Athlete Profile: Laura McKee is dedicated to the long haul on the track and in life
Senior chemical and biomedical engineering major Laura McKee has been a consistently strong member of the Carnegie Mellon cross country and track and field teams this past year. Having been part of both teams for four years now, she made it her aim to reach all of her goals by graduation this year.
Beginning cross country during her freshman year of high school, McKee found herself enjoying the running aspect, as well as the team atmosphere. Thus, when presented with the opportunity to continue running in college, she pursued her love for the sport, as well as the strong engineering program, offered at Carnegie Mellon.
After four years of involvement with the sport, she finds herself leading the team in the captain position, noting, “I have learned that patience really pays off, whether you are talking in terms of racing in a pack or being captain.” Her leadership has positively impacted the team this year, for they have runners in every event finishing within the top five performances in school history. She aims to lead the team to reach UAA level, and eventually place within their conference there.
McKee realized early on the importance of time management when it came to balancing school and a varsity sport at Carnegie Mellon. However, having experience with sports from high school, she was used to always being busy and thus managing her time wisely. She said, “I have had to learn how to maintain a normal sleep schedule through tough academic schedules. Sleep has a huge impact on athletic performance.”
Over her four years of involvement with cross country, McKee has learned numerous lessons from the sport, as well as shared memorable times with fellow teammates. “My best moments have come with my teammates when we have been fortunate enough to break and then re-break some of the school’s relay records,” she said. McKee aims to qualify for nationals this year in the 1,500-meter race specifically, and finds herself looking to the comfort of chocolate frosting and the support of teammates when matters get overwhelming.