Hernando High School junior Katelyn Cartwright has been named Hustle High School Athlete of the Month presented by Campbell Clinic for January. Cartwright, recently named the Gatorade Mississippi Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year, will be honored at the Hustle’s next home game on Wednesday, February 21 at Landers Center.
Cartwright took this year’s MHSAA 6A girls’ cross country state championship, but despite her cross country prowess, Cartwright still gets surprised when receiving considerable recognition.
“Honestly, all of this has just been very exciting,” said Cartwright. “When I first found out that I was Gatorade Player of the Year, I don’t think I really fully understood exactly how serious and how it was such an honor to win the award. I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was. When I found out that the Hustle wanted to recognize me, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that the Memphis Hustle wanted Katelyn Cartwright for this.”
Certainly, Cartwright deserves plenty of credit for her accomplishments, but she credits those around her for her success on and off the trail.
“My parents play a huge role and they have been very supportive all throughout my life, telling me that I can do this,” Cartwright explained. “They’ve really kept me into church, so my faith is very strong. I really lean and depend on God to be there with me through my life’s journey. I do have a really good coach. He’s pushed me and continuously coached me ever since we first met. First thing he was telling me is that we’re going to win this year. He kept putting this faith into me and made me believe that I can do this if I set my mind to it.”
Her cross country coach at Hernando, Logan Clark, praised Cartwright’s work ethic and determination towards her craft and could tell after her sophomore year that she could reach great heights.
“I think what makes Katelyn Cartwright a great runner is that she is willing to do the work,” Clark told the Desoto Times-Tribune. “Her scores last year indicated she had strong potential and I told her back in June that we were going to win this year, but she was going to do what she had to do. She comes to workouts willing to work and willing to push herself.”
Outside of cross country, Cartwright is involved with her school and community in multiple regards while proving successful in the classroom, compiling a 4.31 GPA despite taking all Advanced Placement courses. Cartwright still has one year of high school to complete, but still has an idea of what she would like to do afterward.
“As far as college goes, I’m hoping to go out of state. I want to major in pre-med and become a pediatrician. I’m really trying to use this next year to see if doing sports in college or after college is for me. That’s the struggle that I’m going through now.”
Additionally, Cartwright volunteers for community service, particularly through National Honor Society and is a soccer referee in Hernando while also coaching gymnastics. She additionally serves as part of a mission group at Brown Missionary Baptist Church, whose praise team performed at the Hustle’s Faith and Family Night on February 9, and is on the Superintendent Youth Leadership Council.