Senior Mackenzie Pugh Commits to Running at SEMO


Credit to Phoebe Primeau

Senior Mackenzie Pugh runs her leg in the 4×800 race at the Henle Holmes Invitational. Pugh will be running cross country and track at SEMO.

By Claire Huss

Senior Mackenzie Pugh started her running career back in sixth grade, competing on her middle school cross country team.

“I originally didn’t think I was going to run in high school,” Pugh said. “I thought I was going to play tennis and lacrosse when going into high school. But I started running cross country and I really liked it so I decided to continue with it and run track in the spring as well.”

Pugh has been on the varsity and track team for all four years now and she has grown a lot as a runner throughout the years.

“Freshman year, I didn’t really know what to expect from myself,” Pugh said. “I went out and ran my best and I was happy with that. Now, I focus on what I can achieve and work towards that.”

Pugh has been a state qualifier in cross country her senior year and an 800m state qualifier her junior year track season.

“Her biggest strength is her dedication to practicing,” Kim Martin, head cross country and track coach, said. “She never just comes and goes through the motions at practice. She gives her full effort every day. In her races, her mindset is also a strength of hers. She has the ability to conquer adversity. If something doesn’t go her way in a race, she will fight back.

In March 2019, Pugh signed with SEMO, a D1 (division one) school. When Pugh started talking to coaches, she really thought the coach at SEMO stuck out. Pugh really liked his values and outlook on running.

“When I went down for a recruiting visit and met with the team, it felt like the right place and that I belonged there,” Pugh said.

Pugh is really excited to meet her team and get closer with them and start the next chapter of her running career.

“It is going to be a big change,” Pugh said. “But I am really excited to see what else is out there.”