Katherine E. Cowan
Katherine E. Cowan
Team: Swimming

Katherine E. Cowan ’00
Sport:
Swimming
Year Inducted: 2011

If there was ever an athlete that personified the saying “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog,” it was Katie Cowan ’00. Often much shorter than her competition, she clearly stood head and shoulders above the rest once in the water. 

After winning the Eastern Championship in the 200 free, 500 free and 800 free relay during her 
freshman season, Cowan made a splash at the Ivy Championship in her sophomore year, taking home two titles. Individually, she won the 1,650 free and then helped lead Brown to the championship in the 800 free relay – a race she won in both her junior and senior seasons as well.

In total, Cowan won eight individual Ivy Championship Titles, which ranks fifth all-time in league history. During her senior year, she was named an Honorable Mention All-American and Academic All-American. She often saved her best performances for the biggest races, evident in the school records she set while winning the Ivy titles in the 500 and 200 free. She is also the current school record holder in the 1,000 free, 1,650 free and 400 IM. Cowan was named the team’s MVP her junior season and received the H. Stanton ’21 & Marjorie B. Smith Trophy as a senior.

Cowan’s talents led her to the national stage as she was a U.S. National qualifier in three different 
freestyle distances, two backstroke distances and two IM distances. An Olympic Trials qualifier in six events, she was a finalist in the 200 backstroke, placing eighth. In 2000, she placed tenth overall at the U.S. Open Qualifier posting top-ten finishes in the 200 back, 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 free.

Following her time at Brown, Cowan went on to coach swimming at the University of Kansas and Cornell University while earning a Masters of Science in exercise science from Ithaca College. Currently completing a dual-degree program at West Virginia University, a combined PhD in Kinesiology with a concentration in sport and exercise psychology and a Master of Arts in Counseling, Cowan is an instructor of sport and exercise psychology at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania.