Kayte Tranel earned Nebraska’s first All-America award in 12 years with her 28th-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Championships.
A native of Hampton, Neb., Tranel ran a personal-best 8K time of 20:26 in her All-America performance, nearly 45 seconds faster than her previous meet, when she was named to the All-Midwest Regional team with an eighth-place finish.
Tranel, who became the fifth All-American in Nebraska women’s cross country history, was tied for 61st at the 3K mark before making her move past more than 30 runners. She accomplished an impressive feat by running the final half of the race in 10:13 after being clocked at 10:13 at the halfway point.
“This was by far the best race in her life,” Nebraska Coach Jay Dirksen said after the meet. “She did everything perfect and was very intelligent and kept good poise. In a field this big, you have to run wisely and she did a great job. She has come a long way from Hampton, Neb., where she didn’t even run cross country in high school.”
Tranel also received All-Big 12 honors in 2005 by placing 15th at the Big 12 Championships. Earlier in the season, she earned the Big 12 Runner-of-the-Week award for the week of Sept. 5, following her first-place finish at the Creighton/UNO Classic. The Husker tri-captain went on to earn three more top-10 placings during the year.
Tranel’s memorable 2005 season came after redshirting in 2004 with a stress fracture that was suffered during the 2004 track season. She finished in the top 25 at the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Midwest Regional meets after transferring to Nebraska from Hastings (Neb.) College in 2001. She finished her collegiate career in dynamic fashion by qualifying for the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10,000 meters.
Tranel missed the entire 2004 season while rehabbing a stress fracture in her foot that was diganosed during the previous outdoor track season.
Redshirting during both indoor and outdoor track campaigns, Tranel was able to compete sparingly in several track and field races.
Tranel provided quality depth for the Huskers in 2003. A key to the squad's success, she made consistency her trademark by finishing no lower than fourth on the team at any meet. Peaking at the right time, she was the fourth NU runner to cross the finish line in the top 12 at the NCAA Midwest Region Championships.
During the indoor track season, Tranel ran an inspired race at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, working her way up from the middle of the pack to finish eighth in the 5,000-meter run (17:03.50), scoring a point and helping the Huskers to the conference title. Tranel carried the momentum outdoors, running a personal-best 35:37.97 in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational. Her season came to a halt after experiencing a stress fracture in April.
In her first year on the NU team, Tranel had no problem making the adjustment to Division I competition. A consistent runner, Tranel finished second for the Huskers in six of seven meets. She ran an outstanding race at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Normal, Ill., where she was the 23rd runner to cross the finish line with a personal-best time of 21:32.83 to earn NCAA All-Midwest Region accolades.
On the indoor track, Tranel ran a personal-best 10:04.29 in the 3,000-meter run at the adidas Classic. In the 10,000-meter run at the Stanford Invitational (35:50.10), she sliced more than a minute off her previous best outdoor time. Competing in the same event at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships, Tranel finished 12th in 38:27.93 in hot and humid weather.
Before Nebraska (Hastings College)
By the end of her freshman year at Hastings (Neb.) College, Tranel earned NAIA All-America honors in cross country and indoor and outdoor track. She finished 28th at the NAIA Cross Country Championships at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wis. She covered the 5,000-meter course in 18:53.
During the track season, Tranel finished third in the NAIA indoor 5,000-meter run (17:49.84), second in the NAIA outdoor 10,000-meter run (37:34.59) and sixth in the 5,000-meter run (18:06.53). Tranel earned NAIA All-America honors in each event at the national meet.
Although Tranel was not a cross country athlete at Hampton High School, she did compete in track and field for Coach Gary Woolman. She was the Nebraska Class D 3,200-meter run champion in both 2000 and 2001. She placed third in 1999 for the Hawks. Tranel was the runner-up in the 1,600-meter run at both the 2000 and 2001 Class D state meets. She was a member of the National Honor Society.
The daughter of Ken and Bev Tranel, Kayte was born Nov. 14, 1982, in Ogallala, Neb., and has one sister, Abby (17). Tranel is a natural science major and carries a 3.26 GPA.