For her freshman year of cross country, McKenzie Bailey has had a highly successful season. Starting with a tough hilly race in August, Bailey has continued to step up her endeavors while racing, which has culminated in her getting fifth at the Texas UIL Region 3 5A Girls race with a time of 19:13. Her efforts, along with the rest of the GHS varsity girls cross country team, allowed the entire team to make it to the state cross country meet, as they earned second place at the regional meet. All cross country races are run over a distance of five kilometers, which is about 3.12 miles. However, at the Texas State Cross Country meet, Bailey stunned everyone watching as she flew through Old Settlers Park, where the Texas State meet is held. She crossed the finish line with a staggering time of 17:40, which was a big step up from her previous time.
“During the state meet, I was motivated by many things, from the rush and speed of the competition to my family, friends, coaches, and teammates. Honestly, while I’m running, I turn and look every time I think someone is cheering for me! It gives me a little boost of energy to see who all is out there supporting me and the rest of the Georgetown team! Another big motivational factor for me was that about a week before the meet, Coach Braun told me I could get top 10. From that moment on, all I wanted to do was prove him right,” Bailey explained about her experiences during the race.
Additionally, Bailey also plays soccer, which could be hard to bard to balance with cross country, yet Bailey described herself as just “kinda going with the flow.” Furthermore, Bailey gets “support from my coaches” due to “their lenience when I have another sport” which “has really helped make balancing soccer and cross country doable.” Plus, Bailey also receives support from “some of my teammates: Joeli, Sam, and Jacqui” about how to balance “multiple sports.” Joeli Benson, Samantha Fulsom, and Jacqui Spencer are all sophomores on the GHS varsity cross country team who play soccer and basketball.
“Next cross country season, I would love to place top 3 in state, if I can! I would also love it if our team could make it to state again and maybe place even higher than we did this year,” Bailey said.
In addition, Bailey “would like to be able to run the 5k in under 17:30 by senior year.” Bailey described herself as not “really knowing how fast” she “can really run.” However, the only thing Bailey was sure of was that “she wants to improve!”