Stride after stride, Peyton McGovern ’16 pushed herself to run faster after a string of previous second place finishes. With perseverance and determination, McGovern crossed the finish line in first this past Saturday against Northfield Mount Hermon with a time of 19:37. McGovern’s key to success has been a strict work ethic. A three-year Varsity runner, McGovern is a strong vocal leader with a bubbly personality that creates a comfortable and fun team atmosphere. Due to her winning performance in Andover’s most recent meet, McGovern is The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
What motivates you to run?
I always feel good when I run, it’s just a good feeling. I am motivated by the feeling after a race or a hard workout — it’s an overall really positive feeling. Especially when the culture at Andover weighs me down with grades and tons of work, going on a run is a release of all of the stress and is really freeing.
Explain your race-day routine.
Usually I don’t have the PSATs like last week, so I have a more relaxing morning. I eat a pretty large breakfast, always including a banana and toast. After breakfast, I am really careful about what I eat and about what I do. I don’t like to be on my feet a lot before a race so I just chill out. I am always too nervous to do work, so I just hang out around my house before I head to campus.
What do you think about while you’re running a race?
I either have a song or a few sentences that I go repeat in my head. On Saturday, I was thinking about German phrases that I am learning in class. I kept saying the same two sentences over and over in my head with each stride that I took.
What do you think has led to your personal improvement?
Definitely the training I did over the summer: I was really dedicated. I have been [dedicated] in the past as well, but this summer I was not afraid to get up at [6 a.m.] to beat the heat and go on a run. I worked on improving the little things, such as my stride, and I made sure to roll out often.
What are your goals for the season?
For our team to win Interschols. This is definitely a huge and difficult goal to achieve, but I believe that we can do it. My goal for myself is to break 19 minutes.
What sets this year’s team apart from previous years’?
This year we have closer packs. The top five, and then the sixth, seventh and eighth runners are all really close. We go on all of our runs together in each practice and race, which motivates us that we can stick with the other people in our pack. We all push each other to our max. Even when someone isn’t having their best day, the other people in the pack lift their spirits and push them even farther.