Not a Runner, ‘But She a Track Star’

Not a Runner, But She a Track Star

“My biggest motivation is achieving the goals I’ve set out for myself,” senior track and field athlete Serena McNeilly said. “I want to compete in track in college; I know the standards are really high and I’m just working to improve myself.”

McNeilly is currently ranked 4th in the state for high jump and 6th in the state for triple jump. She also happens to be in the top 100 of the nation, ranking 88th out of all of the high school girls that compete in high jump. She currently holds the school record for both high jump and triple jump.

At the 2022 Region 3 Championships, McNeilly placed 1st in both high jump and triple jump, as well as 2nd in long jump. At the 2022 AAA Track and Field State Championships, McNeilly came home with a 2nd place finish in high jump and a 7th place finish in triple jump. 

“Being there with her at state when she was doing triple jump and I was working triple jump, it was an exciting big day,” Central Hardin track and field coach Samantha Dale said.

McNeilly has yet to compete in long jump this track season, honing in more on her other specialty events.

“I did long jump last year and my PR [personal record] was 15’-9”, but I don’t think I’m competing this year. Coach Magill [CHHS hurdle coach] wants me to do hurdles. I’m terrified, but we’ll see,” McNeilly said.

To achieve her goals, McNeilly’s training regimen goes beyond the CHHS track team. McNeilly works with field coach Kevin Ferguson outside of practice and competes unattached at local indoor track meets on the weekends.

“I do track five days a week, and I usually try to lift weights two days a week. I compete most Saturdays and train on Sundays,” McNeilly said. “I’m lucky to have a supportive team and coaches who are willing to work with me and support me through track.”

“When she sets her mind to do something, she does it,” Dale said. “She just has natural talent to begin with. She was a gymnast [before moving to the U.S. from Australia in 2021], so she comes to us with the ability to jump, flexibility, and coordination.”

With high jump being her favorite event to compete in, McNeilly is striving for the 5’7” college recruiting standard throughout the duration of the 2023 season. She has not yet committed to a college.

“I’m just trying to weigh all the different options, wherever fits both track and academically. I’ve visited Centre College, but that’s the only one I’ve seen officially for track,” McNeilly said.

McNeilly plays a vital role acquiring points for the team, oftentimes scoring 30 across the board in a single meet. With McNeilly leading them,  Dale is confident in the possibilities of the girls’ track and field team this season.

“Our goal for the team is to win Regions because we have a really good shot at that with the girls this year,”  Dale said.

You can support McNeilly and the Bruins this weekend (Mar. 4) at the Indoor State Championships located at the Norton’s Sports and Learning Center in Louisville.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Central Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *