Cathy Branta was a pioneer in for the Wisconsin womens cross country team. In 1984, she became UWs first NCAA champion, taking home the individual title and guiding the Badgers to their first team championship. She was a four-time All-American (1981-84) and three-time Big Ten champion (1982-84). Branta was the recipient of the 1985 Broderick Award in cross country and the 1984-85 Honda Sports Award that is given to the top female collegiate student-athlete in 11 different sports. In addition, she was named to the Big Ten All-Decade Team in conjunction with the 10-year anniversary of womens athletics in the conference. Aside from her accomplishments on the course, Branta was an acclaimed student earning Academic All-Big Ten honors in 1984.
Where are you living and working now
I am living in Birnamwood, Wis., on my husbands familys dairy farm. I am teaching Physical Education and Health and coaching cross country and track in the Wittenberg Birnamwood School District.
How has your academic experience assisted you in your chosen career
It has helped greatly in allowing me to get a job and then using and applying the knowledge that I gained to help make me a better teacher.
What is your favorite memory from being at Wisconsin
My favorite memory of being at Wisconsin is all the experiences that I had being a member of the cross country and track teams. I enjoyed being a part of a very successful program and meeting many great people.
What was the best thing about being a Badger
The best thing about being a Badger was the feeling of being affiliated with a great school and sports programs.
What life lessons did you learn during college
Life lessons learned in college would have to be responsibility and hard work will get you places in life.
What was your favorite class at Wisconsin
My teaching practicum, which is where I got to start applying all the things I had learned and being able to work with the kids.
What was your favorite part of campus Where did you spend most of your time
My favorite part of campus was the Lakeshore area and the Arboretum. I felt a little closer to home with the country atmosphere and the Arb was a great place to run. I spent most of my time probably in these two areas.
What advice would you give current student-athletes
My advice to current student athletes is to enjoy the experience while you are there because it is a once in a lifetime experience. Also, to experience all the different areas of campus life.