Written with help from Kathleen Mejia, Assistant to the Chief on the Warrior News
Run, run, run as fast as you can: you can’t catch her, it’s McKenna Lee, man!
McKenna Lee, senior at Weber High recently achieved one of her biggest goals: winning state at the cross country race at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake.
“It’s been a goal since I started running to win state, so it feels great to finally reach that,” says Lee. She adds, “I wasn’t positive I would win but I was very hopeful. The last two years I kept getting second place so this was my last year in high school and I was very determined to win state this year.”
Lee took second place both her sophomore and junior years while racing for the Warriors, but was determined to bring home the crown as a senior. She left little excitement in the race, blitzing through the course at 17:49 while second place came in nearly twenty seconds later at 18:11. With her blazing speed and consistency over the years, Lee is only one of two girls who has run the three-mile varsity course in under 18 minutes.
Her PR (personal record), however, is even better. On September 8th, the Warriors went out to the Murray Invitational where Lee ran the three-mile course in 17:13. Breaking it down, her best mile time was the Arcadia Invitational just under five minutes: 4:58. She topped out on a two-mile race in 11:13 and her 800 (half-mile) PR came at the 5A State Track Championships last year when she ran 2:15.37, taking fourth overall.
Lee will take her talents to a national race in the upcoming months where she hopes her commitment, dedication, and relentless training will pay dividends as she competes for Foot Locker Regionals in California, and then hopefully Nationals. On top of that, she will compete in the distance events for the school track team next spring. After that, Lee says “I am running in college, and I also have a scholarship to BYU. I got it for running. There weren’t specific requirements – just run fast,” she says.
To some, the words par, bogey, and fore have little meaning. For Connor Howe, a senior at Weber High, this vernacular is a way of life.
Howe has been golfing his whole life but started taking it seriously when he was 13. Since then, all he has done is crush course records and win titles.
To recap, Howe won Player of the Year in 2014, the Toyota Tour Cup Series in 2015, the AJGA Hale Irwin Cup in 2015, and was invited to play at the Utah State Amateur where he advanced to the round of 32.
His high school golf resume is even more impressive.
Howe secured his second state title at Solider Hollow when he was a junior. The year before, as a sophomore, he won the crown by shooting a state-record score of 62. He committed to Georgia Tech soon thereafter and began his senior year hoping for a three-peat. He did so as a region champ but tied for second in the state tournament with a score of 68 on his first nine holes and 71 on the back end.
Kory Woodland, who has coached Weber High golf for close to 15 years, told the Salt Lake Tribune earlier in the year that “you don’t want to say this guy’s definitely going to be a (PGA) Tour pro, but if there’s anyone who is the blueprint of a guy who is going to make a living doing this, it’s Connor.”
To reach this success, one would imagine a lot of practice is involved. Howe says, “I practice all day, every day during the summer. During school, I play after school from 3 to 5 p.m., and if I have no homework, I will play longer.”
Howe also says he is “on the road to the Masters” as that is his ultimate goal, and something he hopes Georgia Tech helps him accomplish. “I believe Georgia Tech can help me achieve my goals in life and in golf,” he adds. “I am excited to play for a program with a track record producing great players and on a team that consistently competes for a national championship.”