We caught up with Cherokee Trail junior Cameron McConnell, the 2019 Colorado State Cross Country Championships runner-up and Nike Cross Nationals qualifier, about her training, how she is preparing for this season, and more. Keep reading to get to know Cameron!
Runners Roost: How did your summer training go?
Cameron McConnell: My summer training went really well. The transition from morning to afternoon practices was brutal, but I have still felt pretty well during workouts! We started practicing as a team the beginning of June, and up until then I just ran with a few of my teammates to stay in shape. Overall, it went really well!
RR: In light of this unique year, are you making any adjustments to how you approach this season?
CM: Because of this strange season, I have definitely changed my mentality for each race. I am going to try and treat every race like it’s my last, because it very well could be! I want to make sure I leave everything out there that way I can say that I did my very best, even if it’s my last race.
RR: What has been the highlight of your high school running career thus far?
CM: The biggest highlight of my running career so far is hands down Nike Cross Nationals 2019. That was literally a dream come true. I remember when I first started running in middle school, I watched videos and highlights of that race and it seemed like an overall amazing experience and fun race. And when I did qualify, it did not disappoint! I met and raced some incredible athletes with my same passion and I definitely hope to go back to Oregon for that race hopefully my senior year.
RR: What do you do to get ready for big races?
CM: To get ready for big races, I prep more a few days before the race rather than race day itself. I make sure to drink TONS of water the day before and I like to eat a carb loaded dinner. I ice and roll out my legs the day before and make sure I go on a nice and easy recovery run. But the morning of a big race, I like to make sure I’m relaxed and I have to tell myself “I’m not nervous”! It keeps my spirits up and my body relaxed.
RR: What are you most excited for this season?
CM: For this season, I’m really just excited to race anything and everything! It is definitely an
odd time and we are blessed to even get a season unlike a lot of colleges and other states. I haven’t raced since March and I’m just excited to put on the uniform and race!
RR: When you’re reflecting at the end of the season, what would make it feel like a success?
CM: At the end of a season, I like to reflect on how memorable it was. I never remember the bad races and if I have more good races than bad than it was definitely a success! I like to make little goals for myself at the beginning of a season like to pr or qualify for a specific meet so I also take that into consideration.
RR: If you could go on a run with anyone, who would it be?
CM: This question is so hard to answer because I would love a group run with a whole bunch of professional athletes! However if I had to pick just one I would have to say Emma Coburn. That because she is a Colorado native like me which is pretty cool. I have watched so many of her races and I have traveled to see her race as well! She is extremely inspiring and I’d love to ask her some tips and tricks on how she is incredibly fast!
RR: What is something outside of running that you like to do?
CM: Outside of running and school (which takes up most of my time, haha) I enjoy hiking and camping. I also enjoy photography and I serve for my church on the media team which is really fun!