Athlete of the Month: Mary Kate Duncan, ‘18

Come spring, Mary Kate Duncan will already have a solid six months of javelin training under her belt.

While other Division III schools begin outdoor track & field training in February, Duncan trains like a Division I athlete, preparing year-round for a four-month season.

The difference? A National Championship title.

Duncan is The Comenian’s featured Athlete of the Month. She is a senior public health major and Spanish minor, and aspires to become a healthcare administrator.

Duncan currently interns at Lehigh Valley Health Network as a social needs screener where she practices asking patients questions related to any transportation, housing, or food issues they may have, and how it impacts their health.

Duncan’s hard work and dedication apply to both schoolwork and the javelin.

Throughout her three seasons on the Moravian Women’s Track & Field Team, Duncan has truly made her mark as a javelin thrower. She has obtained several awards and acknowledgments. Earlier this year, Duncan was a Women’s Division Three National Javelin Champion and earned a Co-Sida National Academic Award. In the 2016 and 2017 season, she was the ECAC Women’s Javelin Champion. In 2017 and 2016 she was Second Team All-Conference and a two-time National Qualifier. Duncan received All-American honors in 2016 for a 5th place finish at Nationals, as well as All Region honors.  

While all of Duncan’s accomplishments are remarkable, her National Championship title stands out. Even though she has qualified for the title every year, Duncan still felt the pressure of her competitors.

“I didn’t want to predict the outcome, because I didn’t want to psyche myself out,” said Duncan. “I had a feeling I was going to end up either winning it or getting second. Even if you are one of the top-ranked girls, you never know how the other competition is going to perform.”

Winning Nationals was a goal that Duncan set for herself at the beginning of her collegiate track career. She’s using that excitement to motivate herself for her senior season.

“I always tell people I just picked it up, threw it, and it went far so I stuck with it! I am still drawn to the sport because I know as I continue to develop javelin-specific strength, the javelin will continue to go farther,” said Duncan. “It is rewarding for me to see the progress I’ve made during pre-season and how that translates to the spring season.”

Going forward, Duncan intends on focusing on the little aspects of training that will make her a better thrower. By doing certain exercises, she will be able to hit better javelin positions, which will ultimately launch the javelin farther and faster.

With her determination and dedication to this sport, Duncan may very well secure another National Championship. “I don’t like to predict how things will end up, but it would be nice to become a two-time national champion,” she said.