It is not unusual for track and field athletes to study sports-related topics like kinesiology. University of Utah track and field head coach Kyle Kepler believes many of his athletes do so because they want to remain involved in athletics once their time on the track at Utah is done. Caitlin Faust, a junior on the track team, decided to branch out.
Faust is currently studying biology with a minor in biomedical engineering because she has always enjoyed science and math, and she hopes to pursue a career in medicine once she graduates. While it might not be the easiest way to get her doctorate, Kepler knows she can get it done if she sets her mind to it.
“There is more than one way to skin a cat in terms of getting into the medical profession,” Kepler said. “I think [her major] gives her a chance to balance things out the way she thinks things then need to be for herself.”
On top of being a student-athlete and studying in a difficult field, Faust is working on campus. Faust dissects human eyeballs at the Moran Eye Center. Because of Faust’s job, Kepler has received quite unusual texts.
“During the fall I got this text one night that said, ‘Hey I’m on call, I might have to go in and do that, so I might miss the long run because I have to work this out,’ but literally the text was ‘eyeballs,'” Kepler said. “I knew that meant she has to go in.”
Kepler believes it is part of his job as a coach to provide his athletes with the best overall experience as student-athletes. So if an athlete has an academic conflict like Faust’s, the staff works around the athlete’s schedule.
In addition to working at the Moran Eye Center, Faust is also a part of Kepler’s leadership council. According to Kepler, she is able to “reach across the aisle” and connect with all of her teammates no matter the event they participate in.
“She’s not afraid to voice her opinion and give her input but she does it in a respectful manner,” Kepler said. “I do think she tries to consider all sides in matters, not just her side or that of those who she trains with, but she tries to take in a lot of different angles and so forth. She seems to try and make a decision and have a reasoning behind it and go forward and learn from it.”
Faust is a member of both the track team and the cross country team. During the track season, she runs in the shorter distance events rather than the long events she does in the fall. She finds that running with different people is a good way to connect with her teammates.
“It’s easier for me to connect with a lot of people,” Faust said. “I thrive off of talking to people a lot, so I really like to connect with people — it’s what I like to do.”
When it came time to choose where she would be going to school, quite a few factors went into the Georgia native’s decision.
“A lot of the southern schools were quite similar,” Faust said. “Coming here and seeing the mountains … I just felt that Utah was a very well rounded school, it has the hospitals and Research Park and crazy advancements in science-related majors, which is what I wanted. … Also Pac-12 crazy nice facilities and great coaches, good team, so I guess it was the best of everything.”