Athlete Profile: Katie Cecil

Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager

Just a few weeks into the women’s fall tennis season The Tartan had the opportunity to catch up with sophomore transfer student Katie Cecil. Cecil completed her first year at Tulane University were she played Division I tennis.

Katie Cecil is currently majoring in biology with a neuroscience track. She plans on going to medical school and aspires to be a neurologist or brain surgeon.

Although she is new to the Carnegie Mellon team, Cecil’s favorite part about college tennis is working hard while still having fun with her teammates. “I love to compete and I love to win, but I also love the team atmosphere. It makes tennis so much more fun,” Cecil said.

Cecil is adjusting from Division I to Division III tennis; she finds that there are a lot of good players in Division III tennis, but the amount of time Cecil trains on the court is significantly less.

“Academics definitely come first here. Everyone is playing tennis because they actually enjoy it, as opposed to Division I where tennis is like a job. We work hard because we want to, not because we’re forced to,” Cecil said.

“I really like how laid back Division III is. We don’t get extra sprints for being 30 seconds late, and we don’t get penalized for missing practice because we have a project or a class or we’re just plain tired. But at the same time, athletes at Division I schools get little perks that I definitely miss, like priority registration, their own academic adviser, free clothes, shoes, and stringing, and other little things that you don’t really appreciate until you no longer have them.”

She continued elaborating on her preference of Division III, but added, “Occasionally I also miss the do-or-die intensity of Division I and screaming at the top of my lungs for my teammates while we practice for three or four hours every day. And I must say I miss eating whatever I want after those long and brutal practices,” Cecil continued.

Cecil is setting her goals early this season. After taking a few months off during the summer, she wants to be ready to play in the fall ITA regionals this coming weekend. “Hopefully I can get some solid matches under my belt and get used to the mental toughness needed in pressure situations,” she said.

When asked about spring season, Cecil already had goals in mind.

“I hope that, as a team with so much talent, we can make a huge impact in our region as well as NCAAs. With the returning starters as well as a really good batch of freshmen, we’ll be rock solid at every single position in the lineup. We’ll definitely have to work hard, but if we put in the time and effort on the court, in the weight room, and on the bleachers and track, then there should be no reason CMU won’t be in the run for the national championship,” Cecil said.