Meet Katelyn Gamble, second-fastest 60-meter runner in Division III this year

Gamble broke the W&L school record in the 60-meter race twice this weekend, earning her the top-ranking national spot

Bri Hatch

Katelyn Gamble, ’24, emerged from the Winter Classic track meet at Virginia Military Institute this weekend with the second-fastest 60-meter time in all of Division III this year. 

Gamble ran a time of 7.63 seconds in both the semi-finals on Friday and finals on Saturday, qualifying initially with a time of 7.71 seconds in the preliminary round on Friday. She broke her own personal record, and the Washington and Lee school record, for the 60-meter twice with these performances — beating her previous record of 7.80 seconds. 

Gamble has also been named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) athlete of the week for women’s indoor track three times, the third earned earlier this week. 

The Ring Tum Phi talked to Gamble about her success so far this season, what comes next —  and why she loves what she does. Here are her condensed answers: 


First of all, how does it feel to be wracking up all these titles and records?

It was awesome. I’ve been working so hard, so I finally feel like my hard work is paying off. I was actually so surprised that I even ran that fast. And my parents were there, too, so it was really awesome to have them with me to share that moment.


What are your goals to accomplish this season, and in your collegiate career?

I definitely hope to be an All-American at the NCAA championships. Right now, I feel like I even have a chance to maybe win it. That’s really my goal. 

And I think just my goals throughout this season are to just keep on improving, keep on working hard. I want to win the ODAC titles, and I want the team [ODAC] title too. So, I’m really just hoping to get out there and have our team excel, but also be able to show the hard work that I’ve put into my individual events.


How do you prepare for competition? 

I try not to put too much pressure on myself coming into track meets and while running. So really, I just try to keep a positive mindset, knowing that I have trained for this for a while so I can run it. 

Because I don’t know why, but before every event I feel like I forget how to run. That’s something that I’m still trying to convince myself like, I know I can do it, I trained for it. Just getting in the right headspace. 

I try to keep it pretty light, like talking with my teammates, hanging out, just laughing and having fun. And then right before my race, that’s where I zoom in. I envision how I want to get out, how I want to execute — just making sure that I remember all the points to execution.


Do you have any pre-race superstitions or good-luck rituals? 

Yes, I do. I have to talk to myself. If I’m not feeling nervous before I race, I’m gonna run bad. So I like to convince myself that I’m really nervous, like I need to keep on working hard and trying hard. I just make myself as nervous as possible. 

And I’m really superstitious about how I do my morning routine. So I clean my uniform, get all my stuff together. I always make sure that I have the same pair of socks. Even if I don’t wear them, I just like having them with me. I know, it’s weird.

And before I run, I always make sure I call and talk to my parents.


What motivates you when you’re training and racing?

My sister also runs track. And seeing how hard she works makes me want to work hard. She motivates me, and my parents motivate me, and they’re always uplifting, telling me that I can do things. Because I can kind of get down on myself when it comes to track. So they’ve been really awesome about keeping a good headspace. 

And I want to make sure that I put my best foot forward whenever I’m out there competing because I know that a lot of people have put in a lot of work and effort into my track career. 

I told myself before coming to college, the moment track stops being fun is when I know it’s time for me to stop running. So I try not to take it  too seriously. I still work hard and I still want to do what’s best for the team and myself. But I try to just have fun with it.

Because when I start to stress myself out, or when I start to really not enjoy it anymore, that’s when I don’t run as well. And so that’s really my motto for running.


What is your favorite event to race and why?

I love the 200. I’ve always loved the 200, even though I dread it every single time. That was my favorite when I was younger, that’s my favorite one to watch. So I would definitely say the 200, even though I dread it every single time I have to run it. 


Why did you decide to run in college? Why do you love the sport?

I just love the environment. I’ve always had such a great environment on every track team that I’ve been on. The personalities of people who run track are just my favorite type of people. Because you’re really just punishing yourself, so the personalities of everyone I’ve met in the track world have really made me love it so much. 

I wasn’t sure if I was gonna run track in college. But seeing my sister run, seeing how much she loved it, and then my parents being like, “give it a try. You’ve worked so hard for this. You’ve been running for so long. You deserve to go to that next level to see how you can compete.” That was a big part of my decision to run. 

And the track team in general, it’s so awesome here and everyone’s so supportive. I really talk all the time about how we’re like one big family. And so that was really big. Seeing the type of community that the track team has and that the coaches have created was a really, really big reason why I decided to run track here and to run track in general.