Student athlete profile

Name: Kathleen Tobia

Year: senior

Hometown: Hinsdale

When did you join the track team?

My sophomore year. My brothers had always done track and cross country, so I always knew of it. When I quit gymnastics sophomore year, I knew running was what I wanted to do.

How long did you do gymnastics?

Thirteen years. (I quit because) I had injuries in both of my elbows, to the point where I couldn't write or brush my hair without pain.

What do you enjoy most about track?

I love that we have such a big team full of girls who get along really well and are so passionate about this sport and winning. I love the adrenaline of racing and being competitive.

How has COVID-19 affected you?

Having my junior year season be cut off. I was kind of hoping that that was when I would make the most improvement and be the strongest I've ever been going into senior year. I didn't feel as ready going into outdoor season (this year) as I would like to, which was a little disappointing.

What is your favorite event?

Definitely the 4x400-meter because it's super fun and everyone cheers for you - and it's at the end of the meet.

Do you have any pre-meet rituals or routines?

I always wear the same necklace every meet and I make sure that my shoes are as tight as possible - to the point where it hurts. I re-tie them multiple times before my race to make sure they are super tight. Otherwise I feel like my shoes are going to fall off.

What is the best advice you've gotten from a coach?

I had a gymnastics coach once say, "At the end of the season, you don't want to look back and wish you would have worked harder."

What are your plans for next year?

I'm going to Indiana University, where I'll be studying finance with a minor in information systems. Maybe (I'll run) with a club or something. I love running on my own and going to parks and running on paths.

Why does coach Pat Richards like having Tobia on the team?

She leads by example and has a great attitude. She comes to practice focused and ready to work.

- profile by Pamela Lannom, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean