Marlins of Mercy: Mackenzie Sullivan


Junior Mackenzie Sullivan takes a jog around the gym to warm up for practice. Photo by Maddie Sullivan

“I began running in sixth grade because it was the only sport offered for sixth graders. I played soccer before I began running and since I was one of the faster ones on my soccer team, I thought I would be good at track.

I noticed my passion for track early on. It was something I really loved and by sophomore year I realized it was something I wanted to invest my time in, so I quit soccer to focus on it. Telling my parents I wanted to quit soccer was hard, especially my dad because he played soccer and was the one who got me started. He was super supportive of [my choice] and so was my mom. They come to all of my meets and so do my grandparents.

In middle school, I began to focus on the 400-meter, which is what I compete in now. Since I started high school, I have improved a lot. [My] freshman year I ended up qualifying for states in the 400, which was not very normal [for my age]. After that, college coaches began reaching out to me. [Since then], I have been on a couple college visits, but I won’t start getting offers or commit until next fall. Right now, I am interested in [The University of] Michigan, but it is still early so I don’t know where I will end up.

I practice two hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Tuesdays and Fridays I have weight training. Saturdays and most Sundays I have competitions. I always try to stretch before and after everything and stay hydrated to avoid injury. I have been pretty fortunate that I have never been badly injured. I have had tendonitis before which put me out for about a week, but nothing major.

In the summer, I do club track then I have cross country in the fall. In the winter, I have club track again. Then, spring track season and the cycle continues, so there really is no break!

People think I am crazy when I say I love running, but I really do. With track, since it is an individual sport, I am constantly setting goals for myself and then trying to achieve them. While I am running, I am able to shut everything out and get into a runner’s mindset. I am usually in a lot of pain, but I have my goals in mind. The goals I set keep me motivated. They can sometimes be high, but I want to get there.”