Morgan Gannon is a Junior at Penn High School. She has been one of Penn’s top cross country runners since her freshman year.
When did you start running cross country?: I started running cross country in middle school during sixth grade and I have continued to run since then.
What is your favorite part about running cross country for Penn?: My favorite part about running cross country for Penn is the great people and coaches who are always at practice. I always look forward to practice and it’s the best part of my day. I love seeing all of my teammates who are always so encouraging and positive. They are always so uplifting and supportive during workouts and runs. I’ve developed so many close friendships and bonds with my teammates that I am so thankful for.
Who are your biggest supporters?: My biggest supporters are my parents and coaches. They are always pushing me to become the best runner and person that I could possibly be. They are committed to helping and encouraging me. My parents attend all of my races and are always there to cheer me on. My coaches are always thinking about me and really caring about how I can better myself and they are pushing me to succeed.
Why did you start running cross country?: I started running cross country originally just because my friends were doing it in middle school. Eventually, I’ve taken it a lot more seriously and I started to truly enjoy running. I always look forward to cross country because it’s a nice escape from school and I have the chance to go out and run and have fun without any worries.
How do you deal with failures, for example getting a bad time in a race?: Whenever I have a bad race, it’s always tough to deal with. I don’t necessarily just dismiss the race and move on with the next. But instead, I try to go back and reflect on that race and try to figure out where I could have done better. I think about mentally where I went wrong and how I can perform better on the next race. When the next race comes, that just makes me more motivated to want to do better and I try racing with a more positive mindset.
How do you juggle schoolwork with also running cross country?: I use cross country as a way for me to kind of take a little break from school work for a while. During practice, I get to relax and unwind while taking a break from the stress of school. During cross country, I just get to let loose and have fun. I try to manage my time in the best way possible by getting homework done and studying whenever I have downtime after practice or in the mornings before school.
How do you prepare yourself for a race?: To prepare for races, I always try to have a calm and relaxing evening the night before. That way, I’m ready to race in the morning. On Friday nights, I usually eat a pasta dinner with my family and the morning before, I eat a good breakfast while staying hydrated. When it gets closer to the race, we warm up and do stretches as a team before we head over to the starting line. There we do our final run out and our team prayer before racing.