Captains determination, leadership set example

By Kyle Rougeau
October 7, 2004

Scott Fobes

The cross-country captain, senior Jackie McGuckin, has had a passion for sports since the eighth grade. McGuckin went to Kennedy-Kenrick High School where she ran cross-country and played basketball. Her senior year at Kennedy-Kenrick High School Cabrini’s cross-country coach, Tom O’Hora, was scouting for possible athletes and noticed McGuckin’s ability immediately. “Jackie’s the type of athlete that relies on valor rather than natural ability,” O’Hora said.

McGuckin’s cross-country record started off strong as a freshman. Sophomore year began off slow for McGuckin due to mononucleosis, which caused her to be unable to participate until later on in the season. That was not the only struggle the team faced. Many of the team members quit and headed off in different directions, which lead to the teams almost demise. McGuckin’s junior year however, would later become the backbone to the team she currently leads now. At the time the team consisted of only three athletes, McGuckin, and now sophomores Janine Faulls and Jenna Viggiano. This year’s team brings more promise and more athletes.

This year’s cross-country team consists of a full roster that includes 11 athletes. It was no surprise that McGuckin would be captain this season not because of her seniority, but more because of her constant determination and leadership skills. “She’s a great captain and Jackie has more than running ability,” O’Hora said. “The girls respect her leadership and work hard because of it.” McGuckin is ranked the number two runner and has improved from her last match against Gwynedd-Mercy College to where she improved on forty-five seconds off from her last run against Philadelphia Metropolitan.

McGuckin would like to see the team improve as a together rather than individually. The athletes at this time are at different points in their running abilities. “I would like to focus mainly,” McGuckin said, “on running together as a whole and close the gap.”

McGuckin’s senior year has been a big turn around from past years and this season has been a major rebuilding period. The athletes have joined this year with much support for one another and is developing into a strong team. McGuckin would like to see her team walk away with a Pennsylvania Athletic Conference title for her final year. In previous years the team has come close but never actually captured one.

Cabrini has been an experience with many rewards for McGuckin. After she graduates, this elementary and special education major would like to find a teaching job around the Cabrini area here in Pennsylvania. Besides being captain for the cross-country team McGuckin is also a part of Kappa Delta Pi and the Counsel for Exceptional Children.

Kappa Delta Pi International Society in Education is an organization that promotes excellence and recognizes outstanding contributions in education. CEC is another organization that provides an opportunity for special education teachers to become active in service to the special education community and develop competencies by participating in state and local events. “I love working with children,” McGuckin said, ” and it’s very rewarding work.”

For her future she would like to possibly coach later on for cross-country or basketball. McGuckin would like to travel before settling down with a job and plans on keeping in touch with many of the people she has met here at Cabrini over the years.

Posted to Web by: Scott Fobes

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Kyle Rougeau

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