Track Q&A: Catie Barilla

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Catie Barilla, a junior on Pepperdine's track team, expresses her excitement for her third track season as a Wave. She explains how she feels about the team and goes into detail about what hurdling means to her:

Catie  Barilla

Q: What are your feelings about the first indoor meet of the semester?

A: The first meet was a great trial experience. The elevation was difficult to adjust to, but overall the track girls performed well. For the freshmen, it was a great opportunity to get a feel for collegiate competition.

Q: How are you and the team looking to improve going into the second indoor meet?

A: Going into the second meet, we are going to better prepare for the high elevation and practice more of the technical movements essential to sprinting.

Q: As the team captain and one of the few upperclassmen, how do you lead this team of freshmen?

A: As a team captain, I try to be responsive to how the freshmen feel. I know it can be a difficult transition from high school to college track, so I try to work with them through the growing pains. We were lucky to get a great group of girls that are coachable and hard workers. They really make the job easy.

Q: What are some differences between indoor and outdoor meets?

A: The major difference between indoor and outdoor meets is the high elevation. We go from ocean level Malibu to the snowing high mountains where the air is very thin. This makes it more difficult to sprint at full speed. I know for myself it is challenging for my lungs to adapt and breathe normally during a race. 

Q: What are your goals for this season?

A: One of my goals for this season is to improve my hurdle form, and in result improve my 400-hurdle time. I am also excited to watch the freshmen perform and hopefully crush their high school times. Ultimately, I want us all to have an injury-free season. 

Q: What does it mean to hold one of the outdoor hurdle records for Pepperdine?

A: For me, holding one of the outdoor records is a reminder that I can break my own time. Track is really a competition against the clock and with each year, I hope to improve the record. 

Q: How did you get into track and hurdles?

A: I originally started running track after my dad encouraged me to try it. He and his brothers were track stars back in the day and I thought maybe I could carry on the Barilla legacy. I started running hurdles because I wanted more of a challenge while sprinting.

Q: Why do you like those events?

A: I enjoy running hurdles because it gives me something else to think about while sprinting. Having an obstacle in the way forces me to focus on how many steps I am taking rather than how much pain I am in. It is a difficult race but there is nothing like crossing that finish line knowing you broke your record.

Q: Explain the difficulty of hurdling compared to sprinting.

A: Running 400 hurdles is much more tiring than sprinting because it uses extra energy to jump over the hurdle. Not only are you sprinting at full speed, but also trying to quickly run through a 30-inch piece of plastic. Ultimately the challenge is rewarding and never gets old.

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