AP ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
By Xander Michaels
This week’s scholar athlete is Katie O’Neill-Knasick. Katie runs on the Varsity Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track teams. Currently, Katie is in her indoor track season, where she runs the 400m, 600m, and 800m races along with the triple jump event. The most challenging part of Katie’s sport is keeping a positive attitude. “The second you start doubting yourself and thinking negatively is when the running almost becomes impossible.” Yet, this difficulty becomes easier for Katie through working with the rest of the team. “The running community at Averill Park is just the best. They are the kindest people you’ll ever meet.” To prepare for her senior season, Katie ran throughout the summer and then throughout her cross-country season. Katie’s hard work has paid off when her 4×800 team broke the previous school record by 10 seconds. Katie continues her efforts off the track and into the classroom. Katie is the senior class salutatorian with a GPA of 98.87 and a member of the National Honor Society. This year, Katie is a part of the New Visions STEM program, where she takes college level courses through RPI. Along with this, Katie takes Advanced Placement Calculus, Orchestra, Jazz Band, and participates in Robotics club at the high school. Katie was recognized of her dedication to academics during the underclassmen awards last spring where she was awarded the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award, which included a scholarship to the University of Rochester. After high school, Katie plans to go to college in pursuit of a career in neuroscience and brain research. Katie is prepared for her future after high school, both academically and in her sports. Katie attributes her success not only to her own efforts, but also to the work of Coach Gobel who pushes her to improve. Katie also provides a piece of advice for young athletes, “focus less on the running and more on the people you’re with. It’ll help you stay positive if you simply enjoy the time you’re spending with the other track kids.”
We all wish Katie the best of luck in her future after high school.