Despite being at Winter Haven Christian for just two months, Elissa MacDonald has already made an immediate impact, setting the girls record in cross country at the school and winning four medals so far this season.
MacDonald is ranked in the top-10 for sixth graders in the state. One of her goals is to eventually run a 5K race in 18 minutes. Macdonald also plans on playing basketball for Winter Haven Christian.
How did you get into cross country?
I was always motivated and my family motivated me to run long distances after I ran for track.
What’s your favorite part about cross country?
(When I’m) running and I can hear everybody cheering me on.
What would you say is the toughest part about cross country?
The hardest part was when I first started running, because I was out of shape. The next hardest part is near the end of the race, when I’m pushing hard to the finish line, but I hear everybody cheering me on.
Who has helped you the most with becoming a better runner?
Probably my best friend John. Everytime I say I couldn't do it he would come behind me and push me until the end.
What are some of the things you’re going to do to reach your goal of running a 5K in 18 minutes?
(Work on) being able to pace myself better and end stronger than when I start.
What are some of your goals for the rest of this season?
Trying to get a medal in the conference race, which is on Nov. 7.
How does running cross country help you with basketball?
Because I'm a better defensive player so it helps me with running on the court.
What has been your favorite memory at Winter Haven Christian so far?
Probably coming back to school after I got my first medal and all of the teachers were congratulating me.
What’s your favorite class?
History, because I learn more about where I am right now from the past.