Out from un­der a shadow

Bro­gan MacDougall’s sis­ter was con­sid­ered one of the great­est run­ning prospects ever to come out of a Cana­dian high school. But Bro­gan might be even bet­ter.

Canadian Running - - GOLDEN SHOE AWARDS -

At the 2016 ofsaa Track and Field Cham­pi­onships held i n Wind­sor, Ont., Bro­gan MacDougall’s 9:29.63 in the 3,000m wasn’t only good enough for gold, but also was one of the fastest times in Cana­dian high school his­tory, break­ing a 29-year-old ofsaa record.

To top that off, in the fall, the Grade 11 stu­dent bested that 3,000m time within the first 3k of the Cana­dian 5k Road Race Cham­pi­onship, split­ting 9:21. She fin­ished with a time of 16:30, fin­ish­ing fifth against women more than a decade older than her. The dou­ble ofsaa XC gold medal­list won’t be com­pet­ing in the high school cir­cuit this year, hav­ing just trans­ferred schools, leav­ing her in­el­i­gi­ble to race for a year. She will, how­ever, be toe­ing the line at the Na­tional Cross-Coun­try Cham­pi­onships, tak­ing place in her home­town of Kingston, Ont.

Bro­gan and her sis­ter, Branna, have lit up the high school com­pe­ti­tion for the past four years. Branna, now at­tend­ing Iowa State Univer­sity, has been hailed as the fastest Cana­dian high school re­cruit to the States, ever. With her main train­ing part­ner away at univer­sity, Bro­gan now works out with the Queen’s Univer­sity cross-coun­try team, where she of­ten trains with the men’s team in or­der to have part­ners of her speed. It goes with­out say­ing that when Bro­gan en­ters Grade 12 next year, she’ll be heav­ily re­cruited both in Canada and the U.S.

Steve Boyd, coach of the Kingston run­ning club PhysiKult, to which the sis­ters be­long, ad­mits that he first en­coun­tered Bro­gan as “Branna’s lit­tle sis­ter.” It didn’t take him long to re­al­ize that Bro­gan not only had equal po­ten­tial to her el­der sis­ter, but that her per­son­al­ity was quite dif­fer­ent and would re­quire dif­fer­ent coach­ing as a re­sult. Boyd says of the girls: “Branna is nat­u­rally open and ex­pres­sive, while Bro­gan is more quiet and in­tense; hav­ing Branna as a sis­ter has made Bro­gan de­ter­mined to set her­self apart. A telling mo­ment for me when it came to un­der­stand­ing Bro­gan was when she said that her favourite ath­lete was Gen­z­abe Dibaba, be­cause ‘she beats her older sis­ter [mul­ti­ple World Champ] Tirunesh.’”— CF

“Bro­gan now works out with the Queen’s Univer­sity cross-coun­try team, where she of­ten trains with the men’s team in or­der to have part­ners of her speed.”

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