KATHARINE MEAD HAS A LONG LIST OF ATHLETIC AND ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDING BEING NAMED ALL-DIVISION FOR THE OWEGO TENNIS TEAM AND A STAC ACADEMIC ALL-STAR. BUT HER MOST IMPRESSIVE FEAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TENNIS OR HAVING THE HIGHEST GRADE POINT AVERAGE IN HER CLASS.
Katharine says, "For the past six years, for as long as I've been in tennis, I've raised 4-H market lambs, which means you get them when they're young and you raise them and you show them at the County Fair and I've done very well. Both of my lambs got Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion this year."
RAISING A CHAMPION'S NO JOKE. KATHARINE DESIGNS A SPECIFIC FEED PROGRAM FOR EACH LAMB AND NURSES IT THROUGH SICKNESS FOR SIX MONTHS UNTIL THE COUNTY FAIR. AND ON COMPETITION DAY, A WHOLE NEW SET OF CHALLENGES ARISE.
"You have to make sure they'll walk around in the ring with you without a halter so you're just holding the lamb in a ring with a bunch of other lambs and you have to make sure it doesn't run away so you have to work with them hands-on too."
THERE AREN'T MANY HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS LIKE KATHARINE WITH SUCH A VAST RANGE OF INTERESTS AND SKILLS. AND THERE PROBABLY AREN'T TOO MANY TENNIS TEAM CAPTAINS THAT CAN BEAT YOU ON THE COURT AND RAISE A BETTER LAMB THAN YOU. HER TEAMMATES LIKE TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN WITH HER ABOUT THAT.
Her doubles partner Lindsay Knaul says, "I think it's like playful teasing, but it's Owego so there's a lot of people but she's probably the main person."
KATHARINE HAS COLLEGE IN HER FUTURE, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THOSE GRAND CHAMPION LAMBS?
"We don't like to talk about that. I never know how to explain it to people, raised for market, and that's where it goes."
SHE'S KNOWN AS THE FARM GIRL BUT WE'LL JUST CALL KATHARINE MEAD THIS WEEK'S ACADEMIC ALL-STAR. IN OWEGO, JUSTIN HOROWITZ, ACTION SPORTS.