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Concord Monitor 2017 Fall Sports Awards Forest MacKenzie Concord


Friday, December 15, 2017

What was the highlight of your season?

The highlight of my season can be defined in a single moment. The Division 1 State Championships just after crossing the finish line. First off, you have to understand that after a race like the one at Derryfield Park, you finish on empty and are unaware of your surroundings. This moment debated that notion however. I looked back to see something that nobody in New Hampshire had seen since the 1960s. My two teammates Eli Boesch-Dining and Oliver Spencer charging towards me in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. The only response I could think of was to laugh and clap. Seeing this phenomenon only increased the amount of adrenaline flowing throughout my body. It’s a moment I’ll never forget, and easily the highlight of my high school career thus far.

Who was the unsung hero of your team?

The unsung hero of our team is Nate Nichols. Nate is our 5th man and is, in my eyes, the most important. There’s a beautiful aspect of cross country that isn’t a feature in most sports. You need a full team to win. Any high school basketball team could put LeBron James on their team, and they’d win every single game. Any soccer team with Lionel Messi would dominate the competition. In cross country it doesn’t work like that. My dad always said to me and my team as he coached us through middle school “You can have 4 of the best guys in the world. But, if you don’t have a 5th man, guess what? You lose.” By that idea, it becomes abundantly clear who the most important guy on the team is, the 5th man ergo, Nate. More than just a number, Nate is also a senior captain. Nate is a kid that gritted his way through the postseason dealing with a quad injury. Had he been full health, he wouldn’t even qualify for the title “unsung hero”, but rather just hero.

If you could improve high school cross country in New Hampshire, what would you do?

Well, at the moment New Hampshire cross country is thriving. With the constant coverage of races provided by Newhampshirecrosscountry.com and the support of local businesses like Runner’s Alley, I’d say cross country is doing very well. If I could do anything to improve it, I’d like to see an addition of drones for filming races. Some courses of course would be too challenging. But the races like Meet of Champions, which is predominantly open fields, would look amazing. I also wish there was more popularity for supporting the sport. Other states like Indiana, Texas and Minnesota have a ton of support for the sport. I’d love to be apart of a race where people crowd around every turn to catch a glimpse of the passing runners.

Do you have any sports superstitions? If so, what are they?

I don’t really have any sports superstitions. The way I see it, there is only so much you can control. Every single race day is different than the last, no matter how hard you try to do the same thing. Instead of drawing up an excuse that I could use if my race result was less than satisfactory because I put my left sock on before my right. I just don’t worry about it. This doesn’t mean I’m totally freelance prior to the race, I’m just relaxed.

Who is the funniest person on your team? What makes them funny?

Very easy answer, Dave Cook. Dave is a kid that would do anything for a quick buck. Chewed up gum on a dugout wall? That wouldn’t even be worthy for money. Dave would do it for the laugh. Dave is an intelligent kid that loves a good argument. All in good fun of course, but Dave is amazingly clever. He loves to quote Trailer Park Boys. He also has a catch phrase of “Mental Toughness” which arises in various situations. They vary anywhere from holding in a trip to the bathroom, to running in 30 degree weather in shorts and a T-shirt. No matter what the situation, he’ll contradict his newly developed “Mental toughness” by complaining about the agonizing pain he caused himself. I mean, I would complain too, but I then again I wouldn’t put myself in those situations!

If someone was going to make a movie of your season, who would play your coach? Who would play you?

Well it would be challenging to have any actor play the running part of my character just because every running movie ever made has actors with terrible forms sprinting around trying to look like a genuine runner. Nevertheless if there was to be an actor that played me when I’m not running, it’d be Will Ferrell. He is very “out there” and rare human being. On a side note when I grow out my hair we have nearly the same hairstyle. My coach is a tough one. He appears quiet but can also talk for hours. He is an extremely intelligent person who is very selective with his words. For some reason in my head I think of Batman. The most recent Batman happens to be Ben Affleck and I think that is a pretty accurate choice. If Coach Bling could talk with a thick New England accent it would be perfect. Also, Ben Affleck now has a beard which is the tell tale feature of Coach Bling.

What are some misconceptions about your sport?

The biggest misconception is that it’s easy. People think all you need to be is fast to win races. There are so many different layers of cross country that arguably matter more. To win races you have to out-think opponents like a game of chess. You have be willing to push your body to the point where you don’t care whether or not you pass out. You have to be okay with suffering. Out of all the sports people will look at running as the easiest. I played just about every sport available to me growing up. Basketball, baseball, wrestling etc. All of these sports are easier than running. You’re not always going to suffer in wrestling, but you’re guaranteed to suffer every single time in running.

What movie can you watch over and over without getting tired of it?

