Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year: Bishop Eustace senior Katy Storti

The Bishop Eustace senior and Cinnaminson resident won multiple races and was the highest South Jersey finisher at the 2018 NJSIAA Meet of Champions.

Bishop Eustace Prep senior and Cinnaminson resident Katy Storti isn’t someone who constantly talks about her cross country accomplishments.

She instead lets her running do the talking.

“So many of the runners that have been on the team have really seen how much she’s put into it,” Bishop Eustace head coach Chris Threston said. “She has no problem running any type of mileage, doing any type of workouts.”

Storti’s hard work paid off in 2018 as she ended her high school cross country career as one of the best runners in South Jersey. Storti took first place in two races. She finished second in the NJSIAA Non-Public Group A Championships and was the highest-finishing South Jersey runner at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions as she finished in 13th place. These achievements make Storti the 2018 Sun Newspapers’ Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Storti had run cross country for a few years prior to high school, competing for the Cinnaminson Track Club beginning in fifth grade as well as Cinnaminson Middle School’s cross country team. However, it was at Bishop Eustace where Storti’s career began to take off.

“I’ve definitely learned a lot about training,” Storti said about her improvement. “Freshman year, I didn’t really run that much. In middle school, I used to just do workouts all the time, I never did longer runs.”

Threston said he realized Storti could become a top runner when she came on board as a freshman and qualified for the Meet of Champions in her first season. His focus was to have Storti run the right balance of races and build up her mileage without burning her out.

“A lot of it was preserving her for this moment right here rather than draining the swamp as a freshman,” Threston said. “I knew she had the ability to run in college, so I wanted her to have that opportunity as well.”

Threston said Storti was always a very poised strategic runner and felt she had the opportunity to do something special in 2018. Storti started the season strong, winning her first race of the season, the Cherokee Challenge. Storti said the season’s opening race was always one of her favorites and one she had previously fell just short of winning.

“I’ve done it since eighth grade, and I’ve always been second, third and fourth,” Storti said. “It felt good to finally win one.”

In late September, Storti won the South Jersey Track Coaches Association Open for the third consecutive year and would go on to place second at the New Balance Shore Coaches Invitational and the Olympic Conference Championships in October. Entering November, Threston saw Storti’s confidence rise in a way it hadn’t before.

“She started attacking these races,” Threston said. “Especially in the last three, she went after things a lot more.”

Storti’s final three races were among the best of her career. At the Bob Kiessling Invitational on Nov. 3, Storti finished second in 18:37.62, her best time of the season. The following week, Storti placed second against at the Non-Public Group A state championship race at Holmdel Park. Storti’s run qualified her for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions for the third time in her career.

In the Meet of Champions, Storti admitted she started slowly, but she was able to pass many runners in Holmdel’s signature feature, the bowl, where runners first head downhill into an open field area and then later turn back and run up a steep hill.

“After the first mile, I was kind of behind,” Storti said. “But I always do well on the bowl, so I passed a lot of people there and I just tried to finish fast on the downhills.”

Threston said Storti’s 13th place finish at the Meet of Champions showcased all of her positive attributes.

“That was an example of her believing in herself and knowing the course enough to know where to make her move,” he said.

Storti’s track career will continue as a member of Bishop Eustace’s track and field teams in the winter and spring. Next fall, Storti will continue her running career at Cornell University, where she plans on studying economics.