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WSU alum qualifies for Olympic trials

Distance runner Billie Hatch running on the track at a Women’s Track and Field event.

Editors note: As of Oct. 17, the headline of this story has been changed to represent how Billie Hatch qualifies for Olympic trials

At the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8, former Weber State University track and field runner Billie Hatch reached the standard to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials for the marathon. Hatch finished 23rd overall with a time of 2:35.47.

“The Chicago marathon has 40,000 runners in it,” Hatch said. “It was so amazing because all the people, regardless of what their goals were, were there to do it. You’re a runner at the Chicago Marathon, and that makes you a runner. So, it was a really great experience to be a part of it and get to meet so many people.”

Hatch attended Utah Tech University, formerly called Dixie State University, from 2017-2019 receiving her bachelor’s. In 2020, she started at Weber State to receive her master’s. In May 2023, Hatch graduated with two master’s degrees, one in criminal justice and the other in professional communication.

“Now that I’ve graduated and have a full-time job, work takes priority over running, it’s been a big transition,” Hatch said. “I’ve been training under coach Paul Pilkington. We do early mornings or right when I get off work. I just truly love this sport, even if I didn’t race or I wasn’t racing I’d be fine. Racing is just a bonus part of it.”

The U.S. Olympic trials will take place on Feb. 3, in Orlando, Florida. This requires Hatch to prepare for the heat of Florida that Utah in February does not have. To prepare for Florida’s heat, Hatch will involve training in saunas and using a treadmill instead of running in the cold snow.

“I see being nervous as a privilege,” Hatch said. “Don’t take it for granted; this could be taken away any day. Just see it as a positive, not as a negative. I get nervous about something because I have prepared for this. I’ve trained for this, and I’m nervous only because I know something good is going to happen.”

While at Weber State, Hatch was a four-time Big Sky champion and holds three Weber school records. She also took 1st place for women in the Deseret News half marathon last summer on July 24.

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Jacoba Jones
Jacoba Jones, Sports reporter

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