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Pleasanton woman testing skills on CMT athletic competition show tonight

Local CrossFit coach appears on 'Broken Skull Challenge'

A Pleasanton resident is set to appear on the Country Music Television (CMT) competition show "Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge" Sunday, vying against seven other all-around athletes for a chance to win $10,000.

"The show was really fun, and it is always good to test myself out of my comfort zone," Katie Hogan said in a phone interview this week about her episode, which was already recorded but debuts on-air Sunday night.

Hogan, 32, lives in Pleasanton and works as a CrossFit trainer and strength and conditioning coach. Her athletic background includes excelling at volleyball and shot put at San Jose's Archbishop Mitty High School and competing at the collegiate level in volleyball, shot put and javelin for all four years at UC San Diego.

"One of my strengths in this competition is that I am a seasoned, strong and explosive athlete. I have competed in sports all of my life," Hogan said.

She also coaches strength and conditioning for the basketball teams at Amador Valley and California high schools.

Hogan said she watched previous seasons of the "Broken Skull Challenge," which debuted in 2014, and she was contacted by a casting agent for the show to send in an audition tape.

"I am a seminar staff trainer at CrossFit Incorporated where I travel and teach people about CrossFit, and a casting agent saw my work and asked me to audition," she recalled.

The show features eight competitors in a bracket-style competition. Participants go head-to-head with one other person, based on their weight and size, and they compete in a challenge designed to test their strength, stamina and endurance, such as five-bagged kettlebell weights (seven pounds each) and a 400-pound crate that needed to be flipped over -- as seen on previous seasons of the show.

Each winner of the four head-to-head match-ups advances to the next round, and they then face off in another challenge until two athletes remain. The final pair then meet in the last challenge, with the winner qualifying for the "Skullbuster" timed obstacle course and a shot at $10,000.

"The contact sports feeling of going head-to-head with someone was something I don't ever do in CrossFit, so that was a change for me," Hogan said.

The producers of the show urged contestants not to become friends with each other to maintain the authenticity of the competition, according to Hogan. "We were told not to interact with other contestants and to stay separated, just compete -- which was different for me," she added.

Hosted by former WWE wrestler Steve Austin, "Broken Skull Challenge" airs on CMT and viewers can see Hogan's episode this Sunday at 8 p.m.

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