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Recent interview with newly crowned PSAC cross country Champion Chayce Macknair

Editor’s note: Hometown Sports editor Kenny Varner recently caught up with Shippensburg stand out cross country runner Chayce Macknair. He recently took first place in the PSAC conference championship where he took top honors. The former Husky caught us up with his life at Shippensburg University.

HS: How has things gone for you this year? 

CM: See other answers below.

HS: Were you injured to start the year and if so, how has the recovery process gone for you? 

CM: I suffered a sprained Lumbar on August 12th. I nearly completely shut down my running for the remainder of the month and resumed running at the beginning of September. I ended up developing sciatica and piriformis syndrome shortly after resuming running however as I came back too fast. These injuries were very painful, but I made the decision to run through them. With the help of Youtube, a physical therapist, a chiropractor, and a healthy balance between running and cross training, I was able to overcome these injuries and return to full health by the beginning of October. Since then, I have been able to train at a high level and have begun to build up again to my previous fitness level.   

HS: When you returned you have been lighting things up on the course. What was your favorite race this year? The one you felt you performed the best? 

CM: favorite race this year was my conference meet this past weekend. I became the second athlete in my school’s history to win a cross country conference title and the first in forty-one years. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.  

HS: What are your goals for the rest of the season? 

CM: My goals for the reminder of the season are to qualify for the NCAA DIII National championship meet in Saint Leo, Florida, and place top eighty there.

HS: How has your team been doing as a group?

CM: My team is currently trying to qualify for the NCAA national meet in Florida. We are currently ranked fourth in our region and need to place top three as a team at our regional meet to qualify for nationals. We have a very talented group of guys though and we are led by one of the most accomplished coaches in all of DII athletics in former Olympian Steve Spence.

HS: What has been the toughest race you’ve run? 

CM: The toughest race that I have run at this season was the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University. I placed 207th and our team placed 37th out of 40th. We were one of only four non-DI schools in the race and it featured some of the most dominant teams from across the country such as Villanova, North Carolina, and Princeton.  It was my first major race coming back from injury and I simply was not ready to run at an elite level yet.

HS: Are you running at your best yet or are you still trying to get healthier or working on the mental aspect of the race? 

CM: I am not running at my highest level right now. I have only had three weeks of training at full health so far and am not able to race the way I traditionally am used to due to my fitness level being lower than it usually is. I have been getting stronger every week and expect to peak at the national meet.

HS: What has been the difference running from high school to college? 

CM: The major difference has been mileage. In high school, I ran thirty to forty-five miles a week, whereas in college, I run between fifty-five to seventy-five miles a week. My longest run in high school was twelve miles and my weekly long run in college averages fifteen to eighteen miles. I have adjusted to this mileage very well as I am in my third year now, but I really struggled to handle it my first two years.

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