After winning the International Athletic Conference and the Class D Section IV Championships as well as earning the ESPN Ithaca Fall Season Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award prior to joining Andover Girls Cross Country, Molly MacQueen ’21 has already made a name for herself in the world of cross country running. MacQueen shone on Charles O. Dickerson High School’s Varsity Cross Country team due to her outstanding speed and endurance, and she has already been recognized as a critical asset at Andover after numerous top-of-the-pack finishes already this season.
How did you become interested in cross country?
When I was in middle school, my best friend’s dad was the cross country coach. We used to run together a lot, and then it just kind of escalated from there.
What is your first cross country memory?
It was probably from seventh grade at my old school, our home meet. I just remember that I had no idea what I was doing. I went out way too fast and did terribly, but I had a really good time anyway.
Who or what influences you the most regarding cross country?
Probably my friend from back home, Ginny Clifford. We ran together through middle school, and we both ran on the high school team together in eighth grade and ninth grade.
What was the transition from middle school cross country to Andover cross country like?
Coach [Hession] definitely made the transition into being here a lot better. Having a spot on the team and being able to have that as something to look forward to, and her being a person to just have around and an adult in your life that you know will be there if you need anything.
What about Andover cross country is different from cross country in your middle school?
It’s definitely really different because the team is a lot bigger, and it was kind of overwhelming at the beginning. But, it is really nice because you still have a small group that you get to train with and be closer with.
At Andover, what do you enjoy most about cross country?
Definitely the team. They’re a really fun group to train with and hang out with, and it’s really nice because you know so many people on campus from the team.
How do the Andover coaches influence you?
All the coaches are really great, and they make it a really fun atmosphere to train in. They definitely give a good balance in focusing on meets and making it intense and important and also not stressful.
What is your favorite part about practice?
Definitely cool down runs after a difficult workout because everyone has worked really hard in the workout and everyone’s happy to be done. Everyone’s together, and it’s really nice to be with the team.
What is your pre-meet ritual?
I normally eat a pretty big meal in the morning and just hang out and listen to music on the bus, and then get hyped up with the team once we are at the meet.
What keeps you focused in the middle of the meet?
Definitely I’ll set goals before the meet, and when it gets tough then I will think about them. Or, if I am running in a pack with another girl, like Alisa Creuger-Cain [’20] and I race together a lot, having her there helps me stay focused a lot.
What motivates you to continue cross country?
Every time I finish a race, the feeling you get when you are done and you are with your team makes it all kind of worth it.
What is your favorite cross country memory?
My favorite memory of cross country is probably winning sectionals with my team last year. It was really close, and everyone kind of pulled it out at the last second. It was really exciting to be a part of.