By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Katherine Steinman is a distance runner, not a sprinter. That’s probably why Tupelo High School’s two-time cross country state champion took her time deciding on a college.
“I wanted to make sure I liked the school, the program and the atmosphere on campus,” she said.
Steinman made her selection earlier this week and signed a cross country national letter of intent Thursday with the University of North Alabama, an NCAA Division II program in Florence, Ala. She chose UNA over Blue Mountain, Mississippi College and Christian Brothers University.
“I liked the team and the school a lot,” said the 2007 and 2010 MHSAA cross country state champion. “I also knew a few of the people there.”
Steinman was a six-year starter and led the Lady Golden Wave to six consecutive team state titles. Individually, she never finished lower than fourth, her junior season. She placed second overall three times.
“She’s going to be hard to replace,” said former THS cross country coach Nathan Hall, who coached Steinman all six seasons. “UNA will get everything out of her she can do.
“She’ll be very successful as a runner and as a student.”
Steinman, who will run the 1,600 and 3,200 meters this spring for THS in track, will run only cross country in college because UNA does not have track and field.
On the track, she finished second the last two seasons in the 3,200 meters at the MHSAA 6A state meet. She also finished fifth overall in the 1,600 last year at state.
“I enjoy running even though it can get tiring at times,” she said, then smiled. “I knew it was something I wanted to keep doing in college.”
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593