Running solo doesn’t stop Mount Vernon’s MillarMount Vernon High School senior Morgan Millar has never had a teammate in high school cross country. In three years and at two different schools, she’s never had anybody to train with. She’s never had the chance to compete for team points, and she’s never even had a coach.
By: Matt Bunke, The Daily Republic
Mount Vernon High School senior Morgan Millar has never had a teammate in high school cross country.
In three years and at two different schools, she’s never had anybody to train with. She’s never had the chance to compete for team points, and she’s never even had a coach.
But all that never stopped Millar from becoming one of the state’s top runners in Class B during a three-year stint that ended last weekend with a fifth-place finish at the state meet at Elks Golf Course in Rapid City.
“Sometimes it would be nice to have somebody to push me in practice,” Millar said, “but I love to run, so that pushes me.”
Millar’s fifth-place finish this year followed a 19th-place finish for Mount Vernon last year. As a sophomore in 2007, Millar just missed placing at the state meet for Woonsocket when she finished 26th. Just like at Mount Vernon, Millar was the only runner for Woonsocket that year.
Millar says she enjoyed running even before she started competing in high school meets in 2007, but decided to give the sport a try because her sister had been a good runner in high school. Even without a team or a coach to set a practice schedule, Millar has stayed disciplined enough to set her own schedule.
“I do my own practice schedule and push myself,” she said. “I practice every day in the afternoon, and then Saturday and Sunday I work out in the morning.”
While Milllar has been disciplined enough to maintain her own schedule, one of the bigger disadvantages of not having a team could stem from not having a coach. Other runners have the benefit of coaches analyzing both their running technique and race strategy, but that’s something Millar hasn’t had on a daily basis.
Millar has, however, gotten help from several other coaches at various points throughout the season.
“We know other coaches, so my mom and I will ask them if I need help on a certain part of my race or with strategy,” Millar said.
Millar, who said she plans to continue running in college, said her motivation to stay in shape year round has fueled her success as a runner. But for all the success she has had as an individual, she said she does occasionally miss the team dynamic.
“It would be nice to have a chance to win meets as a team,” she said.