Athlete of the Week: Barbara MacNeill

by Carlos Melgar

With the first year of college behind her, cross-country runner Barbara MacNeill is in a whole new mindset this season. MacNeill, now a sophomore, had to train a little harder this summer to regain her motivation to continue competing for Transylvania University.

Sophomore Barbara MacNeill has rediscovered her motivation for running this season. In doing so, she has become one of the top runners on the team.

“This summer I really got my motivation back as a runner,” MacNeill said. “I was not in the same mindset last year at all, mostly with the transition into college. I feel like I have grown a lot in a sense of balancing school, sports and my social life.”

This year, the cross-country team has added numbers to their team. They have done well this season thus far and only hope to improve.

“The season is looking great for the team. We have a bunch of new faces on the team and the atmosphere is always positive,” said MacNeill.
The team has more talent than previous years and with more talent comes a lot of hard work and motivation.

“If everyone sees their teammates at practice trying their hardest to get better, then that is a huge incentive for everyone to try their hardest,” MacNeill said.

“As the team grows, I feel as though (head) coach (Jason Moncer) gets more and more excited about it. He does so much for us. Every year, coach organizes a trip for us to go somewhere fun. This year we are going white-water rafting in West Virginia,” MacNeill said.

Like every team, there has to be a connection between the players and coaches.

“Cross-country is a sport that requires mutual efforts or else the team won’t advance,” said MacNeill. “This also goes for the coach. … I feel as if everyone on the team realizes how hard and how much he cares about the team, and so we work just as hard to get better.”

MacNeill has not only done well in meets but also in practices. During practices, she is a leader.

“I try to get the team motivated and ready to go during practices and meets,” she said.

Coach Moncer is happy with her performance not only during the races but during practice.

“Barbara is one of our top performers and she works hard in training because she wants to reach the goals that she has set for the season. Although she isn’t a loud person by nature, her actions and performances do a lot of ‘talking’ for her,” said Moncer.

MacNeill and the team only have a few more meets left and they need the support of the student body. On Oct. 30, the cross-country team is hosting the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament in Versailles, Ky., at Falling Springs Park. The men will race at 11:00 a.m. with the women to follow at noon.

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