KAYSVILLE – The Olympics aren’t the only place you can win gold medals for your country.
Davis High runner Logan McKay, a high-school junior who won two individual gold medals at this spring’s state track championships, earned another one late last week during the 2015 Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Havana, Cuba. McKay, who joined 28 other teen athletes from all around the country, won first place in the 1500 meters at the meet.
“The experience was really eye-opening,” said McKay. “I was totally humbled I got to be a part of it.”
McKay won the 1500 meters with a time of three minutes and 58.6 seconds, more than a second faster than his nearest competitor. He also won second place in the 800 meters, his only other event, losing to first place finisher Yassiel Silega by a half-second.
“I just love pushing myself to the limit and seeing what my body can do against other people,” he said.
Initially, McKay had only planned to run the 800 meters. When he got to Cuba and realized there would be a 1500 meters event, however, the team changed their plans.
“We saw it was on the schedule, and the coach decided it was a good idea to put me in,” he said.
The event was a face-off against Team U.S.A. and Team Cuba. The track they raced on was more challenging than the ones McKay was familiar with in the U.S.
“It was 25 years old, and had only been built to last 10 years,” he said. “Still, it was really fun.”
Another challenge was McKay’s relative experience. This was his first international race, a fact that set him apart from some of his teammates.
“It was crazy seeing all of those other kids from around the U.S.,” he said. “I kind of felt like an outcast, because a lot of the other kids had just recently raced in China.”
Still, hearing about what other teams were like helped him realize that there are different ways to feel isolated.
“I saw these other U.S. athletes, whose teams were small and they were the only good one on the team,” said McKay. “But I have such a great team. I come from a huge program, where everyone loves running and everyone tries their best.”
According to Davis High head track coach Corbin Talley, McKay does his best both on and off the field.
“He’s a great leader, and a really good young man,” said Talley. “He’s very well respected, and a great leader both on and off the field. They clearly recognized all those things in him when they selected him for this team.”
The fact that he’s home, however, doesn’t mean his work is done. Part of his agreement with the U.S. team stated that he would run in the New Balance Outdoor National Files, set for this weekend in North Carolina. He’ll run the Elite Mile and Elite Two Mile against racers from all over the U.S.
“Then I’ll get my wisdom teeth out and take a week off,” said McKay. “Once that’s done, it will be time to get back into cross country.”
And, maybe, more gold medals for McKay.
By JENNIFFER WARDELL, The Davis Clipper
June 17, 2015