Four-time NCAA champion Katelyn Tuohy will forgo her final year of track and field at North Carolina State University in the NCAA and turn pro with Adidas.
On Wednesday, the 21-year-old announced her decision on Instagram: “I am super excited to announce that I will be running professionally for Adidas!” wrote Tuohy. “I am looking forward to this next chapter and the opportunities that lie ahead!! Thank you, for adding me to the three-stripe family ///.”
During her three and a half years at NC State, Tuohy was an 11-time All-American and set NCAA records in the indoor mile and 3,000m.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support, guidance, and encouragement I’ve received,” wrote Tuohy on Instagram. “I owe a big thank you to the university, the coaching staff, the support staff, my teammates, and all of those who have been a part of my time here at NC State. Thank you for making my dreams come true.”
Tuohy was previously on a name, image, and likeness (NIL) sponsorship deal with Adidas while she competed in the NCAA. A NIL deal does not have the same monetary value as a pro deal, but it allows an athlete to continue competing at the collegiate level while earning money from their image. However, under an NIL deal, athletes are unable to win prize money at races or events.
The 21-year-old from New York is one of the best up-and-coming U.S. distance runners. She began to make headlines as a high school athlete in 2018 when she set a U.S. high school 5K record of 16:06.87. Tuohy also won the Gatorade Athlete of the Year for cross-country, given to the top U.S. high school athlete. She won this award in all four years, becoming the only athlete in any sport to accomplish this.
The young star will likely have her eyes on competing for Team USA at the World Indoor Championships in March in the 3,000m and qualifying for the Olympics in the 5,000m at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials next June.