McNair was named to the All-West Far Region Team after finishing 14th last Saturday in the NCAA Division II West Regional Championships in Boise, Idaho. She was two seconds shy of qualifying for the national meet, running the 6-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 17 seconds.
PARENTS: Kevin and Denise McNair
HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL: Manteca/Sierra High
ON HER RACE: "I hadn't raced in two years. In the season I learned that starting out too fast would kill me by the third mile. This race I started slower, gradually picking up speed. By the time I got to the end of the third mile, I didn't think I was going to break 22 minutes. Once I was there, I took off. It was one of my strongest finishes ever."
ON MISSING NATIONALS: "I thought about it after the race, 'Man, I could have gone gone two seconds faster.' But during the race, could I really have? You never know. I wasn't going to let two seconds beat me up. I had a great race. I was all-region. I accepted it. I'm waiting for the track season."
MAJOR: Biology. "I want to teach and go to medical school sometime. I want to be a pediatric doctor."
PRE-RACE ROUTINE: "For me to focus too much on the race, mentally I'm thrown off. I go in there not even thinking it's an important race, that this is just another run. I depressurize myself as much as possible."
ON HER RUNNING HIATUS: "I redshirted my first college year because I had a concussion. I got in a car accident going to Utah to go to school at the University of Utah. I was there one semester. Then I took three credits at Modesto JC and trained myself. I was having a really good running summer when I got a staph infection and my t-band (from her right hip to her tibia), got really tight. I was out for six weeks or so. I didn't totally heal until the conference meet (Oct. 20). I have to stretch half an hour before a race. It feels good to race again and compete. I'm a competitive person. It just feels good to use my running talent in competition.
FAVORITE SPECTATOR SPORT: "I really like watching baseball. In basketball my favorite team is the Miami Heat. I like Dwyane Wade. He's really humble. You have to have confidence, not cockiness."
LOOKING FORWARD TO: "Thanksgiving and to having a good track season. I ended with a pretty strong cross country season and I hope it shows in track. I hope to stay injury-free."
-- KELLY JONES