Indoors. Outdoors. Terre Haute. Jacksonville.
When it comes to competition, Indiana State University sophomore Katie Wise doesn’t care if there are four walls around her or only four sets of eyes taking in her every move.
Wise, who was born to go exceedingly fast, continues to elevate her own bar of expectations.
Earlier this month the former state 100-meter champion out of Indian Creek High School came through with personal-best times of 11.23 and 23.06 seconds in the 100 and 200 dashes, respectively.
Wise is currently in Jacksonville, Florida, site of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East preliminaries. She hopes to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, from June 11 through 14.
She’ll have three opportunities — the 100, 200 and as second leg of the Sycamores’ 400-meter relay team.
Indiana State sprints coach Michael Roberts knows better than to bet against her.
“Right now her outdoor season is going how her indoor season went. Katie just always handles her business,” Roberts said. “That is rare for someone that young. Katie has seriously dropped her times because of her determination not to lose. She hates losing.”
Fortunately for Wise, it’s not something she experiences that often.
Her dominance as a high school sprinter from 2009-12 traveled smoothly from Trafalgar to Terre Haute despite the fact Wise is now being challenged by much faster athletes.
“This season has been great. Compared to high school, just how much time I’ve dropped,” Wise said. “The coaching. The competition. I lift weights two to three days a week, so I can’t really say it’s just one thing.”
Wise takes the track ranked fifth in both the 100 and 200 based on those times from the Missouri Valley Conference Championships held in Carbondale, Illinois.
Indiana State’s 400 relay effort comes in seeded 14th with a best of 44.76 seconds. It’s here Wise teams with fellow sophomores Demetra Camble and Chidera Obasih and freshman Alethia Marrero.
For Wise, who has spent most of her track career as the anchor to such sprint relays, becoming acclimated to being the second runner has taken time.
“I’ve never had to hand off the baton, so I’ve had to adjust. As an anchor I don’t have to slow down to hand off the baton. In high school I was always the anchor. I tried to talk my coaches out of it, and they were like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be OK,’” Wise said.
“They figure they can get us out fast, and then we can hold the lead at the end.”
“Katie wanted to stay the anchor. But they all decided to listen, saw the times, and now they’re happy with the order,” Roberts added.
Wise’s stellar indoor season over the winter months included All-American status in the 60-meter dash after placing fifth nationally in 7.25 seconds. She also won conference indoor events in the 60 and 200 in respective times of 7.31 and 24.04 seconds.
That work along with her current training have prepared Wise for the stage she’s about to step onto.
She and her coaches would like nothing more than to see Wise catch a second flight in as many years to Eugene. Wise capped her freshman season with a 21st-place finish in the 100 in a time of 11.48 seconds.
She’s faster now. Better seasoned in the ways of college track and field, having taken part in events in every time zone at one time or another.
Out of the starter’s blocks she goes, where Katie Wise finishes not even she knows.