General of the Week: Ian McDonald, ‘17

The Washington and Lee men’s track team has had quite a season, and Ian McDonald, ‘17, has had a large role in their success. McDonald set a facility record at the Kerr-Creggar Field House and recorded a season-best in the mile with a time of 4:13.92. He was named to the All-Region team and just missed an invitation to the NCAA Championship by one spot, as 16th on the declaration list for all of Division III. McDonald also helped lead the team to their first Indoor ODAC Championship in 28 years. He received All-ODAC accolades for his first place finish in the mile, as well as his second place finish in the 3k race. The Phi sat down with McDonald to chat about his final track season as a General.

Kathryn Young

Ring-tum Phi: What inspired you to start running? Ian McDonald: I wanted to play some sport. I

tried soccer and baseball. I wasn’t coordinated enough for baseball and I realized my favorite part of soccer was the running.

Phi: What is the biggest difference between being a cross country runner and being a track athlete?

IM: Cross country has a tighter team environment. Everyone is focused on the same event, so we’re training together every day. That being said, track is a lot more exciting. You can watch your teammates compete throughout the day.

Phi: What inspired you to become a college athlete?

IM: It’s an opportunity to spend time doing something I love with a great group of friends.

Phi: Why did you choose W&L?

IM: Coach Uhl, the track coach, recruited me. I got a great vibe from him and knew I would be comfortable. Without Coach Uhl, I doubt I would have come here.

Phi: What are you looking forward to most in the spring track season?

IM: We have two home meets this year, the Carnival on March 17-18 and ODAC Championships on April 21-22. Those are both going to be great meets, and it’s exciting to have my last ODACs at home.

Phi: Can you describe how it felt to set a

facility record at the Kerr-Creggar Field House?

IM: It was definitely my best race in the last year or so. However, I ended up being the first person on the Nationals list to not qualify, so that stings a bit. The Kerr-Cregar House opened up this past year. It’s nice to get the mile facility record there, because MacKenzye Leroy has the 3k facility record and now he can’t brag about being the only one.

Phi: What are your personal goals for the upcoming season?

IM: There are a few barriers I want to break before I graduate. This is my last chance to lower my personal bests. I also want to qualify for Outdoor Nationals.

Phi: What is your favorite Generals Track & Field memory?

IM: Probably Indoor ODACs this past year. Going into the 3k, we knew we had to outscore Bridgewater. With about a half-mile left in the race, we had 2-3-4 locked up and we knew we have won the meet. A close second would be going to the Camel City Invitational in North Carolina. A lot of pros race there, and it’s awesome getting to meet them.

Phi: Do you have any meet day rituals?

Not really. In high school, I had a stricter routine. We travel so much that it’s hard to keep up with any rituals.

Phi: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not running?

IM: I like hanging out with the Cross Country team. Whether it is hanging out in Dhall or watching movies, it’s always a blast to spend time with them.