Last month, the middle-distance runner capped his junior year by winning the 800-meter run at the 5A state championship meet in Provo, where he also placed third in the 1,600-meter event and anchored the Darts’ first-place medley relay team, playing a huge part in helping Davis High take home the 5A boys team title.
Earlier this year, MacKay turned in another strong performance at the New Balance Nationals indoor meet in New York, where he and his Davis Track Club teammates Stockton Smith, Colter Blanchard and Josh Ward combined forces to win the 4X800-meter relay and placed second in the 4X1-mile relay.
MacKay anchored the 4X800 quartet in New York, where he ran a split time of 1:52.4, and the Darts foursome posted a pair of the fastest times in U.S. history for those two events.
Those performances, along with his engaging personality and the fact that he comes from the tradition-rich Davis program, gave MacKay an opportunity to do something truly special this weekend.
He was selected to represent the United States as part of a 28-member contingent from 15 states who will compete in the 2015 Caribbean Scholastic Invitational meet on Friday and Saturday at Havana, Cuba.
MacKay is the only Utahn on the 28-member team, which will compete in this international meet against athletes from Cuba and other countries.
“This is pretty cool,” said Davis High head track coach Corbin Talley. “We’ve had some runners do a lot of great things over the years, but nothing like this. This is pretty unique.
“At the New Balance Indoor meet, they conducted interviews with the top kids in the country. And Logan was selected not only for being one of the nation’s best 800 runners, but also because they were looking for individuals that could represent our country well. He impressed them just by being the young man that he is.
“Plus, he comes from a Davis High program that’s very well-respected, and he was selected for the U.S. team. I’m really proud of him,” Talley said.
MacKay, the son of Stephanie and Mark MacKay of Kaysville, is scheduled to leave today from Miami for this weekend’s meet in Cuba, where he will race in the 800-meter event on Saturday.
After that, he’ll return home for a few days before competing in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals the following weekend in North Carolina, where he’ll compete in the mile and 2-mile events. Due to his strong LDS faith, MacKay chose not to run the 800 meters in North Carolina because that race will be contested on a Sunday.
“We’re just really proud of him,” his mom, Stephanie MacKay, said. “We’ve always known he was a runner, and when he played other sports like football, what he always did best was be a runner. But I don’t think he showed his potential until he started running for Coach Talley, who got him to really work hard.
“Logan always puts a lot of effort into everything he does, and he has a great time and a great work ethic. Running is just Logan’s thing. He’s a very focused, very self-disciplined kid, and running requires that. It really fit in with him. He pushes himself hard in all aspects of his life, not just running.
“He is a terrific young man,” she said proudly. “He’s been pretty humbled by being chosen for the U.S. team. He feels humbled to be there but excited to be there, too. He’s looking at the entire experience. He gets to go to Cuba and represent the United States and be an ambassador for the United States, and he’s excited about that as much as anything. He said, ‘I’m not sure why they picked me,’ but he’s going to go there with a great attitude and do the best he can and create a wonderful lifetime experience.”
By Randy Hollis, Deseret News
June 9, 2015