Katherine MacCary ’19, a senior on both the women’s cross country and track and field teams, found a love for running and competing at an early age. An art history major with minors in French and environmental studies from Los Angeles, California, MacCary talks about her love for competing and the internship she had last summer.
Can you describe your summer internship with Emerge America?
I was an intern to the Chief of Staff at Emerge America, working in the San Francisco office (national headquarters). I handled board member recruitment projects, aided in the development office and helped our Chief of Staff with operations-related tasks. One of my favorite things to do was organize video conferences for our summer interns in offices around the country. I reached out to women who are leaders in their career fields, and in our conferences the interns had the opportunity to learn about the education and career paths of these women. One particularly memorable video-conference was with a former US Attorney, Eileen Decker, who spoke about attending law school, working in the public sector and projects she took on to create more opportunities for women in public offices she held.
Is it true that you and your mom discovered a love for triathlons together?
I have done two triathlons in the Los Angeles area with my mother during my high school years. I placed third during my first race, and my mother and I both became smitten with the sport. In our second triathlon, I won my age group and my mother finished on the podium in the top-three for her age group. We were so excited for each other, as we each received medals and special t-shirts to take home.
How did you develop a strong passion for running?
I started running cross country in my first year of high school. My dad is a runner, and he encouraged me to try cross country as my fall sport. While I had a very successful season with the team, I ended up getting a painful injury and chose to compete for my school's swim team in the spring. I was a competitive swimmer growing up, and in the ninth grade I was still hooked on the sport. While doing summer training for my sophomore cross country season I realized just how much I love running. I explored my neighborhood and checked out new trails. My dad and I started a tradition of trying a new brunch spot together after my Saturday morning cross country practice. During that summer I decided to pursue track instead of swimming and started to realize that I wanted to keep running for the rest of my life.
What drew you all the way across the country to Middlebury?
I wanted to attend a college that would encourage and challenge me to take an interdisciplinary approach to my education. I knew by my sophomore year of high school that I wanted to continue running in college, and that I wanted to join a very cohesive and supportive team. I also grew up skiing and hiking with my family, so it was important to me that I be able to continue doing these activities in college. When I toured Middlebury, I was absolutely enamored with the school. The beautiful setting, welcoming community, excellent academics and the athletics legacy drew me to Vermont.
What other activities occupy your time?
I am a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative and I greatly enjoy this committee. It is wonderful to hear about other teams on campus. SAAC provides many opportunities for members to become more involved in the greater Middlebury community, and it has been great to participate in the annual Mary Hogan Read-a-Thon and Special Olympics events. I am also a Beeman Elementary School mentor and have learned how important interaction between Middlebury College students and the surrounding communities is to furthering that relationship.
What is your #MiddMoment?
It would be at the top of Chipman Hill with my teammates, looking west toward campus and the setting sun after one of our workouts.
Note - The photo to the upper left is Katherine competing in a triathlon in California. (photo submitted by Katherine MacCary)