Monday, February 01, 2010

Catching up with Marin Academy runner, Lucy McCullough...

Today we chat with Marin Academy junior, Lucy McCullough. She completed the past Cross Country season at the Footlocker West Meet by finishing 16th in the seeded race. That race followed her first state championship as she rolled to the Division V crown, running 18:17 on the 5K course at Woodward Park. She is also one of a few runners to record 3 section titles in their first 3 years in XC. During the '09 Track and Field season, McCullough qualified for her first state meet in the 1600 by finishing 4th and running 4:54.82. She will definitely be a runner to watch this coming Track and Field season

1) How did you get your start in running?
I used to win a turkey every Thanksgiving in my elementary school Turkey Trot. I then ran cross country for my middle school during my club soccer season.

2) What was your first success in high school Cross Country? Track and Field?
Winning NCS in Cross Country my freshman year was definitely my first success, and making it to the NCS Meet of Champions in the 800 that spring was my first track success.

3) Who were the runners that you looked up to as a freshmen when you were first starting out in the two sports?
My freshman year I looked up to a senior runner on our cross country team, Alesandra Roger.

4) You have now won 3 NCS titles in XC as well as a state championship in Division V. What do you feel are your strengths in XC?
I feel that my strengths in cross country are my endurance (genetics granted me with that one!), and my kick in the last 800 or so meters of a race. I also feel like I have some mental strength - that feeling that I have a shot to win - that has helped me over the past three years.

5) What does a typical summer look like for you in terms of training and preparation for the season?
My mother always makes me take a month off right after track ends. I compete with my club swim team that I've been with since I was six, until late July, when I reintroduce mileage. I usually have a job as a camp counselor or lifeguard that I have to work my running schedule around.

6) Quick answers: Favorite xc meet? Favorite track meet? Favorite xc workout? Favorite track workout? Favorite competitor(s)? Favorite xc course?
Favorite xc meet is the State Meet in Fresno. Favorite track meet is NCS Meet of Champions or Arcadia. Favorite xc workout is a point-to-point tempo run, where two groups meet in the middle and exchange van keys. Favorite track workout: 200 repeats! I love them!! Favorite Competitors(s): Holland Reynolds and Jennie Callan of University Prep - they're really nice and keep me on my toes! Favorite xc course: Mt. Sac even though my times there are miserable!

7) In terms of your training, what do you feel are the keys to your success in either sport?

Speed and core workouts.

8) Who are your coaches for xc and track and how have they helped you develop as a runner and person?

My cross country coaches are Liz Gottlieb and Ken Ellingboe, and they have been the best coaches I could ask for. They are so supportive of me, and always lighten my mood before a race. They have shown me the most amazing trails in Marin, and are accomplished roadrunners themselves. My dearest mother, Theresa Gschwind McCullough, is Marin Academy's distance track coach. My mom knows how to get the work in that I need and is great at racing strategy.

9) What are your current personal records on the track for 400? 800? 1600? 3200?

400: 60ish (unofficially from a relay)
800: 2:18
1600: 4:54
3200: 11:20

10) How would you convince a freshman at your school to run either xc and track and field?

That's funny, because I do a whole lot of recruiting at my school - and it worked because we had 50 kids go out for xc this fall (sch. pop. 400)! I corner them in the hallway... actually, I tell them that we get to run on some of the most beautiful trails in the country.

11) You qualified for the state meet last year in the 1600 as well as won the state championship this year in xc. How much of a big deal were those accomplishments at MA?
I got a ton of congratulations from classmates and faculty after both of those accomplishments, however my school is FULL of extremely talented people - my classmates have songs on iTunes, their own radio shows, and they play on national junior sports teams.... It keeps things in perspective.

Thank you very much for your time Lucy! AJC


Anonymous said...

Marin County is full of studs and has always been. What's going on up there!

Unknown said...

Yeah Lucy Way to Represent Marin County!! look forward to continue watching you succeed!!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to get a Jessie Petersen interview? I am curious about her 85 mile weeks etc...

Anonymous said...

Don't think that will be happening....on Monday at the Carlmont Track team meeting the Pole Vaulting Coach Brent Cottong announced that no athlete can talk to a reporter unless a coach is present!
Can they enforce that? What happened to Freedom of Speech?

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