Athlete Spotlight: Bryn McKillop

By Isobel Whitcomb ‘17
Current Events Columnist

Bryn McKillop is a Scripps first year and Cross Country Runner, still in the midst of her first few weeks of training with the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Athenas. During her senior year of High School, McKillop ran an impressive 19:10 5k, placing 12th at the Oregon 5A State Meet. McKillop shows high potential as a collegiate athlete, and is already completing workouts and races with some of the top female runners on the team. The Scripps Voice recently interviewed McKillop on her adjustment to the CMS program, why she loves running, and fitting two sports into one season.

The Scripps Voice: When did you start running?
Bryn McKillop: [I started] in middle school, doing track. My dad was a big runner and he always encouraged me to run. I was pretty good so I kept running. Once I got to high school, I joined the cross country team. I also played soccer, so it was kind of on the side. By my senior year, I was pretty much just focusing on cross country.
TSV: How did you run and do soccer at the same time?
BM: Up until senior year I just did soccer practice and showed up to meets. And then [I] ran on the weekends — long runs. Senior year I decided to do cross country practice at the same time as soccer. So school would end and I would go to cross country, go on a run and then go to soccer practice.
TSV: What made you decide to do cross country and not soccer?
BM: I’m better at running and I really enjoy having a cross country team and I knew that that would be something good to have in college.
TSV: What is your favorite aspect of the CMS team?
BM: Seeing the same people every day and getting to know them. Just the community, the family aspect.
TSV: How is the CMS program different from your high school program?
BM: It’s a lot more organized and everything is a lot more serious.  In high school we’d take half an hour just to get going on the run and now we just jump in the vans and go running without any warning. The coaching style is a lot different. In high school the coaches — it was more their side job. Here coach [John] Goldhammer — his sole focus is our team.
TSV: Is there anything unexpected in the program that you’ve experienced so far?
BM: A lot more miles than I thought it would be. I’m not used to running that many miles. A long run used to be 45 minutes for me and now it’s like 125 minutes. A huge jump.
TSV: Have you had a moment in this season so far that stands out to you as particularly proud?
BM: We did 8 miles hard. It wasn’t even that I did well in it, but I completed it twice, and that was just amazing to me. before it just seemed like such a task. And then you finish it and it’s like, “Wow, I can’t believe I just did that.”
TSV: When did you decide that you wanted to run in college?
BM: It was always in the back of my mind in high school. I thought about [Division I] a little bit. It would have been very chill, DI. I was excited about the idea of joining a [Division III] team because I knew academics would come first and it would be more like a high school program because it was something you did to meet people and be an athlete but it’s not your primary purpose at college.
TSV: Why do you run?
BM: Definitely the social part. The sense of accomplishment you get when you finish a run.
TSV: What has been the hardest and best part of CMS training?
BM: [The] hardest [is] mileage. [The] best [is] getting to know people on the team!