Mingus Union athlete of the week: Junior Meg Babcock ranked in the top six in the state in three events

Mingus Union junior Meg Babcock is ranked second in the state in the 800 meters and sixth in the 400. (VVN/Halie Chavez)

Mingus Union junior Meg Babcock is ranked second in the state in the 800 meters and sixth in the 400. (VVN/Halie Chavez)

Although fairly new to track and field, Mingus Union junior Meg Babcock is a state championship contender in multiple events.

Babcock is ranked second in the state in the 800 meters, sixth in the 400 and the 4x400 relay that she is a part of is No. 5.

“Meg has been doing great this year,” said Mingus head coach Molly Westcott. “She was plateauing for a little bit but she finally kind of got over the hump a couple weeks ago and so she’s hitting every mark that we’ve been wanting her to hit this year ... even her workout (Wednesday) morning, she’s hitting all the marks.”

The other members of the 4x400 relay team are Hannah DeVore, Shelby Brenner and Natalee Rogers.

Babcock won the 400 and 800 at the Brophy Fr. Olivier meet in Phoenix and won the 800 at the 3rd Annual Small School Invite and the 78th NIKE Chandler Rotary Open.

Westcott said Babcock has surpassed the coaches’ lofty expectations for her before the season.

“Meg is the type of kid that comes out every single day and she puts 110 percent in and you’re getting everything and more that we would have wanted to get out of her,” Westcott said. “So we’re excited that we have another year with her after this year. She’s doing the most.”

At the risk of jinxing her, Westcott said Babcock can be very successful at the state meet.

“I hate to say it (laughs) I don’t like to jinx things, but Meg can win every race that she’s in and that’s just the type of kid that she is, she does at most of our meets but I really believe that at State that if she gets out there she can win every race that she’s in,” Westcott said.

VVN: So how’s the season gone for you?

Babcock: My season has gone just how I want it to. I’ve dropped quite a lot of time in my 800, I’ve PRed I think three seconds since last year but in doing that I broke 2:20, so I’m at a 2:19.

VVN: What’s your favorite event to do?

Babcock: Definitely the 800, that’s my favorite individual event and then as a team I love the 4x4 relay.

VVN: How come the 800?

Babcock: I think just because it’s the one that I’ve seen the most success in and I just…I don’t know, I just enjoy it. I like that it’s longer than the 400 but I like that it’s shorter than a mile, it’s just like the perfect balance of distance and speed for me.

VVN: What do you think are things that you do really well and the things that you need to improve on?

Babcock: I think that my first lap is good in the 800 but I think that I need to work on my endurance and my kick at the last 200 of the 800 and just do more speed work I think.

VVN: How long have you been doing track?

Babcock: I actually started my freshman year of high school.

VVN: How did you get into it?

Babcock: It was actually my dad, he said “I think that you should try running” just cuz I’m a smaller girl and so I used to play soccer but I started to get pushed around and people started getting bigger. Track is so individual that I get to control my success. He said “you should join cross country” and I joined cross country and I really liked it and the whole season they were saying “Meg you should join track, track is way better than cross country” and I was like “really?” because all the track work outs we did were terrible. I joined track and I like it way more than cross country, I really fell in love with the sport.

VVN: Does being small help you in track or…?

Babcock: Being small? (laughs) um, I don’t think it really matters, sometimes I look at other people and think “oh she’s got a great stride” or “blah, blah, blah, blah…” but I think it just matters how hard I work, it doesn’t matter the stride or the height of the runner

VVN: How’s school been going for you?

Babcock: School’s going really good, junior year has definitely been harder to balance my academics with my track just cuz I’m missing a lot of school for meets and then just getting caught up on assignments but my grades are just where I want them and hard work works, you know? If you put enough work into anything, I’ve seen it, you can accomplish whatever goal that you set you mind to, if you work hard enough at it.

VVN: Do you know what you want to do after high school?

Babcock: Yeah, so my plan is I want to go to BYU on a running scholarship and to do that I need to drop about four or five more seconds in the 800, which is completely manageable. I want to attend BYU and I’m looking at somewhere in the dental field actually.

VVN: Finally, what kinds of things do you like to do outside of track?

Babcock: I love being with my family, they are definitely the reason that I can do track and I enjoy hanging out with my friends and I…I don’t know, I do a lot of homework (laughs).

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