On The Line, Episode 4: Peak To Peak's Quinn McConnell

On Episode 4 of MileSplit's On The Line podcast, Cory Mull sits down with Peak to Peak (CO) Charter School senior Quinn McConnell to talk about her current season, her recent commitment to Furman, the emotional road the sport has taken her on, and all the successes and luxuries it has gifted her over the years.

It's often said that athletes are a product of their environments, and McConnell won't deny that. She's grateful for having grown up in a beautiful state, at altitude, and with a number of amazing people, teammates and coaches along the way. 

McConnell recently finished her regular season in Colorado, finishing third in a tough race at the state championships in Colorado Springs, but her season isn't up just yet. The senior is gearing up for the NXR Southwest Region -- "the best region" she says -- on November 17 and is working toward securing her second qualification to Nike Cross Nationals after an All-American finish as a sophomore. 

Hear about all that and more on this episode of On The Line

Run of Show: 

  • A general welcome to the Pod [1:46] 
  • Buy or Sell with Quinn [2:05]
  • Recapping a tough Colorado State Championship experience [3:30]
  • Quinn's favorite moment from state [4:30]
  • The most difficult thing about racing on Norris Penrose course [5:08]
  • Cross Country career in Colorado has been very, very good [6:30]
  • The emotional turns Quinn has dealt with over the last two years [7:17]
  • Finding out about the tragic passing of her father [8:30]
"It's been almost 10 months and every month I'm just a completely different person for sure," McConnell said, adding. "It's completely changed me in many ways and I definitely don't run for myself. I run for Brandon and my team and for my dad. It's been a crazy year." 
  • How the tragic events changed Quinn as a person [11:20]
  • How she memorialized those lost following their deaths [13:00]
  • Outside of running, Quinn describes her other passion [14:30]
  • Describing the best race of her senior season at Desert Twilight [16:00]
  • Embracing small moments of success have been really important [17:55]
  • Having her mom as a coach at Peak to Peak [19:30]
  • The decision behind the focus on two meets: NXR Southwest and Foot Locker [21:10]
  • Motivated to get back to NXN [22:00]
  • The differences between NXN and Foot Locker, and how Quinn views them [23:00]
"I think being in Colorado and being from the Southwest: Katie Rainsberger and Casey Clinger and Aidan [Troutner] and Cole Sprout now. Everybody. The Mountain Vista girls, Battle Mountain was third last year. Being in Colorado, it's super exciting to go to Nike Regionals," McConnell said. "Even if we don't go to nationals, seeing Colorado represent in that team aspect is super exciting. Personally, I'm a little biased, but the whole team thing at NXN is super cool and Southwest is by far the best." 
  • NXN's new wrinkle with individual at-large berths [24:45]
  • When she knew Furman was the right fit for her as a college [26:00]
  • The other schools Quinn was considering before committing to Furman [27:45]
  • What she loved about the environment and program culture at the Greenville, SC, school [28:30]
  • Looking at her possible role on the team as a freshman [31:20]
  • What's it like being recruited by Rita Gary [32:30]
"Honestly, you just have to pick up the phone and call her. It will change your life," McConnell said, "We got on that first phone call and, gosh, we couldn't avoid each other. She had a ton of energy and that's what I loved." 
  • Rita Gary's Twitter Game is strong [34:00]
  • Excited to join the Girl Gang at Furman [35:00]
  • USA Mountain Running, and the experience of competing this past September [36:00]
  • Transitioning back to XC after mountain running overseas [38:30]
  • International experiences in high school, and why these big-picture opportunities are special [39:20]
  • Quinn's favorite senior moments in cross country when she hasn't been competing  [41:00]
  • Describing her Peak to Peak teammates [42:00]
  • How you've grown in your role over the years [43:00]
  • The luxuries of growing up in Colorado [44:15]
  • Quick thoughts on national competitors from other states [45:30]
  • Katelyn Tuohy [46:00]
  • Claudia Lane [46:15]
  • Katelynne Hart [46:50]
  • Emily Covert [47:10]
  • Anna Shults [47:35]
  • Signing off [48:00]