Cross country is taking Martha McCoy out of state.
The Science Hill senior has pushed herself to the limit as a distance runner and a student, and Tuesday she signed a letter-of-intent with South Carolina.
McCoy was a four-time all-conference and all-region performer in cross country, and finished fifth in the state as a junior. A 4.0 student who also considered Wake Forest and Davidson, she plans to major in biology.
McCoy appeared headed for another top-five finish at the state cross country meet last year, but collapsed from heat exhaustion perhaps 300 yards from the finish.
She’s bounced back, however, and qualified for next week’s state track & field championships in the 800 meters and 4x800 relay.
“It was heartbreaking, definitely, to watch her not finish that state cross country race … after all the hard work she had put in,” Science Hill coach Jennifer Brockett said. “She pushed herself absolutely to the brink, to where her body just said no. But she’s definitely rebounded and we’re excited to see what she can do next week. …
“Martha’s just a born leader. They know her potential is great and that they’ll get the academic aspect. So she’s kind of that one-two punch when it comes to college, where she’s got the drive and the talent, and then she’s also very book-smart as well.”
McCoy’s favorite memories at Science Hill include the cross country team finishing runner-up at the state. She said it’s been mutually beneficial having a teammate like fellow distance runner Molly Foster, a Belmont signee.
“Just being able to run with Molly has been great,” McCoy said. “We’ve been back and forth the last couple of years. A lot of the races we’ve had together have been the highlights of my cross country season.”
McCoy said Brockett has also been instrumental in her maturation.
“Coach Brockett’s kind of no-nonsense coach, which can be hard at times but kind of a blessing at others,” McCoy said with a smile. “I really do appreciate that. … We’ll be whining, like, ‘I don’t want to do this workout Coach Brockett,’ and she’s like, ‘Well, you’re gonna do this workout.’ And then two weeks later, you’re glad you did it, because it helped in a race or something like that. …
“I love the cross country team and I love the girls on the team. It’s gonna be hard to be away from them next year, definitely. … But I’m excited about it (going to South Carolina).”