What does it take to be an all star athlete? It takes someone who is dedicated, committed, and hardworking. It is also important that the athlete loves what they are doing. Mackenzie Hill ‘22 embodies all of these qualities when it comes to cross country and track.
Hill runs roughly 35 miles per week in her peak training. This past October, she ran about 150 miles. Which, for most students they can’t even say they ran one in a week.
It can be hard for others to comprehend why someone could love running so much and would want to put themselves through something that requires so much hard work and dedication.
An athlete may question why they are doing a sport that requires so much hard work, but it can be so rewarding when they see what hard work can do for them.
Furthermore, Hill has been awarded the most dedicated runner twice, and most valuable once from her team. She has also been Academic All-State for 3 years in a row and All-State, which is top 30. That isn’t the end of Hill’s achievements; she has been awarded all-conference and all-regional for both cross country and track. She is currently holding the conference record for the 1600 meter.
What goes into fueling those achievements? Hill says that she doesn’t follow a specific diet; however, she eats a well-balanced diet. She does this by avoiding processed foods and eats more whole foods. For instance, she is getting the right amount of protein, carbs, fruits, and vegetables all while trying to only eat 2,400 calories a day.
She also enjoys cooking in her free time and posts her food on her blog on Instagram. Her Instagram account is called @redrunchef, where anyone can check out her meals where she goes into full detail of how to make them.
A typical day’s eating for her would be oatmeal with added fruit, sunflower butter, cinnamon, dark chocolate. For lunch, chicken with avocado toast or chili or a sandwich. For dinner, a loaded salad or stir-fry that includes protein (chicken, salmon, steak, etc.), carbs (brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa, etc.), and fat (avocado, olive oil, cheese, etc.). Dessert might be popcorn with granola or, for sweets, ice cream with a black bean brownie.
Hill emphasizes that this way of eating is what works for her; other teammates have a very different diet and still run well.
For all good athletes, there has to be that driving factor that keeps an athlete motivated to keep getting better. That is what makes someone an athlete. Someone who is willing to keep working towards their goals.
Sometimes people who are better than you might be one of the best ways to want to get better according to Hill and the added gear is a bonus.
Running cross country and track aren’t the only ways she runs throughout the year. She has participated in nationals cross country meets in Wisconsin and Indiana and has been to cross country camp during the summer. This illustrates all the ways Hill has found ways to keep herself in shape when she is not in season and that she loves the sport.
Sports for some students have affected their lives immensely. Going to school can be rough at times, but maybe having that sport after school makes it all worth it.
If ever there was a year requiring stress relief, this is it. So perhaps even those who aren’t state-competitive runners can take some lessons from this one.