Mackenzie Dill's success at Highland High School earned some attention from the folks at Kansas Wesleyan University. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Mackenzie Dill's Best Marks
800 Meters - 2:29.05
5K Cross Country - 21:10.0 (at altitude)
Tell us about the decision to attend Kansas Wesleyan. What tilted the tables in their favor?
I had toured 4 colleges in two days, with that being said my mind was sort of on overload with all of the new information. Kansas Wesleyan seemed to be the one that stood out the most to me with its small campus, friendly people, and of course meeting members of the teams that I will be competing on was a large factor as well. Overall the campus was my favorite with the walking distance being short and of course the largest factor everyone I had met there had made me feel welcome.
What do you plan to study at KWU?
I have thought about going into the medical field as in physical therapy or nursing, but as of right now I remain undecided and will explore my options.
What event or events do you hope to specialize in at Kansas Wesleyan?
Through out high school the 800, 4x800 and 4x400 had a competitive edge that quickly made them my favorite events. I am not completely sure which path of events I will take during my time at KWU but I hope to continue competing in those events.
While you've been at Highland High School, the fortunes of the cross country program have been steadily rising. What has it been like to be part of a resurgence of a program? How is the program you leave different from the program you came into?
Coming into high school and making the switch from volleyball to cross country was a large step for me. The cross country team hadn't been around for very long with only a handful of members and was a learning process between everyone. I was lucky to have upperclassmen to help show me the ropes right away. Throughout the years, every member had greatly improved with the change of intensity of the practices as well as the amount of members continued to increase. It has been an amazing process to witness and be a part of, we had started with a handful of kids with the dreams of going to state and by the end we were achieving those dreams with our first boys team qualifying for state as well as our girls team fiercely competing and narrowly missing the qualifying mark.
If we made you choose between cross country and track, which would it be?
With cross country and track being my main sports during high school they are easily my favorite. Choosing one or the other to be my number one is difficult but with track having a quicker pace and more of a competitive edge for me it has a little bit more of an edge over cross country and would have to be my favorite.
Pick for us a special highlight of your high school career?
My favorite highlight during my high school career has to be the 4x400 during the league meet. Going into the race we got a pep talk from Coach Lind and Trim which only intensified the nerves, but for the better. My teammates and I went into the race knowing that this race could change the standings for the League Championship and we came together and knew what we had to do, we had to put together the best races of our careers. Knowing that and being the team we were we were able to stay neck and neck for first all the way around the track. Coming down to the last lap it was my turn and having my teammates set me up in a very good position I knew that I had to leave it all out there. With each of us running the best races we could we were able to seal a league championship for not only the 4x400 but for the first girls league championship Highland has had. It was an amazing thing for us to do especially with previous events that had occurred to set us back earlier during the meet.