Senior Spotlight: Mackenzie Hack and her path to Long Beach

While Mackenzie Hack's high school track and field career at Semiahmoo Secondary has come to a close, the South Fraser standout will be trading in BC's rain for Califronia's sun, as she will be joining the California State University, Long Beach track and field team in the fall. 

I caught up with Hack about her start in running, how she has overcome obstacles in her career and what she is looking forward to in the NCAA.

Personal Bests

1500m: 4:39.85

3000m: 10:21.34

1500m Steeplechase: 5:00.15

2000m Steeplechase: 7:00.03

Career Accolades

2022 BC High School 1500m Steeplechase Champion

2022 BC Athletics Jamboree 2000m Steeplechase Champion

2022 U18 Legion Nationals 2000m Steeplechase Silver

2022 XC Nationals Team Gold

Hack found her way to track and field through her family at a young age.

"I began track and field because my older sister was involved in the sport throughout elementary school. I began competing in Grade 2 and tried pretty much every single event there was to offer. However, I eventually landed on distance running, more specifically the steeplechase. 

As Hack progressed in the sport throughout her high school years she experienced both the peaks and valleys that come with competing at a high level. 

"High school track and field has been filled with plenty of high and lows. Covid cut me a few years short, but I was still able to make the most of it. Over the years I've bounced back from many injuries and I think that shows my growth as an athlete. Each time I get injured I learn something new about my body and it has helped me grow and led me to success."

While injuries are not ideal, lessons learned through the recovery process always offer a silver lining. Injuries can teach athletes a lot about themselves, whether it is reflecting on their 'why', focusing on strengthening their weaknesses or even just taking the time to reset. For Hack, even though she has faced numerous injuries she never quit and had a great 2022 season because of it. 

"There are so many great memories I have from track and field but I think one of my favorites would have to be the 2022 Legion Nationals. That was my first time on Team BC and the whole trip was so fun and exciting. I made new friends from BC and from all over the country. Two of which will actually be my roommates at Cal State Long Beach this fall. All in all it was an amazing week and one that I'll never forget."

Speaking of collegiate athletics, this has always been a goal for Hack, who can't wait to compete in the NCAA. 

"It's always been a dream of mine to play a sport in post secondary. It wasn't until this past year that I decided I wanted it to be running. There are so many reasons why I chose California State University, Long Beach, the main being the team and coaching staff. On my recruiting visit, I noticed what a tight group the team was and it reminded me of my current track club, Ocean Athletics. At Long Beach everyone was so supportive and motivating and immediately I knew I wanted to attend the school. The location is definitely a plus but after much research and time talking with the coaches and athletes I decided it was a perfect fit for me."

With the 2023 cross country season soon approaching, Hack has some goals in mind as she starts her freshman year.

"My main goal for the season is to adjust to the new location and training and of course get some new personal bests along the way."With that Hack leaves us with a few final words: "Give training and competing everything that you can, but also know your limits. Sometimes it gets easy to over train because you want to succeed so badly, but it's more important that your body stays healthy. Regardless if you're injured or healthy, have fun. If you aren't having fun then you aren't doing it right."