Published in the November 15, 2017 edition

KATE MITCHELL gets ready to officially sign on to run track at Boston College. Pictured from left to right is Kate’s sister Lauren, her father Mike, Kate, her mother Anne, and her sister Ashley. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

By DAN PAWLOWSKI

LYNNFIELD — Kate Mitchell will probably get some butterflies when she lines up for her first race at Boston College in the fall of 2018. After all, it is the ACC. But she won’t feel like she doesn’t belong against the country’s top competition. She already made that mistake once.

It was her freshman year at the 2015 New Balance Outdoor Track Nationals. Naturally, as a freshman, Mitchell was anxious, and wondering if she could hang with all of these experienced runners. Then, she heard a voice that she will no doubt continue to hear throughout her running career at Boston College.

“I was so nervous before, and my Dad, who is at all of my meets, told me I had to calm down and I was there for a reason, and I proved that to myself,” said Mitchell. “So I learned the most about myself as a runner during that race.”

She finished fourth overall that day, and would go on to have one of the most prolific running careers in Lynnfield High School history.

While these don’t define who Kate Mitchell is, sometimes the proof is in the personal school records, such as the indoor 600 meter (1:37.41) and the 1,000 meter (2:59.01) to go along with outdoor records in the 800 meter (2:12.52) and the Mile (5:08.17).

Mitchell has two particularly impressive finishes in the 800m with a first-place medal at the 2017 MIAA outdoor track Division 4 Championship, and a 5th-place finish at the 2017 outdoor track Nationals.

When it came time to pick a college the High Honors student with a GPA of over 4.0 made sure she was going to a school that would provide her with the most opportunities academically as well as athletically.

“They have a very prestigious academic program, especially the Carroll School of Management, so knowing that I want to study business that is the place to be,” said Mitchell. “Athletically, the track program is very good. I can’t wait to push myself every day at practice.”

Another reason why she choose the Eagles over the likes of Dartmouth and Holy Cross is because of the community feel and never-say-die energy of the BC faithful.

“One of the biggest things I looked for in a college was a sense of community and spirit,” said Mitchell. “Every time I stepped on campus at Boston College I felt that, especially on my visit when I went to the BC Notre Dame football game. Seeing the school spirit there was unbelievable.”

Even when the wheels fell off for BC and Notre Dame took a big lead, Mitchell was very impressed with response from the students.

“The student section was still going like it was 0-0; that was one of the things I really liked about it.”

Running is the kind of sport that requires an individual drive to be great, and while Mitchell certainly has that quality, she is quick to credit her family, especially her parents who encouraged her to start this college process during her sophomore year so she could think about what type of school she envisioned. The three-sport ahlete also made sure to thank all of her coaches, teachers and members of the LHS administration for helping guide her along the way, but she is most grateful for her teammates over the last four years.

“My teammates are always the ones picking me up during dual meets, and even when I ran Nationals they streamed it through their computers,” said Mitchell. “Everyone is just so supportive, even my classmates in school and I’m so thankful for that.”

So when Kate Mitchell lines up for that first race (which will actually be a cross country meet, a first for someone who is usually busy with soccer in the fall) she will do so knowing she has the support of a family, a school on Essex Street and a town that will always be rooting for her.