Mackenzie Ryan is fast.
On Friday, the O’Fallon junior had the track meet of her dreams, competing at the eight-team O’Fallon Invitational.
She won the triple jump with her 35 feet, 9 1/2 inch leap, nearly setting a personal record.
Her best jump ever was 36 feet, four inches.
Ryan also won the 100-meter hurdles in 15.64 seconds and won the 300-meter hurdles in 47.17, surpassing her previous best time by almost a second.
“I really love the environment,” she says.
Unfortunately, her opponents couldn’t say the same thing about the talented O’Fallon junior.
“It was fun to come out and compete,” said Ryan who sat a personal record in the 300-meter hurdles.
Later this spring, Ryan hopes to advance to state in all three events.
“We’ll see how that goes,” she said.
But Ryan, the daughter of Pat and Karla Ryan, believes her best event might be the 300-meter hurdles.
“I still have a lot of work to do,” she said.
Ryan, however, finds running comes naturally.
She also, puts in a lot of extra work to hone her skills.
“I like to challenge myself,” she says.
Last spring, she competed at her first-ever state track meet in the triple jump.
And, she narrowly missed qualifying for state in the 100-meter hurdles by less than a second.
Ryan says she has been running in track since she has been in junior high school.
She joins a long list of Ryan’s who have competed in track over the years.
“Track is really mentally hard,” says Mackenzie, the granddaughter of O’Fallon sports icon Foz Ryan.
But the word ‘quit’ is not in Mackenzie’s vocabulary.
She is now looking at a number of colleges and university. But Ryan is considering majoring in the medical field.
“I just like the field and I feel like it’s something I can excel at,” she said.