Denton Braswell freshman Macy Wingard wins the Plano ISD Inv. in 18:07
Photo Credit: Stuart Kantor/MileSplit TX
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With the date being August 13th, the Plano ISD is usually one of the earliest 5,000m races of each cross country season. This year was no different; Saturday was the second day of the first weekend of the season.
At the Plano ISD meet, the first race was the Varsity Girls race and it was also the first race in the high school career of Macy Wingard. The Denton Braswell freshman got the first high school race under her belt and did so with a 18:07 win.
Wingard studied in middle school as a homeschooler in the Dallas Home School Athletics Association (HSAA) and had personal bests of 2:36 and 5:31 on the track. On grass, she ran 5:30.25 and 11:47.88. Those were solid times for an intermediate school runner, but the 18:07 opener is on a whole different level of running.
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2022 Plano ISD Invitational Varsity Girls 5,000 meters
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The 18 minute barrier is a significant benchmark for girls in the 5,000m and that was the time Wingard had in mind, "today, I was shooting for around 18 minutes because I've never really ran a 5K before," Wingard said.
But, what makes a youngster have the confidence to expect to drop a gem of a race like that and run out front controlling the race doing it? "I started training hard this summer, coming from middle school I didn't have a team, so it's nice to have a team this year," she said. That team also makes up the training partners she didn't previously have.
Freshman girls are known to adapt well to cross country and make quickly make early impacts. Every season we expect some young runners to shake up the scene, so the fact that Wingard has already put her name on the list isn't too shocking. However, last year, there were 41 girls to run under 18:08 and only 14 of them were prior to the third week in September.
While Wingard may not have the personal experience, her eyes have seen the level of running that lies ahead in her coming years. Her older brother, Wyatt Wingard is a 2020 graduate of Frisco Reedy where he was a three time UIL cross country state meet qualifier and the 12th place finish at the 2019 with a 15:17 PR.
Wingard's 18:07 won't lead the state rankings too long, but what it has done so far is put her on the radar at the onset of the season.