Athlete Spotlight: James Wood boys' track & field athlete Liam McDonald

liamJames Wood High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Boys' track & field. Events: 800 and 1,600 meters, relays

Parents: Linsey Lewis and Michael McDonald

Hometown: Winchester

What do you love about track & field?: Definitely, the team aspect. I also like the individual aspect of it all. It's not like you're just running for your team, but also running for yourself and trying to better yourself.

Most memorable moment in track & field: It was probably after I ran the 800 my junior year and I PR'd. One of my friends' moms took a picture of me throwing up on the sideline and it was hilarious.

Most embarrassing moment in track & field: This year, I started my 800 race and I immediately tripped and caused like a mass tripping at the start line. But, no one fell so we had to continue the race.

Most difficult moment in track & field: This year for outdoor and indoor track we upped our mileage and the intensity of our workouts. I feel like that took a toll on me. At the beginning of my outdoor season, my foot started acting up. I had to go get an X-ray on it. I figured out I had a faulty pair of shoes. Once I switched out of those, I felt 10 times better and I was able to complete my outdoor season.

Four people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Nathaniel Woshner, He's one of my best friends. I met him and he's been my teammate the last four years, but I really got connected to him this year. I can genuinely relate to him about everything; Elena Farinholt, She's one of the funniest females you will ever meet. I love talking to her; Izzy Newman, I can talk to her for hours and never get bored. We literally find something to talk about every day for hours and I can relate to her on so many levels; Lauren Beatty, She is just the most down-to-earth person ever and I can talk to her about just anything emotionally and what is going on in my life. She always has the greatest advice and I look up to her for that.

Biggest athletic influence: Definitely [cross country head] Coach [Matt] Lofton. He improved my love for running and actually made me want to take it seriously. All my coaches I've had, [cross country and outdoor track assistant] Coach Tyler [Cox-Philyaw] and [indoor track assistant] Coach [Craig] Woshner, they've all been great to me.

Favorite teacher: Miss [Amanda] Fordyce. She is like one of the most laid-back teachers I know and she always finds a way to joke around with me and poke fun at me. It's just awesome to be in her class [AP environmental science].

Favorite athlete: [Runner] Eliud Kipchoge

Favorite sports team: Las Vegas Raiders

Favorite movie: “Avengers: Infinity War ”

Favorite TV show: “The Office”

Favorite song: Right now my favorite artist is probably Kendrick Lamar and off that album it's probably "Savior."

Favorite food: Store-bought macaroni and cheese (Kraft).

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Brussels sprouts. Used to love them, but not anymore.

Plans after high school: I am going to run for four years at Radford University and I will major in biology. I'm also going to study a pre-physical therapy program and I want to be a physical therapist. I took a sports med class and I kind of like job-shadowed at Valley Health. I got to see what they do and now it's what I want to do when I grow up. And, it pays well.

— Compiled by Walt Moody


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