encompasses a year full of great accomplishments that Chadwick made the norm for the Ole Miss tennis program.  In... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20)

      Monday, April 21, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss went 1-2 last week vs. No. 7 LSU, dropping a 13-inning affair in the series opener before taking game two and falling in the series finale.- Ole Miss became the... read more

    • Baseball Scorecards Tell the Story

      Monday, April 21, 2014 - Baseball

      Earlier this baseball season, Ole Miss tied a game on a dropped fly ball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, which was a case of deja vu for Ole Miss fan Curtis Wilkie, who remembered the same... read more

    • Closing Time

      Monday, April 21, 2014 - Women's Golf

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Normal 0 false false false EN-US... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-LSU Highlights

      Saturday, April 19, 2014 - Baseball

      read more

    • Rebels Drop Series With Shutout Loss To LSU

      Saturday, April 19, 2014 - Baseball

      Sam Smith posted his eighth straight quality start, but it was not enough, as LSU shut out Ole Miss 2-0 Saturday afternoon to take the three-game series. It was the first time that the Rebels had been shutout since a... read more

    • Rainy Start to the SEC Championships

      Friday, April 18, 2014 - Women's Golf

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Ole Miss women's golf sports information... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-LSU Highlights

      Friday, April 18, 2014 - Baseball

      read more

    • Bousfield's 4-For-4 Game Lifts Rebels To Win

      Friday, April 18, 2014 -

      LSU looked to have gotten out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but right fielder Mark Laird dropped a fly ball in foul territory that would have been the final out and send the game to the fifth down... read more

    • Rebel Road Trip 2014: Look Back Video

      Friday, April 18, 2014 - Athletics

      BancorpSouth Rebel Road Trip 2014: Look Back Video from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ellis Duels Nola To A Draw In Series Opener

      Thursday, April 17, 2014 - Baseball

      For eight innings, Chris Ellis dueled Aaron Nola, the Southeastern Conference's leader in strikeouts (84) and earned run average (0.70) to a draw, as he left with the game with the score tied at 2-2. It was the eighth time... read more

    • I'm Back

      Thursday, April 17, 2014 - Women's Golf

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Ole Miss women's golf sports information... read more

    • Two More Second-Round Projections For Moncrief

      Thursday, April 17, 2014 - Football

      Two new mock drafts released this week has former wide receiver Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief being selected in the late second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, set for May 8-10. NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks projects Moncrief... read more