the IAAF wrote:
Ekaterina’s mother, Olga Kostetskaya, (nee Dvirna) was the 1982 European champion in 1500m, and three times national champion in 1500m and 3000m. Ekaterina’s father, Aleksandr Kostetskiy, was also a high-class middle distance runner, so it was likely that her daughter would at least try to do athletics. “My parents always encouraged me to run, but I didn’t want to; I did ballroom dancing for 5 years, but when I was 13 my partner left me. I was really let down and finally gave in to my mother’s persuasions. At the beginning I didn’t really enjoy training, but little by little I discovered that I could outrun my peers. Since then, I became more interested,” Ekaterina recalled.
Kostetskaya started running middle distances, but one day their family friend Tatyana Zelentsova – another European champion and former World record holder in 400m hurdles – visited their home and invited Ekaterina to try the hurdles under her guidance. There was just one complication: Zelentsova, who currently works with European and World junior champion in 400m hurdles, Vera Rudakova, lived in the USA. After some consideration, Kostetskaya accepted this invitation. In 2001, she moved overseas with Zelentsova, leaving her parents back home. “Luckily I didn’t have a lot of issues with language. In Saint Petersburg I studied at the specialised English school and took private lessons, as my mom always wanted me to speak fluent English. But of course it was tough, especially in my first year. I missed my parents a lot and it took time to get used to this different culture and lifestyle,” Ekaterina said.
But the move seemed to bring her pure benefits. Kostetskaya was a real star at the 2003 high school championships, and still holds All-time USA high school bests in 300m hurdles and 800m. During summers, she would return to Russia to compete at the national championships and she always got on the team for major youth and junior competitions.