Going the extra mile

MacGregor a role model for cross country, track teams


Senior Sarah McGregor has had an accomplished career with Branham’s cross country and track teams. This, combined with a strong work ethic on the track as well as in the classroom, has allowed her to obtain a scholarship to UC Santa Barbara.

Bianca Medina, Photo Editor

If you’ve ever been to her track and field or cross country races in the last four years, you know that senior Sarah MacGregor stands out from the crowd.

The UC-Santa Barbara-bound senior is coming off a standout season, from top finishes in dual meets and invitationals, culminating in her first race in the state meet.

At the state meet in November, MacGregor traveled to Fresno and ran a 19:34 in the Division 2 race, ending up about the middle of the pack.

However, it was an unique experience for her as she got the opportunity to meet with other runners especially, junior Claudia Lane from Malibu High School, who set the course record for the race.

“It was so exciting to talk with other qualifiers and especially watch Claudia Lane set the course record for the fastest time,” MacGregor said. “Every new opportunity I get is so beneficial and inspires me more.”

MacGregor comes from a family of active runners. Her sister, Megan MacGregor, runs at UC-Davis and her mother, Wendy MacGregor, started running as a senior in high school and continued at De Anza College.

“It was a long journey for Sarah,” she said. “I am proud of her to carry on the commitment and dedication this family has for running.”

Her mother credits MacGregor’s string of her successes to her dedication.

“Sarah trains seven days a week,” she said. “Two days of the week calls for harder training such as hill repeats. She will also go up to trails such as Silver Creek to run. Four to five miles around the streets are some of her more relaxed running days during the week. On Sundays, the family goes for a long run, which consists of seven to eight miles.”

Cross country and track teammate Skyler Miller said that her colleague is a natural leader with a  strong work ethic.

“She has improved a ton since I’ve met her and always tries her best to improve her times,” Miller, a junior, said. “She brings dedication, leadership and encouragement to the team.”

Similarly, cross country coach Chris Jensen said that her teammates look up to her.

“Out of my two years from coaching her, I’ve never seen her not work hard, not one practice does she take easy,” said cross country coach Chris Jensen. “She sets the tone for everyone and with her confident self, helps prepare for a meet.”

MacGregor set the school’s record in the mile, finishing in 5:59. She also completed a 5K with the time of 18:54. She is among the top eight runners in Division II, one of the most competitive divisions in the league.

MacGregor has achieved 2nd and 3rd among all runners in her dual league races, placed sixth out of 65 runners in the Santa Teresa Athletic League and an impressive 5th out of 148 runners in the CCS finals.

Running in college was not her original goal. As she improved, she made the decision to switch from running for fun to running with a purpose.

“The switch in my mindset sparked junior year,” MacGregor said. “I started talking to coaches and as time went on my motivation grew to improve my running for the future.”

With her successes, many schools have sought to recruit her. However, she ended up picking UCSB, where her family once lived.

“UCSB was actually my top school, for both the running and the education,” MacGregor said. With the new environment, she is setting her sights on a new goal: a conference championship for UCSB’s team, the Gauchos.