Sean MacGregor helps York boys cross-country team reach state once again.

By Mike Miazga

Correspondent

When it’s race day, York senior boys cross-country runner Sean MacGregor doesn’t deviate from his routine.

“Depending on the meet, I’ll wake up at 7 a.m., and I usually stick with a bagel and maybe some cream cheese for breakfast,” he said.

But sameness has been a key ingredient to MacGregor’s success during his time at York, which will come to an end this Saturday at the Class 3A boys state finals meet in Peoria. MacGregor helped York reach the state finals once again after a Top 10 performance at the recent Lake Park sectional.

“I like to stay with my same routine,” he said. “The same kind of warmup, the same time I wake up and the same thing I eat. When it’s race day I train myself to prepare for the day.”

MacGregor said he brings confidence into each meet, but couples that with another key trait. “I try and go into every meet confidently and with the same kind of competitiveness as if I was an underdog,” he said.

MacGregor’s affinity for the sport comes from a family lineage in running. “My mom is a runner and my brother did cross country in middle school,” he said. “I’ve always had an interest in sports my whole life. Cross-country has been the sport I’ve been the best at and I’ve grown to love it.”

MacGregor said the improvement gap between his freshman year at York and current day is rather large.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and grinding,” he said. “I like to think I’ve made exponential improvement since my freshman year. I like to think I’ve grown as a runner and as a competitor. I remember freshman year going into the season not being confident, but once I got there I loved the experience of York cross country.”

MacGregor added it’s hard to describe the impact the York program has made on him. “I’m so blessed to be in a program like this with such a rich history,” he said. “It’s such a brotherhood, plus I love the sport.”

He admits upholding the York boys cross-country tradition is no walk in the park. “We have the pressure every year, but with pressure comes responsibility. We take that pretty seriously,” he said.

MacGregor, whose hobbies include drawing and playing the piano, said team chemistry with this year’s group has helped contribute to its success. “We have a really tight team with a lot of seniors,” he said. “The top seven runners have known each other the past four year. We’re good friends and good competitors as well.”

And MacGregor has had the opportunity to learn from retired York coaching legend Joe Newton and current coach Charlie Kern Sr.

“Both of them are great coaches. I’ve learned a lot from Mr. Newton about being tough and I’ve learned a lot about staying healthy from Mr. Kern,” he said. “Their motivational speeches combined have been really great.”

MacGregor recently committed to continue his running career at Division I University of Dayton in Ohio.

“I’m really excited about Dayton,” said MacGregor who would like to study business/marketing there. “Regardless of running, I love the school. I visited with the team and the coach is great. I reached out to their coach last year about possibly running there. Both my grandparents went there so it’s been in our family.”

But in the meantime, MacGregor and his York teammates get to perform on the biggest stage this Saturday in Peoria.

“We have to keep getting better every day,” MacGregor said late last week.

 

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