Sophomores race and leap to D III championship

Ian McDonald, ‘17, and Dana Lee, ‘17, participated in the National Championship meet on March 14th

Julia Wilson

Two Washington and Lee athletes, Ian McDonald ’17 and Dana Lee ’17, earned All-America honors at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. McDonald fin- ished second in the mile, and Lee took eighth in the long jump.

“It’s hard to go into a race and not want to win,” McDonald said when asked about his attitude before his race.

McDonald explained that beforehand, his main goals were to make finals and to “get in position to win.” He achieved this, as he had the fastest times in prelims.

When preparing for a big race, McDonald said he tries to remain relaxed and do his normal warm up.

“I just try to think of it as another race,” McDonald said. “Freaking out doesn’t help you run faster.”

McDonald said he believes his coaches have helped him become faster and he attributes much of his success to his assistant coach, Brandon Spalding.

“I’ve got a fantastic coach,” McDonald said. “Spalding’s done a good job of building strength and tapering for the right time. Looking at how much further I’ve gotten since high school – most of it has been him.”

When asked if he has role model, Mc- Donald quickly answered Matt Elliott, a full-time kindergarten teacher, who placed fourth in the mile at the USATF Indoor Championships.

“For him to balance both is impressive,” McDonald said. “You can tell the passion he has for what he does, and that’s really admirable. That’s something I’d like to come as close to as possible.”

Like McDonald, Dana Lee also said she had a specific goal for this year’s champi- onships.

“The main thing I wanted was to not place 9th like I did last year,” Lee said. “It’s not about the honor, but about being with the top eight. I wanted to improve on my experiences last year and have fun.”

Lee unfortunately suffered an injury ear- lier in the season, but she said she was de- termined to overcome this obstacle.

“It was a mental setback knowing that I couldn’t compete in two of the earlier meets,” Lee said. “I was kind of worried up until the week of Nationals. By then though, I thought ‘I’m just going to go for it’.”

Lee said that her strength originates from her determination and motivation to perform her very best.

“[I] definitely have the drive to do my best,” Lee said. “I’m not okay with doing a mediocre performance. I want to go for the top mark and be my best at every meet.”

In addition to her self-motivation, Lee said she also draws strength and support from her teammates.

“I love the team atmosphere,” she said. “We already have a very strong team relationship.”

Both McDonald and Lee said they are looking forward to the start of the outdoor season. Both the men’s and the women’s teams will travel to Bridgewater College next weekend to compete in the Jopson Invite.