Korody signs to run track, cross country at LMU

Morristown West’s McKenna Korody, seated center, signed on Thursday to continue her education along with her cross country and track careers at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate. Seated with McKenna from left are her mom Kelley Korody and dad Keith Korody. Standing from left are Morristown West coaches Steven Nease, Mary Mitchell, Doug Burroughs, Raymond Farmer, brother Mitchell Korody and Morristown West athletic director Mike Reed.

McKenna Korody played the waiting game after filling out her application. Now, she’ll get to play the sport she loves at the collegiate level.

Korody will in fact be attending the institution she described as a second home when she visited, and she signed on Thursday afternoon to continue her studies as well as her track and cross country careers at Lincoln Memorial University.

She did take a look at a couple of other colleges, but none of them stood out quite like LMU.

“When I went there and visited, it just felt like I was meant to go there. It’s my home away from home,” Korody said.

Korody filled out her application to the Harrogate school over the summer and could only anxiously anticipate hearing back from LMU.

But when the Railsplitters coaching staff came calling, the process took off in a hurry.

The Morristown West senior attended a meet to observe what would be her future teammates as they ran.

Ultimately, the education she will receive from the nursing program at LMU was the final deciding factor for Korody as it lined up perfectly with what she wants to do upon graduating.

“We finally settled down on me coming to the school mainly through their nursing program because it’s well established,” Korody said.

“That’s what I want to go to school for, and they just gave me the opportunity to run, which I was very thankful for and wanted to do and also will help me with my career goals.”

Korody has run her final cross country 5K race at the high school level but still has her senior season of track to finish this spring.

She finished with a personal record of 20:51.78 in cross country, in which she earned All-Conference honors with a fifth-place finish in the Inter Mountain Conference 5K her junior season.

Injuries affected Korody in her senior season of cross country, but they haven’t slowed her from going through the rehab and recovery process.

“I just took the time my body needed to recover, and I believe that helped me actually get my times down, and the coaches helped me,” Korody said. “I’ve been doing extra stuff, like I’ve been swimming and biking so that’s helped my cross training too.”

Participating in six total track and field events, Korody has posted PRs of 1:07.14 in the 400-meter dash, 2:37.55 in the 800-meter run, 5:50.14 in the 1600-meter run and 6:02.02 in the mile run while also taking part in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays for West.

And there’s still more to come before she graduates from West High.

“It’s been great to have McKenna. She’s highly motivated and she’s full of energy, always ready to get out and do what’s necessary,” West track and former cross country coach Raymond Farmer said. “She did have some injuries that hampered her ability to perform her best this year, but she is currently doing quite a bit in track, one of our stronger athletes. I’m so proud, so excited for her.”