Wildcat athlete Sammi Witmer is a sophomore at St. Kate’s. However, during her short time here, she’s certainly been involved as a member of both the Cross Country and the Track and Field team. Being a Wildcat, she says, is a central part to her identity. “It’s like being part of a family and knowing that you mean something to someone. On just the Cross Country team alone, everyone has a significant meaning in my heart. There is not one athlete I do not look up to, because each woman brings something to the team that makes it whole.”
Through playing sports, one can cultivate good habits and become introspective. According to Witmer, positivity in sports is vital because there will be losses. It’s important to not let the little setbacks interfere with your goals and your passion for sport. Running Cross Country and Track especially requires a strong mindset because “they are mental sports over physical.” If there is a success tip Witmer could offer, it’s that “a strong mind makes a strong runner.”
She’s always been interested in running and therefore it’s not surprising that she represents St. Kate’s. “I use to run “Run for the Arts” back in grade school and I loved running the mile in gym. I didn’t start running as an athlete until my freshman year of high school, and I actually started with Track before I ran Cross Country, which is funny since I love Cross Country more than Track. But besides running, I use to be part of the soccer and volleyball teams in my grade and middle school years, but they were just assisting, not actual playing.”
For athletes, diets and training are all part of the package to succeed. Yet, Witmer’s approach to food is balanced. Since burning a lot of calories is inevitable, “sports give us an excuse to eat as much as we want and know we need all that energy.” Despite this, she is aware that she fuels her body the right way with carbohydrates and protein. Her workout routines may sound intimidating those who shy away from the Butler center or exercise in general. “For Cross Country, we typically have two weeks between meets. In that period of time, we have three workouts, 2 cross-train days (which just means doing a non-running type of exercise) and the rest of the days are just filled with wonderful runs outside; one or two of those runs are over an hour long. Of course, we lift twice a week, do 10 minutes of core work every other day, and have “hurdle drills” twice a week.”
With intense workouts, it’s a wonder how athletes have time to focus on anything related to school work. Witmer recognizes that balancing everything can definitely be a challenge. A strategy that most athletes employ is scheduling classes around practices. However, this doesn’t always work when the class has limited to no options. “In regards to meets, they’re mostly on Saturday mornings and a few on Sundays or Fridays. Thankfully, those who schedule the meets are aware that college athletes actually attend college!”
Witmer definitely embraces what it means to be a Katie by being a strong woman who is aware of her talents and contributes them to her community through leadership. The recent achievement of running her best in the 5000 km is a testament to her resilient character and her commitment to achieving personal goals.