Arizona Watch List - McKenna Gaffney



We continue the watch with many more athletes to profile!   Good luck to everyone!  See you on the course!


Journal Questions:


Name:  McKenna Gaffney


High School: 

Xavier College Preparatory


Year of Graduation: 2013



Best time in a 5K and a 3 Mile Race:

18:38 Twilight and 17:51 Sole Sports


What are your goals for the upcoming season:

Our ultimate goal is to qualify for Nike Nationals again, and strive to “Be the best we can be” – Jeff Messer


How is your summer training going?   Your favorite workout?  What kind of summer mileage do you run?

My summer training has gone great! Our workouts were consistent and solid each day. It is nice to have a group of dedicated girls around to keep me motivated during the hotter parts of the summer. 

My favorite workout would have to be our steady runs in the middle of the week. I love getting into the rhythm of a run, and sustaining it at a particular pace for a long period of time.  

Our typical mileage ranges from 50 to 60 miles a week.


How long have you been running and how did you get started:

I have been running since I was 7, but I actually started taking it seriously when I was in 7th grade. My parents started my running career by putting me in little 5k’s around the valley. (My favorite part was the free food once I finished).  Now, running is an essential part in my life, and I would not prefer to do anything else.


Will you be competing out of State this season?  If so, when and where?

Yes, we will be competing in Mt. SAC in October, and hopefully Nike Nationals!


What are your favorite courses and the toughest courses to run in State and out of State.

My favorite course would have to be Twilight because everyone goes there to run a fast time. Also, running in the dark is a bonus! The toughest course I would have to say is State. The course has a combination of different terrain and constant inclines, which I find a bit of a challenge.


So far in your high school career, what is your favorite cross country race or cross country memory?

My favorite cross country memory was when our team qualified for Nike Nationals last season. After my team lost to 2nd place by 6 points the previous year, we were highly motivated to do what we had to in order to be one of the top two teams in the Southwest region. I had never seen my team filled with so much happiness. All of our hard work and early wake-up calls paid off in the end.


When you are not running what do you like to do?

I love to be outside, spend time with my friends, just relax by the pool, and hike (The Grand Canyon especially!).


Do you cross train (lift, swim, bike etc)?

I love to elliptical, but if I do not have time to do that, I do some type of workout in the pool.


Do you think you would like to run competitively after high school?

I am definitely planning on running competitively after high school. I would love to run for a Division 1 university.


What were your favorite Olympic sports and did they inspire you in any way?

I would have to say gymnastics. I love the suspense of the girls flying in the air, and not knowing whether or not they are going to “stick it”. I also appreciate their dedication and commitment they have to their sport.



Quick Six:


Favorite Pre-race Meal?

Either a bagel or oatmeal


Kind of shoes you train in?

Nike and Asics


Favorite athlete (running or otherwise)?

Even though she is a sprinter… Allison Felix!


Favorite TV show or movie?

Grey’s Anatomy!


Favorite song?

Our Song – Taylor Swift


Favorite quote?

The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.” – Stephen Richards “