Kate Grace ’07 competes in the summer Olympics

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by Car ’17 and Charlotte ’19

Kate Grace ’07, who ran track for the Mustangs throughout her six years at Marlborough, competed in the 2016 summer Olympics and finished in eighth place in the Women’s 800m Finals.

Former Director of Athletics David Collicutt said he believes that it was Grace’s curiosity and desire for constant self improvement that propelled her to such great heights. Even after Grace left  Marlborough, Collicutt continued to coach all his players to be as curious and determined as Grace was on the field.

“Kate would always raise her hand and tell me if she didn’t get it, and the other girls would roll their eyes,” Collicutt said.

He tells this story whenever he starts to teach new students to encourage them to ask questions even if some may feel embarrassed.

“I felt that there were a lot of girls that perhaps didn’t understand, but it would take two or three more training sessions till it became obvious. Kate, on the other hand, never felt afraid to ask a question,” Collicutt said.

Dean of Faculty and mathematics instructor Sandra O’Connor said she found Grace to be just as gifted in the classroom as she was running on the trails.

“Kate was an amazing student… She had a terrific work ethic. She was ‘Amazing Grace’ in class and on the track, and she never let it go to her head. She was sweet and lovely to everyone on campus,” O’Connor said.

Celia Stockwell ’07, a cross country runner on Grace’s team at Marlborough, saw Grace’s success encourage the team to work harder.

“When you have someone who is that talented on the team, it raises the bar of what is possible for all of you to achieve.  We could barely win league meets… and we ended up winning the state championship our senior year,” Stockwell said.

Marlborough’s cross country coach Jimmie Grant said he thinks one of the reasons Grace has gotten so far in her career is her unforgettable personality.

“I’ve coached a lot of talented athletes, but she had a combination of talent, willingness, and humility that allowed her to go on to the next level and then on to the highest level [of competition],” Grant said.

Department Head of Physical Education Julie Napoleon has known Kate since she was a seventh grader in Napoleon’s advisory and is still in contact with her.

“[Grace is] beautiful and kind and unassuming and humble… She has remained that way for all of these years… We’d go see her when she ran at Occidental to try and qualify, and she would come into the stands and give us hugs. She has remained a gifted, not haughty or arrogant or anything like that,” Napoelon said.

Napoleon said she is trying to schedule an All-School Meeting with Grace.

“I’ve asked Coach Grant to contact her to see if she’d come and talk with the girls at Marlborough. Hopefully, she will do that this year,” Napoleon said. π