Bad A** Woman of the Week: Catherine White

February 24, 2013

This is National Girls and Women in Sports week, culminating in an event on Sunday to honor Lauren Purdue, so we thought we'd have a sporty BAWW. We did not have to look far to find one; Catherine White was an immediate obvious choice. Recently made a captain of the women's track team, White, enjoying her last season as a graduate student in kinesiology here at U.Va, has a long and decorated history in track. But we'll let her tell you all about it: HER BACKGROUND "I was born and raised in Roanoke, VA and went to Northside High School.  I am a pretty typical middle-class Virginian. I started athletics at a very young age playing a handful of sports, but was exceptionally keen on soccer.  My dad played soccer at Radford University and between my brother, sister, and I we spent many hours together at soccer tournaments and practices.  I even played club soccer all the way through my senior year of high school.  I began to run in middle school, and started to take it seriously my sophomore year of high school. Once I realized I had a future in competitive running, I trained more consistently and much harder. I was fortunate to be recruited to Division 1 schools for track and field and cross country, and originally choose the University of Arkansas. After my sophomore year there, I transferred to UVA." THE MOVE TO U.VA (WAHOOWA!) "I had always dreamed of coming to UVA for college, and once the University of Arkansas was no longer a good fit for me it felt very natural to transfer here.  I enjoy the balanced perspective UVA and UVA athletics promotes.  I am not just an athlete or just a student.  I have found happiness through many of my endeavors at UVA, and am very grateful I ended up in such a wonderful town, on a talented, hardworking team, and with top-notch academics. I love wearing the Virginia uniform, and representing such an honorable school.  Our home competitions, at Panorma Farms (cross country) or at Lanigan Field, have been full of energy and there is nothing better than feeling the support of friends, family, and the community at the races." WHITE ON TRACK "Competing is supposed to be challenging and difficult, and over my many years of collegiate athletics I have begun to respect and embrace this fact.  I strive to prepare myself mentally and do all of the things I can control in the best possible manor.  I place a lot of trust in my training, my coach, my teammates, and myself to be the most confident competitor when I toe the line. Sometimes, it is difficult being the oldest woman on the team when it comes to the social element and academic rigors; however, I wouldn't trade it for a thing.  My role has evolved and changed, but being able to keep my passion alive and helping others in the process has been remarkably rewarding.  I am very grateful UVA and my coaches have allowed me to stick around and complete my eligibility." WHAT PHYSICAL FEAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? "In Spring 2011, I had my ankle reconstructed after an acute ankle sprain and chronic instability problems.  Going through the diagnoses and then the recovery after surgery has definitely been the most challenging time for me as an athlete.  Not only was I in a lot of pain, but I thought I would never be able to run again.  It took about 6 months to start running again, plus a few more to get in respectable shape.  I worked hard to get back to competing and regain function in my ankle.  Now any hard workout is seen as a challenge and is fun and exciting, as I am simply happy to be doing something I love around great people and at a wonderful university!" We all wish Catherine the best of luck as she aims to break school records, get an All-American Award, and perform well at the ACC Conference Championships this semester! She is definitely bada***. Read more about Catherine White Images courtesy of

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