Sophomore Reina McMillan is helping the Girls Cross Country team head towards State with impressive times in the the 5K event even though the 800 meter is her favorite.
“The mid-distance, the 800 meter, is my favorite because that’s what I won in,” said R. McMillan.
On Aug. 4, 2017, R. McMillan won a Junior Olympic gold medal in the 4×800 relay with her St. Louis Blues Track Club at the AAU Games in Detroit, Michigan.
“The best part about running is winning or reaching a personal record because it shows that hard work pays off,” said R. McMillan
McMillan recently ran a personal best of 19:39 in the 5K at the Warrior Invitational on Sept. 22. She and the rest of the cross country team undergo hardcore training to get and stay in shape.
“When training, it’s important to know what you’re running for, the goal of the workout, and why you run. In running it’s easy to give up and slow down,” said girls cross country coach Scott Kreher.
McMillan expressed that the mental battle is often tougher than the race itself and positive vibes can lead to better results.
“The greatest struggle is trying not to doubt myself because doubt interferes with my racing ability,” said R. McMillan
McMillan cited famous runners Steve Prefontaine and Sydney McLaughlin as sources of inspiration, but her father is the main, steady source of encouragement and advice.
“My dad brings me water after every race and makes sure I feel well. He’ll always send me texts beforehand to motivate me and give me inspiration,” said R. McMillan.
McMillan’s father strives to support his daughter throughout her running career.
“I used to run so I have background and knowledge: how to train, rest, eat, and recover,” said Ted McMillan, R. McMillan’s father.
McMillan researches her competition before every meet and watches videos of runners to better her form, taking each meet as seriously as the last.
“Reina has dedication to the sport. Her team sees that and ultimately respects her for it,” said Kreher.
McMillan’s next challenge will happen at the Suburban Championship in St. Charles on Saturday, Oct. 7. This is the last meet before Sectionals and will begin at 9:00 a.m. at McNair Park.
McMillan hopes to go to State, earn a college scholarship to the University of Oregon, and one day be an Olympian. Her coach and her father believe if her dedication and hard work continues, opportunities will arise.
McMillan has no plans of stopping and lives by Steve Prefontaine’s mantra: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
by Madeline Fischer, Marketing Genius