The McEachern athlete’s achievements didn’t necessarily come from eating right or getting enough sleep. While it helped to be roughly 5-foot-10, giving her long strides as she bounded around the track, Dunmore credited the work she did during the week as a major factor in her and her teammates’ accomplishments.
“Practice is very hard, but you have to practice hard to win big,” Dunmore said. “I just come out, get focused for practice and get the workouts in, and when the meets come around, because we’re focused and prepared, we’re ready for anything that comes to us.”
Dunmore’s preparation propelled her to an eventful season on the track.
The sophomore won her first individual state championship, winning the 400-meter dash in 54.21 seconds. She also finished as the runner-up in the 200 (23.98).
Meanwhile, Dunmore joined relay teammates Cierra Dunston, Kristin Hall and Shania Evans to capture state championships at 400 (46.06) and 1,600 meters (3:44.59).
Three titles and a runner-up finish can be considered a good day for anyone at the state championships. Coupled with Region 4AAAAAA titles in the 200 dash and both relay events, along with other top finishes throughout the season, Dunmore is the 2014 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“I’m really shocked and excited, because I didn’t see it coming,” Dunmore said. “I feel really blessed to be athlete of the year.
“This was a really good season for me, and it was especially better than last year. I had a healthy season, and me and my teammates performed really well. I accomplished a lot personally, and my teammates and I did a good job on the relays.”
To say that McEachern did “a really good job on the relays” could be considered an understatement.
The four athletes ran the fastest time in the nation in the 400 relay at the Class AAAAAA sectional, clocking in at 45.33. The Lady Indians’ time at the state meet resulted in a state record, beating the mark set by McEachern 2013 relay team, of which Dunmore was a part of.
“We had a really great season with the (400) and (1,600) relays,” Dunmore said. “We just pushed each other, and we stayed humble. Getting the fastest (400) time in the nation was a great honor, and to win state on top of that proved just how much we committed to getting those baton passes down.
“Then, we went and broke the state record in the (1,600) again, which I didn’t see coming. Me and my teammates set that last year, but then to break it again with two new girls running was really exciting.”
McEachern coach Philip Hoskins is proud of Dunmore’s accomplishments and also noted her training as a reason behind her success.
“She stepped up her workout method a notch,” he said. “Training with Cierra, I think, made a difference, too. Makenzie was dedicated to the weight room, and to practice, and it paid off.
“She’s very deserving of the award. I would have put her in more events if I thought she could handle it, because she’s that talented. She’s a one-of-a-kind athlete and a joy to watch run. She flies around that track.”
Dunmore says her 400 run victory at state was the biggest highlight of her season. She beat Dunston, among others, to win, but that’s just how track and field goes sometimes.
“That was something I wanted really bad,” Dunmore said. “Cierra and I are teammates, but we both know we’re running for ourselves instead of each other. We have mutual respect for one another when it comes to an individual race like that, but it’s really every woman for herself.”