Mackenzie Condon heads for the ‘Yard’

MVRHS senior track star signs letter of intent.

Mackenzie Condon signed her letter of intent to attend Harvard University. — Amanda Cronin

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School track star Mackenzie Condon signed her letter of intent to continue clearing hurdles at Harvard University next year. As a member of the class of 2023, Condon plans to study English, and hopes to continue her journalistic pursuits as a writer for the Crimson, Harvard’s daily student newspaper.

Upon signing on the line in the high school gym, Condon was congratulated by her parents, Karlene Gatting and Fred Condon, her coach, Joe Schroeder, and her friends.

“She has strengths as a leader, as an athlete, and as a student,” said Coach Schroeder. “The level of competition [on the track team] has increased partly because of Mackenzie.”

Her mother echoed his well wishes: “I never fail to be amazed by her sheer grit and determination, as well as her intellectual curiosity,” she said.

Condon’s college confirmation comes a day after making history as the first all-state female champion to come from Martha’s Vineyard. She aced the pentathlon event, earning 3,201 points at the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Assn. (MIAA) all-state competition at Westfield State University in Westfield.

Condon has had a decorated track career, and currently leads the team as captain. Off the track, Condon keeps busy as student body president and as editor-in-chief of the high school newspaper.

What made the day even sweeter are the personal hurdles Condon has had to overcome. Several months ago, Condon was diagnosed with Lyme disease. The respiratory infections, hampered cognitive function, and fatigue encumbered her training schedule. She often had to choose between missing practice and recovering. Her doctor’s prescriptions of rest took a mental and physical toll.

“It started to seep in. I started having thoughts of self-doubt,” Condon said. “Maybe I wasn’t smart enough, or good enough.”

Reflecting on her sacrifices as a student athlete, Condon noted, “We owe it to ourselves to be defensive over the people we’ve proven to be.”

In the final stretch before starting her college athletic career, Condon is taking no stutter steps. She is eager to begin her studies and strength training with her fellow teammates. “I’m grateful to have grown up on the Island, but I’m definitely ready to see new things,” she said.

Next stop? Condon will compete in the track and field national championships in North Carolina on June 25.