High school junior wins Distinguished Young Woman of Pullman 

Competed in five different categories; will represent Pullman at the state level in August 

Wheatley said she is a junior at Pullman High School and will compete at state in August.

COURTESY OF KATIE WHEATLEY

Wheatley said she is a junior at Pullman High School and will compete at state in August.

STEFFI LUDAHL, Evergreen reporter

Katie Wheatley, Pullman High School junior, is the 2022 Distinguished Young Woman of Pullman. 

To win the title, Katie was judged in a competition based on five different categories. Categories included scholastic, a fitness routine, an interview, talent and self-expression.

Katie said she chose to play the piano for her talent. Her two- to three-minute fitness routine combined fitness with various dance elements.

Katie’s older sister, Evelyn Wheatley, competed for DYW in 2019 and was the runner-up. 

“I actually only participated in the program because my older sister had done it two years ago,” Katie said. “I am so glad I did. It was a really unique opportunity to meet some new people.” 

Evelyn helped Katie with her fitness routine and outfits. Evelyn said she was proud to see her sister put herself out there on stage. 

“I was watching the ceremony on livestream and started screaming when Katie won,” she said. “My friends thought I was crazy.” 

The youngest Wheatley sister is 10 years old and Evelyn said she and Katie have high hopes she will also participate in the competition. 

Katie earned scholarship money from the competition. She said the money will help her achieve her goal of becoming a nurse. She hopes to attend WSU and become a nurse practitioner. 

“I thought of becoming a physician, but that is a lot more schooling, so I’m leaning toward nursing right now,” she said. “I’d love to go to either Washington State [University] or Eastern Washington [University].” 

Katie is currently in Running Start to complete prerequisites for nursing school prior to attending WSU. Katie said she is looking forward to her senior year of high school. 

She moved to Pullman from Walla Walla about five years ago. Katie said she is honored to represent the city. Although she did not grow up in Pullman, it feels like home. 

“It was just a great honor to win the Distinguished Young Woman of Pullman just because it shows my hard work,” she said. “The girls around me, they were so supportive.” 

Katie will represent Pullman at the state DYW competition in August. If all goes well, Katie said she will compete at the national level.

According to the DYW website, there has never been a national winner from Washington state.