“Stand By Me.” Over the course of my life I have watched this movie countless amounts of times. The first time I watched it I was young and my dad showed it to me. As time passed, my friends and I adopted this movie as our common favorite. I’ll never get sick of this movie.

When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?

I think they’ll ask about the success of the teams I was apart of in high school. Not many kids experience what I have been lucky enough to be apart of in this sport. I think they’ll ask about the time we broke the state record for fastest team average in New Hampshire history at Meet of Champions.

Where do you get your news?

I am by no means a die-hard Republican or Democrat. I don’t like the fact that news can be interpreted in such different ways like what Fox and CNN do. I believe the truth of a matter is usually in between the two. I watch WMUR often and ABC World News sometimes as well.

What movie quotes do you use on a regular basis?

“If you ain’t first, you’re last” -Ricky Bobby (Talladega Nights)

“Great Success” - BoratSagdiyev (Borat)

“Could be hours!” - Polar Express

If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like?

I would use an old prison like the one down at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. I would restore the cells and the mess hall into hotel rooms and a restaurant. Different wings and sections of the hotel would have a historic outlook on famous prisoners. I could design one wing to resemble Alcatraz, another wing could be about Al Capone and the mafia. Each room would have luxurious beds and other features but would resemble a prison cell. I would make the hotel an full experience. You park your car a mile away and get on a bus that ships you to the hotel (with all your stuff of course) you’re brought into the hotel and are given prison attire. The hotel is All-inclusive too!

What would be the best thing you could reasonably expect to find in a cave?

Well the best possible thing would have to be a treasure chest of gold. I don’t know if that could exactly be considered reasonable but based off a documentary I watched (“The Goonies”) it’s possible. That’s definitely the best place thing you could find.

If you could go to school in a foreign country, which country would you pick and why?

Spain, Porque me encantausar la lengua de español (because I love to use the Spanish language). I would love to go to Spain and talk to people in a different language. I think that is one of the most amazing things, having a conversation in a language that you learned in addition to that of your native language. There are also so many museums in Spain that have some of the most famous art pieces in the world like Guernica by Picasso and Las Meninas by Velázquez. Imagine going to school in a place where you can actually see some of the most influential works of art ever painted! All well speaking a language you studied for so long? That sounds very appealing to me.

What’s the opposite of a koala?

Well I suppose to find the opposite of a Koala you must first list the traits of a Koala. I know the main features of a Koala bear is that it is a cute marsupial, herbivore that climbs trees. So we need an ugly oviparous animal that eats meat. I’m going to have to say a Turkey Vulture. Those things are about as ugly as they come, they lay eggs and are carnivorous.

What questions would you like to ask a time traveler from 200 years in the future?

I’d kind of pull a card from the “Back to The Future” deck and ask this person the winning Powerball numbers from the largest jackpots in the coming years. That would be a good thing to know! In all seriousness, I honestly wouldn’t want to ask any questions until I’m about to die, that way I still have a life full of curiosity ahead of me. Curiosity is one of the most important parts of life, it makes the human race discover more.

If you were hired to show tourists what life is really like where you live, what would you show them / have them do?

I live in Deerfield, so I suppose I’d have to take them to the fair. On any given day at the fair the amount of people visiting, easily exceeds the population of our entire town! Tourists would need to experience that. I’d also have to take them on a run through Bear Brook. It’s where I train and grew up training. It’s where I did my first run as well.

What’s the most boring superhero you can come up with?

Aquaman. Aquaman is pretty boring, he can talk to sea creatures, I respect that. Other than that I can’t see how he’s exciting. Aquaman can swim really fast. How will that help against a superhero like Superman? Aquaman is just flat out not that great. I will say however, the new movie coming out called Aquaman makes him look pretty spectacular.

What’s the best thing about being a teen? What’s the worst?

Best thing about being a teen is knowing that my life is a blank piece of paper. I have the ability to write my story however I want. Nothing in life is set in stone, this is especially true being a teen. I also know that high school is probably going to be the easiest part of my life. The worst thing about being a teen is feeling like people aren’t listening to you because of how young you are. I also don’t like all the stress of impressing people. I don’t usually care about what other people say in high school. The teen culture nowadays is to crap on someone else before they crap on you. I hate that about being a teen. I envy the older generations that grow independent of judgment. In contradiction to this statement, I see that some things never change! Adults have the same mentality of “eat or be eaten” I just think it’s more prevalent among teens. I don’t want to end on a bad note so I will say another good thing about being a teen. The ultimate, hands down, without a doubt best part of being a teen is change. Whether it’s in sports, school or life outside of the student-athlete scene. This period of time is subject to so much change and unpredictability. Whereas in later life things will start to settle down and be more constant. I think a daily dose of unpredictability makes life more interesting, it’s what makes being a teen fun!