By: Chris Walsh
Sacred Heart women’s cross country runner, Kate Svensen, has been recognized not only for her performances on the field, but in the classroom as well. Svensen has been named the “Northeast Conference (NEC) Scholar Athlete of the Year.”
Her running achievements were matched by her classroom achievements. She has a 3.77 grade point average (GPA) as a nursing student.
Svensen earned the award after dominating in the NEC Championship, which helped the Pioneers go on to win their first conference championship in five seasons. Along with these accolades, Svensen still manages to maintain a high GPA.
“I think it’s all about time-management,” said Svensen. “I look at what my class schedule, training schedule, and competition schedule is for the current week, or upcoming weeks ahead. From there, I can determine when I study, and when I train.”
A typical day for Svensen usually begins by her grabbing something to eat on-the-go, followed by a morning run before class. Svensen is now in the preceptorship part of the nursing program, which requires her to shadow a registered nurse at a hospital during their work shift.
“This is usually a 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. shift, two days a week,” said Svensen.
On these types of days, Svensen still finds time to train at night. She finds time running in the William H. Pitt Center gym or on the track field.
Even though Svensen started running in middle school, she did not take up running competitively until her freshman year of high school. As she began to train with her older sister who was also on the track team at the time, she immediately fell in love with the sport.
“Being on a team where you are a distance runner, it is very important to have good teammates and training partners,” said Svensen.
She logs about 60 miles per week based on her training schedule to stay prepared for her meets.
Svensen stresses that time management-whether it be in school or for track-can make or break someone. Svensen looks at her class schedule and athletic schedule up to two weeks in advance so she can plan everything out. This helps her stay on track, and focus more on her studies and athletics.
“I try to use my run as a break from studying,” Svensen said.
Although balancing both school and athletics has not been easy, Svensen saw that all of her hard work and dedication payed off after being named the “NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.” Svensen said that she was not even aware that the NEC gave out a scholar athlete award, so it was an honor for her to be recognized.
“I have dedicated my time into balancing both school and running. So being named ‘NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year,’ is something that I am very proud of,” Svensen said.
With graduation being right around the corner, she took time to reflect on how the past four years have flown by. For Svensen, it is bittersweet to think that in a few months she will be recieving her diploma.
“My post-graduation plan is to take the NCLEX and become a registered nurse,” Svensen said. “My plan is to either do a nurse residency program, or I am going to go back to my hometown in Massachusetts and apply for jobs in the Boston area.”
Svensen plans to continue to run, since it has always been such a big part of her life and she can’t imagine her life without it. She would love to do marathons and half-marathons to continue her passion.
Svensen is looking forward to the next chapter in her life as a nurse.