Mackinzey Warren has enjoyed running on cross-country courses across southern and central Indiana with the Brownstown Central middle and high school cross-country teams.

During those long races is when she felt most relaxed.

“It’s really relaxing. You wouldn’t think that it’s relaxing running longer distances, but once you learn how to pace yourself and you learn how to focus on running, it’s actually really relaxing, and you get a lot of your thinking done while running because there’s nothing to do but stare and think,” Warren said.

Warren did not run cross-country her freshman year but ran distance in track the following spring.

She ran track her freshman and sophomore years and was a manager last spring and plans to be a manager this coming spring.

“My track coach, Mrs. (Peggy) Kovert, wanted me to run cross-country, so I figured it would be a good idea for me to try it, and I ended up really liking it,” Warren said.

Warren’s career-best time was the 24:40 she ran her junior year in a meet at Silver Creek, which is her favorite course. She said that race was her career highlight.

She received the most improved award her sophomore year.

Each race, Warren planned ahead for the course.

“I tried to stay up with a few runners,” Warren said. “I tried to stay behind one girl and ahead of another girl. If I got off pace from that, then I knew I needed to either pick it up or slow down a little bit.”

Warren said she tried to run her first mile between 8:30 and 8:40. She said the second mile is the toughest, and the third goes by fast.

“The second mile seems like it goes on forever. It may be only eight or nine minutes, but it feels like it’s taking forever,” she said. “The third mile goes by pretty quick. Honestly, I think it’s the fastest one of the whole race. I focus on how far I have left. If I only have an 800 left, then I’m, ‘OK, I should have three minutes left or something like that.’’’

In running, Warren said keeping a positive attitude is important.

“I think if you go in with a negative attitude and think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to do this. I’m not going to do very well,’ you won’t do very well,” Warren said. “As long as you keep a positive mental attitude and you’re encouraging others and you’re telling them ‘good job’ after a meet or whatever, as long as you stay positive, I think you will get positive results.”

Warren favored the Saturday morning meets over the runs at night.

“I definitely liked running in the mornings a lot better,” Warren said. “It was a lot cooler. For one thing, I didn’t have to worry about homework. It was a lot less stressful coming home because sometimes, we wouldn’t get back until 8 or 9 o’clock, and you would still have lots of homework to do.”

She has enjoyed being a student at Brownstown Central.

“I really am grateful that I went here,” Warren said. “I’m a cadet teacher at the elementary school, and I love it. I’m really blessed to have that opportunity. I cadet teach for the kindergarten class. I eventually would like to be a teacher.

“I’ll definitely remember the friends I’ve made. I came from Lutheran Central. We had a class of 16 there, and transitioning from 16 to 150 kids in one summer was a big change for me, and so I’ll definitely remember making a lot of new friends just in my first year here.”

Warren file

Name: Mackinzey Warren

School: Brownstown Central High School

Parents: Ervin and Julie Warren

Siblings: Laney and Erica

Sports: Cross-country, three years; track and field, two years; track and field manager, two years

Athletic highlights: Cross-country, 2015 most improved

Organizations: Braves Against Drugs Club, St. Paul Lutheran Church Wegan youth group, Dudleytown Redbirds 4-H Club

Plans after high school: Attend college

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite movie: “Stand By Me”

Favorite team: Indiana University

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.