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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2023) — As an athlete, student and rising social media personality, Katelyn Hutchison displays the grit to persevere, along with an unmistakable joy and passion for track and field.

The University of Kentucky sport leadership scholar interviews track athletes at some of the biggest events in the sport. Currently, she is covering the 2023 World Athletics Championships, taking place Aug. 19-27 in Budapest. Her recent Instagram collaboration posts with World Athletics give viewers an inside take on the top athletes and events to watch.

As a teen, Hutchison’s track fandom needed an outlet and Twitter seemed the best place to take it, though she never expected to get much notice. Today, she is posting content with millions of views and garnering attention from thousands of social media followers across Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

Hutchison is known for her openness, warmth and humor — as well as her ability to show the human side of athletes. Her personality shines in her social media posts, podcasts, track meet commentary and stadium announcing.

As a graduate student in the UK College of Education Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, Hutchison is working toward a master’s degree in the Sport Leadership concentration. The program has given her the chance to explore biases, thought processes, management, leadership and other business and social issues in sports. In a course last semester, she helped plan the department’s Critical Interrogations of Race, Gender and Sport lecture series with Sport Leadership lecturer Marta Mack, Ph.D., who Hutchison credits as an inspiration and support system.

“One of the things I figured out about sports in undergrad is that it’s not all fun and games. Sport is a microcosm of society and can be used in harmful ways as well as great ways,” Hutchison said.

Hutchison’s energy and enthusiasm for track and field is fueled by her passion to bring change to the social and business aspects of it.

“We have so much potential to make this a very popular sport in America. In Jamaica, they sold out a stadium for a high school track meet. I know everyone in the U.S. doesn’t care about track much, but if you can have pickleball on ESPN, we are going to make it happen,” she said.

For her part, Hutchison uses media to draw attention to track and field in hopes it will lead to more fans and better funding.

In her coverage, non-fans may find an unexpected gateway to be pulled in. Athletes’ personalities light up as she banters with them about topics such as what they are wearing, the music on their playlists or what their scream would sound like if they were javelin throwers.

Hutchison never misses a chance to bring a fun dynamic to an interview, with her energy conveying a perfect alignment between the academic degree she is pursuing and her future career goals. With a busy practice schedule as a student-athlete, she is intentional about choosing work and internship opportunities that will set her up for future success.

“If you like what you are doing and you are passionate about what you are doing, those opportunities you are looking for will come to you and you will put your best work in,” she said.

Hutchison is a member of the content creation team for Citius Mag, home to running news, analysis, videos, newsletters, podcasts and humor. As co-host of the Citius Mag podcast "Out of the Blocks" with world silver medalist Jasmine Todd, she interviews sprint and jumps athletes, as well as shares updates on her own training, life and media pursuits.

On TikTok, a video of Hutchison meeting singer Chloe Bailey at New Balance Nationals, where Hutchison provided commentary this year, has 12.3 million plays and more than 100,000 have watched her commentary on one of her own races in December as a new member of the Kentucky Track and Field team. A TikTok about the support of her old teammates through her transfer to Kentucky has been played 2.5 million times.

Hutchison’s Twitter presence is where she commonly shares her thoughts about the state of the sport and her post-race interviews with professional track athletes. Last summer, the hashtag #GetKatelynToWorlds circulated on Twitter as friends and fans collected money to fund her trip to interview athletes.

Amid the humor, Hutchison does not shy away from serious topics. She brings attention to financial and other forms of disparities in the sport, such as highlighting the need for increased track and field athlete pay. Last spring, she was interviewed by The New York Times about the changing norms of competitive runners’ attire. Unlike men’s uniforms, the standard for women’s, historically, has been to become smaller and tighter as runners progress from grade school to college and professional athletes — something Hutchison told The Times has made her feel uncomfortable, at times, though the uniform — called a “kit” — can also have the effect of making her and other athletes feel part of an elite group.

While running track for Ithaca College, Hutchison completed her undergraduate degree in sport media and business administration with a sport management concentration. She had eligibility left after graduation and started exploring NCAA Division I schools and coaches that would bring her on as a walk-on athlete during her graduate studies. While looking at UK as a possibility, she connected with Justin Nichols, Ph.D., a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion.

“Dr. Nichols jumped on a Zoom with me, and I saw he would be willing to structure my coursework to get the knowledge I needed to pursue the career path I wanted. He treated me like a human and what stuck out to me most was the way he talked about his former students, who he often sees on sidelines now working in college and professional sports. I could tell he does not just hand a student a degree and never speak with them again. He was really genuine, and I saw this program would support me with where I wanted to go professionally,” she said.

Hutchison took an intentional risk in transferring from a Division III school where she was twice named team captain and an All American to Kentucky’s Division I program, where she joined some of the fastest women in college track.

“There are all these great names out of this school under the blue and white. Here, I want to push myself to be in a position to have to grow. If you have faith in yourself and faith in God, why not feel like you can do whatever? I have so much passion behind what this sport brings,” she said.

Hutchison will complete her graduate degree in May 2024. From there, she hopes to continue working in sports media, adding her authenticity and personal story to content that will bring more attention to track and field.

As she continues to push herself athletically and hypes up her fellow athletes, she continues the legacy of her father, whom she lost in 2021. Growing up in Chicago, he was the only person she knew who matched her level of love for the sport and he made a name for himself on Twitter as a die-hard fan, too.

“How great it was to have a dad who would look at me and say, ‘If you are willing to work for it, who cares what everyone else thinks?’ He pushed me to keep trying for my goals. The biggest thing I have to do in life now is to be like him, having that philosophy and showing positivity. I can feel like I’m making my dad happy if I’m giving support to people.”

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