By Spencer DuPuis
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Leesburg (February 23, 2016) — Heritage High School senior Georgie Mackenzie has committed to continue her running career at Division I University of Virginia starting in the 2016-2017 school year.
“I am so excited to be committed to a school I absolutely love,” the 5-foot-6 Mackenzie said. “[I] am [also]excited for my next four years of running as well as education in the school of engineering.”
“I hope to bring my determination and enthusiasm to the team, and can’t wait to learn and grow as a runner with the help of my new teammates,” Mackenzie said.
While at UVA, Mackenzie will be coached by Todd Morgan for both cross country and track as he is the head women’s cross country coach and assistant track and field coach for women’s distance.
During the 2015 cross country season, Morgan coached the Cavaliers to their first women’s ACC championship in 33-years, their second-consecutive NCAA Southeast Regional Championship and eventually to a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, which made it three straight top 15 finishes. Morgan was then named 2015 ACC women’s cross country Coach of the Year for the Cavaliers’ accomplishments.
“I chose UVA not only for its academic prestige, but for the sheer amount of support given to their student-athletes and how students are encouraged to excel in their academic interests as well as reach athletic goals,” Mackenzie said.
This past fall, Mackenzie helped the Heritage cross country team win the school’s first ever team state title in any sport when they won the VHSL 4A state cross country championship on November 13.
After Pride teammate Weini Kelati took first place, Mackenzie helped the Pride secure the title with a fourth place finish running a National Elite time of 19:14. For her efforts, she was named first team Cheers and LoCoSports All-LoCo.
“At first I couldn’t believe it, it seemed too good to be true,” Mackenzie said. “After the initial shock, I was so grateful for all the effort we put in throughout the season to make our girls varsity team stronger and closer, because in the end, it really paid off.”
The England-native — who spent her early life in Cambridge until she moved to the United States when she was seven-years-old — mentioned many reasons why she runs, but most importantly, it helps her keep her sanity.
“I run cross country and track because I enjoy being able to set goals for myself and train until I attain them,” Mackenzie said. “Being on a team has also provided me with an inseparable group of friends that I would have otherwise probably not encountered. Running and exercising has really become a way of life now, and it’s a great stress reliever after a tough day at school. Basically, I run because it keeps me sane.”