WESTFIELD, NJ — An accomplished senior at Westfield High School has committed to run cross country, winter track and spring track at Duke University.

While Katie Hamilton is running her first season of cross country in her senior year, she is no stranger to competitive running having secured school records in the 1600-meter and 800-meter as well as indoor school records for the 1000-meter and 800-meter. Hamilton is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.

She is looking forward to Duke, and not just because of the athletics.

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“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity,” Hamilton said. “I admire the school both for its academics and athletics. I can’t wait to start.”

Hamilton is a multisport athlete having played for the school’s soccer program for three years, in addition to running winter and spring track, Sandy Mamary, Westfield High School’s Athletics Director, said.

“She’s just such a competitor,” Mamary said. “She takes care of body. She takes care of her mind. She takes care of herself, and yet is just driven by such passion to beat the person in front of her. It’s always really fun to watch an athlete go after something like that.”

While team activities are on hold due to a recent spate of coronavirus cases at the school, runners are fortunate to be able to keep training individually. The team has also been connecting via online video chats — something that is a key part of the equation for Hamilton.

“I have a really motivated team,” said Hamilton, who noted the team was also able to train for seven weeks over the summer. “So we all keep each other in check and train, which is really great.”

Hamilton’s dedication to her team is shown in a fundraising effort she and fellow teammate Gianna Davis have launched selling Westfield themed sports apparel to raise monies that will go to purchase flowers for a soon-to-be established rain garden at Tamaques Park, where the team both practices and holds its meets. Rain gardens are landscaped to collect stormwater runoff thereby improving drainage. Click here for the fundraiser.

When she gets to Duke, Hamilton said, she hopes to focus her studies on the humanities.

“I’m really interested in political science, particularly international relations,” she said. “I’m also thinking about doing a minor certificate in journalism.”

At Westfield High School, she is an editor-in-chief at the school’s newspaper, the Hi’s Eye, which in addition to continuing its online publishing is bringing back its print version this year in a once-monthly format, Hamilton said.

Writing and editing for the school paper is just one venue through which Hamilton engages with her fellow students collaboratively.

“Although Katie does a lot of individual sports, her mindset is very team-like,” Mamary said. “And that is a big deal in Westfield athletics. It is about the greater good, and she is always a team player in any sport that she chooses.”

The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 20 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com