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Power finding his stride for Mercer Cross Country

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Mac Power, sophomore XC runner, races in Julius Johnson Invitational 2015 in Macon, GA.

Mac Power, sophomore XC runner, races in Julius Johnson Invitational 2015 in Macon, GA.

Courtesy of Mercer Athletics

Courtesy of Mercer Athletics

Mac Power, sophomore XC runner, races in Julius Johnson Invitational 2015 in Macon, GA.

Cody Moran, Staff Writer

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Mac Power is a sophomore cross country runner from Dallas, Georgia — in all ways, a football town.

“When I went to high school, everybody played football,” Power said.

He tried football out at first, like everyone did, but the two just did not mesh.

Cross country, meanwhile, competed in the same season as football, and while he chose the former, he didn’t take to it right away either. Power had a couple of friends who ran, and they encouraged him to persevere through his tough start.

“I wasn’t too good at first,” he said. “And I definitely didn’t like it.”

The moment of truth didn’t finally find Mac Power until his junior year.

Power said, “My best friend in high school also ran. We weren’t friends at first, but as we began to improve, our friendship began to grow.”

Part of the reason for this growth was the unique nature of their friendship.

“Most friends just sit around and play videogames or whatever,” Power said. “We would go for runs, and go to the running store . . . stuff like that.”

Power’s senior year was somewhat less spectacular in his own eyes than his junior year.

“I remember my senior year of high school. I didn’t have the best time as far as running,” he said. “I didn’t run as fast as I wanted too, and I didn’t want to end there.”

This is what inspired Power to initially walk on to the Mercer cross country team. However, little did he know about the difficulties that awaited him in the year to come.

“I didn’t expect much at first,” Power said in reference to walking on to the team his freshman year.

Unfortunately, he spent most of that year injured and unable to compete, only running two or three races last year before it became too painful to run. Though not officially diagnosed, Power had stress fractures that hurt him even while walking. It was intense at times, Power said.

“It was scary to get out of bed. I didn’t want to get out of bed,” he said.

After about a month in a boot and a season of treatment, Power was able to train for the unofficial men’s track team (Mercer does not have an official team currently) without pain, and feels good about the upcoming year.

Mac Power is someone who sets high goals for himself and achieves them. In Power’s words, “You got to prove the haters wrong.”  The determination to come back from his stress fractures is just one of many examples.

Another significant moment in his running career was when he achieved his dream to win first place finish at the Pauland County Championship Track Meet.

“When I first became a runner in high school, I knew that I wanted to get a first place finish at the County Championship,” a goal he accomplished in the 1600m race.

He also has dreams of success in the business world and is a finance major.

Mac Power has raced in three events this season: Strut’s Season Opener in Jacksonville, Alabama; the Powerade Invitational in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and the Julius Johnson Invitational right here in Macon. He was Mercer’s top finisher at the 5K Powerade Invitational with a time of 16:50.90, ran a time of 16:59.0 at the 5K Season Opener and ran 30:00.77 in the Julius Johnson 8K. The next cross country race is back in Jacksonville on Oct. 1.

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Power finding his stride for Mercer Cross Country