Practicing six days a week, competitions on weekends, maintaining high achieving grades, and maintaining a social life are all aspects that have filled senior Mackenzie Sullivan’s life since her freshman year of high school.
Originally a soccer player, Sullivan transitioned to running track in her freshman year after overcoming multiple soccer hardships.
“I loved soccer and it was difficult leaving that sport considering I played for ten years of my life. But it became clear to me in high school after seeing my success freshman year that running was what I was meant to do and I could make something out of it for myself,” said Sullivan.
Earlier this year, Sullivan committed to running track at the University of Pittsburgh. This university is an NCAA Division I intercollegiate level school.
“Out of all the schools I looked at, it was obvious that Pitt valued my worth as an athlete the most,” said Sullivan. “They had both the academics and the athletics I was looking for. I know by training with the Pitt team I will continue to become a better athlete.”
Since her track career at Mercy, Sullivan has broken two school records, the 400 and 200-meter dash. This year, she began running cross country to increase her endurance and become a more well-rounded runner who can compete as a sprinter and as a mid-distance runner.
Outside of Mercy, Sullivan has also competed at Junior Nationals that were held in North Carolina. She ran the 400 meter hurdles and placed second.
Despite the pandemic deeply affecting many student athletes, Sullivan found a way to train and maintain her stamina independently to continue toward her intended track goals.
“My training didn’t change much when the pandemic took over. I was still able to continue weight training at my house and run at nearby tracks,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan has learned to trust the journey as she prepares to take her running career to the collegiate level.