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A first-semester freshman from Utah is taking his spot on the BYU men’s cross country team and has already contributed to success on the track.
Connor McMillan ran for the American Fork High School cross country team, and his team won four cross country state titles in his high school career. The American Fork team, led by McMillan, competed at Nike Nationals and placed second, and McMillan placed seventh as an individual. McMillan’s experience in high school led him to the starting line for a BYU’s nationally ranked cross country team.
McMillan began to mature as a runner because of the opportunities he had throughout high school. The confidence he built during his high school career serves him well now as he races with the top of the pack for the Cougars’ cross country team. McMillan is becoming a key component for the team despite only being a freshman.
“McMillan is a great freshman who worked extremely hard over the summer months,” Coach Ed Eyestone said.
He further said McMillan’s skill makes him a “main factor” on the team despite how new he is.
The men’s team lost some critical runners this past year, enabling McMillan to impress even as a less-experienced runner. He has stepped up as a freshman, not just figuratively but literally.
McMillan said he “understands that the team wants to win a conference title as well as end up on the podium at nationals.” He believes that as the team members “run gutsy races as individuals” they can help the team meet its overall goals.
The Cougars’ work ethic and dedication is something McMillan was looking for in a team. BYU was the place he wanted to call home, although he could’ve continued his running career elsewhere. The dream of running with a nationally ranked team became reality for McMillan this last weekend at the Autumn Classic on Sept. 13. McMillan ran well for the team and ended up being the first freshman to cross the finish line, contributing to a BYU first-place finish.
McMillan will next compete for the Cougars at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 3.