It’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t believe that senior Mackenzie Ryan has only become an avid runner since freshman year—she’s one of the best runners in the senior class. However, it’s the truth. “Everything started after I broke a 6 minute mile for the first time my freshman year,” Mackenzie said. Now she’s been a captain for both the cross country and track teams, runs year round when her health allows her to do so, and is a pre- and post-race nutrition queen.
“As a senior, I just want to set an example for the team to always, always, always do their best whatever the situation may be,” she told me, hoping that she’s able to pass that legacy on after she leaves.
Runner’s spend the whole year training, typically only taking 4 weeks off a year. Archbishop Murphy’s teams alternate easy runs, long runs, speed workouts, tempo runs, and cross training such as swimming and biking in order to not wear themselves and their muscles out. They also spend time in the weight room with AMHS’ IRG certified trainer Coach Jordan.
Mackenzie’s favorite part of preparing for track meets though? Definitely the food. “Team pasta dinners before invites are the best. Pasta before any race is essential,” she laughed, “I love a smoothie post race.”
When it comes to traditions and inspiration, there’s one person very close to Mackenzie’s heart. “I’ll forever admire Kristi Bartz’s selflessness and positivity, as well as her ambition to perform,” she said. Kristi, a senior captain for the track team Mackenzie’s freshman year, passed away in an accident that spring during the season. The two ran similar events and trained together during practice.
The 3200m (2 mile) race is Mackenzie’s favorite. She loves endurance races, and the strategy required to run the 2 mile adds to her love for it. Although she’s still building back up to running the 2 mile at meets after some health issues earlier this year, Mackenzie hopes to return to the event later in the season.