We Salute McKenna Polus, Blue Valley Southwest

Name: McKenna Polus

School: Blue Valley Southwest 

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?

A: Majority of it is the same. Have been doing mostly easy/long runs. And will start back up with my workouts next week. 

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?

A: I have just been spending a lot of time with the fam and catching up on my Netflix shows. 

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?

A: My most memorable race would have to be at the state meet in cross country last year. When I first started running I made a goal for myself that I wanted to get sub 19:00 in the 5k. After having some rough seasons I never thought that it could be done. Then during state this year coming down the sky line, watching the time counting up and seeing 18s, it was the most amazing and accomplished feeling. I had finally achieved my freshmen goal and ran a time of 18:58 to finish off my senior season. 

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?

A: During our girls 4x8 when I was coming around the last 100 of the race getting ready to hand it off and my teammate took off her warmup jacket and wasn't wearing her jersey...classic Gigi move. xoxo

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

A: My biggest competition would have to be the amazing Katie Moore. She is always the lead of every race and helps push me to be the best I can be! The Hawkeyes are getting a good one!!

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?

A: My greatest accomplishment was placing 4th at state in cross country my senior year. 

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

A: There's not much that I really would want to change other than stressing about my times after having a bad run and being able to realize that it's okay to have a bad race. 

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

A: After freshmen year track I got patella tendinitis in both my knees and had to sit out all of sophomore cross country season. This was something that I struggled with a lot and I wasn't able to get back to my normal self until junior year track. 

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: I will for sure miss the long runs on Saturdays with my girls because there is always something interesting that happens along the way. I will also miss the mud fights we would have during our runs after it rains. 

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?

A: My advice would be to never take things for granted. Life is special and you never know what can happen. So when you find your passion with a sport or anything you do, you just got to truly give it all you got and never give up. And I promise you will succeed because hard work does pay off. 

Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?

A: They have made a huge impact on the team because they are not only the best coaches, but they also have created individual relationships with each runner that has made our bond with our coaches so much stronger. Shout out to Coach Ballew and Coach Buehler for always believing in me and for helping me get to where I am now. 

Q: What are your college plans?

A: Next year I will be attending Kansas State University to run Cross Country and Track!

Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

A: I would love to thank the coaching staff and my forever teammates for the non stop support and for being the most amazing people to ever walk this earth. I will always and forever be grateful for the bonds that I have made through this journey. 

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: I would just want to say how grateful I am that I decided to take the path of running my freshmen year and was able to find my passion with my teammates that I like to call family:)

Q: Favorite Meal?

A: Thanksgiving food and smoothie bowls 

Q: If you could be any animal what would you choose? and why?

A: A dog because they honestly live the best life being able to get back rubs and sleep all day!

Q: Your favorite superhero?

A: Probably the Flash or Spider-Man