Feb. 7, 2014
Each week during the 2014 season, GoAirForceFalcons.com will feature a member of the Air Force women's gymnastics team. This week, the spotlight is on senior Katie Hawthorne, who currently leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation on the uneven bars with an average score of 9.781.
How did you get started in gymnastics?
I started "mommy and me" classes when I was two years old and never stopped
Who are your biggest fans?
Probably my little sister and my family in general
What challenge do you find in gymnastics that you don't find in any other sport?
The dedication that it requires. You cannot miss much practice, so I always have shorter holidays than all my other friends. Also, the fact that our practices are always four hours long.
What do you like best about gymnastics?
I like that it has made me the person I am today. It has taught me great work ethics and perseverance because you can't just leave practice if you are having a bad day.
What is your favorite event and why?
Uneven bars is my favorite event because it has always been my best, and I have the most fun and confidence on that event.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals?
Not really. I don't like to eat much before a meet, and if my hair looks good I'm ready to go.
For returners: What has been your favorite road trip?
Alaska was definitely my favorite trip. It is so beautiful there. We saw so many moose, and got to pet a team of sled dogs, which was really cool.
For returners: What is your most memorable road trip experience?
My most memorable experience was when I qualified to NCAA Regionals last year. I was extremely excited to compete at this meet, and my mom even surprised me by coming to watch! Looking forward to qualifying as a team this year!
What is your advice for young gymnasts?
My advice is to never quit. You will have your worst times in gymnastics, but you will also have your best times and it is worth sticking it out to the end.
What drew you to the Air Force women's gymnastics team?
I became interested when I was a sophomore in high school because I liked the idea of serving my country and a top education alongside competing for a Division 1 gymnastics team!
What are you most excited about for the upcoming season?
I am excited about the depth that our team has this year and the increased difficulty that we have on each event, especially vault. This is going to be our best year, and I can't wait to start competing!
ON THE ACADEMY...
Who are the biggest influences in your life and why?
My parents, because I know now that they always know best, and my brother and sister because I want to be someone they can look up to.
How do you balance your athletics, academics and military duties?
It just takes practice. Freshman year I was really bad at it, but it didn't take long to figure it out.
Who is your favorite non-gymnast athlete(s) at the Academy?
James Monk, my boyfriend! He's a boxer.
What is your favorite class?
Right now, my favorite class is international management.
Who is your favorite professor/AOC/etc.?
Col Martin, our team officer representative and also a management teacher
What is your favorite place on the Academy grounds?
My favorite place is the gym because it is where I see all my favorite people and get to work off the stress that I have built up.
What were your first thoughts of the Academy?
(It wasn't the best), but as a senior I have a much more positive perspective. It gets better and was totally worth staying.
What is your favorite thing about USAFA?
All the wonderful friends that I have made
What has been the hardest thing about the Academy?
The hardest thing is dealing with the constant exhaustion. We are always tired.
What was your most memorable "welcome to college" moment?
Waking up at 0430 every morning for basic training...
When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?
An astronaut and the president
What is one thing that you just can't live without?
If you had $1,000,000, what would you do?
Invest it for the future
What is your favorite vacation spot?
What is the most interesting place you have traveled to?
I have never been outside of the U.S., so probably Alaska
What is one song that you're tired of hearing?
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate with brownies
What is your favorite TV show?
What was your first job?
Working at my grandparents' Christmas tree farm
If you could be on any TV show, what would it be?
How many hours of sleep do you need (and now ... how many do you get?)
I prefer 8-9 hours, and I get about 7 hours.
What sports teams do you follow?
Cowboys, Seahawks, Baylor Bears football, Oregon football, Air Force. I kind of follow these teams but not very well ... except for Air Force
What do you want to do after graduation?
I will be a financial manager in the Air Force, and I eventually want to go to graduate school.
What is your proudest achievement?
Finally earning above 3.0 semester GPA twice now
What era would you most like to travel to?
What is your favorite movie of all-time?
I don't have one because it changes all the time. Right now it's Catching Fire.
What is one thing about your hometown that you miss?
Just being able to go outside and take a walk whenever I wanted.