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Monday, May 16, 2022

Seven Questions with Charlie Keohane ’24, women’s track & field

Charlie Keohane ’24 poses during media day. COURTESY OF ALI PAQUETTE
Charlie Keohane ’24 poses during media day. COURTESY OF ALI PAQUETTE

Charlie Keohane ’24, from Lafayette, California, is a sophomore on women’s track and field. She most often runs the 100m and 200m and was named a NESCAC All-Academic for the 2021–2022 season.  In this installment of “Seven Questions,” Keohane discusses her beginnings with track, why she chose Middlebury and her least favorite building on campus.

Ryan Heinzerling: How'd you get into track?

Charlie Keohane: It’s a funny story because my parents told me I had to join a sports team in middle school, and I delayed joining one until the spring. Once the spring rolled around, I looked around the sports and decided to go for track since I’m not tall or coordinated enough for many other sports. Nine years later, I’m still running track!  

RH: Why Middlebury?

CK: Coming from the West Coast, I really wanted a significant change of scenery and geography. I knew I wanted a small liberal arts college, and as an environmental studies major, I was very attracted to Middlebury. The mountain views are majestic and I feel so lucky to be in such a beautiful place. This place attracts so many wonderful people, and I’ve been lucky to meet some great friends. I’m actually a walk-on to the track team, so it’s fun that it worked out.

RH: How are you feeling about the season so far? Any goals?

CK: I really enjoyed my first ever indoor season this past winter. I had Covid-19 between indoor and outdoor, so it’s been a little difficult coming back from that, but I’m looking forward to making the most of the outdoor season and enjoying the sunshine. At the end of the day, I’m just competing against myself and my own times. My main goals [are] to stay focused on improving my technique and strength, have fun and be a supportive teammate. It’s been especially fun to get closer to the first-years and watch them grow over the season.   

RH: What goes into prepping for a meet?

CK: Prepping for the meet is both physical and mental. I always try to get a lot of sleep, stay hydrated and eat some carbs the night before. I get very anxious before a race, so I just try to focus on staying calm, focusing on my breathing and keeping a positive attitude. My parents often text me words of affirmation before a meet which gives me a nice boost of confidence. It’s crazy how much stress goes into such a short and fast race, but it’s exhilarating. 

RH: Favorite memory of being on track so far?

CK: Going to the David Hemery Valentine Invitational meet at Boston University over February break. It was my first away indoor meet and first time running on a banked track. There were so many Division I teams there [along with] my best track friend from high school who runs for Tufts, which was a crazy “worlds collide” moment. I had a blast on the banked track and [set personal records] in both the 60-meter dash and the 200. The overall energy was electric. 

RH: Favorite professional track athlete?

CK: Allyson Felix. She’s an incredible athlete, and I really admire that she can run anything from a 100- to 400-meter race. She is so versatile and strong across the board, individually and on a relay team.

RH: Least favorite building on campus?

CK: This is potentially a hot take, but my least favorite building on campus is the Ross Complex. I don’t think it has as much character as other dorms on campus, and I find the hallways dark, confusing and claustrophobic. However, I’ll make an exception for Ross Dining Hall during golden hour. 

Editor’s Note: Charlie Keohane ’24 is an Editor at Large for The Campus.

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