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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

River Heights runner has champion attitude to match her times

By Clay Moffitt

October 27, 2006 | RIVER HEIGHTS -- Macinze O'Very may have not got what she wanted in 2006, but don't expect her to mope around about it.

The 15-year-old River Heights native led the Mountain Crest girls' cross country team to its second straight 4A State Championship on Oct. 18 at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City, with a second place finish as just a sophomore.

But it was a little hard for O'Very to accept, considering she won the state title as a freshman and was hoping to be a four-time state champion.

"I think it kind of hit me more on the bus when we were going home. I got second instead of first, dang it," O'Very said.

It took a 42.7-second improvement from a year ago by her primary rival, Orem's Krystal Harper, to dethrone O'Very in 2006. Last season Harper took fifth with a time of 19 minutes, 37.9 seconds and could only watch O'Very take home the title as she finished the race in 19: 01.0.

But it was Harper's time to shine in 2006 as she broke the 19-minute mark with a time of 18:55.2, and O'Very trailed 27.4 seconds behind her for second place.

In 2005 O'Very won the race by starting behind Harper and pushing her way to the front before breaking away from the group and cruising to the victory, and she planned on using the same strategy on this year. When she found herself ahead of Harper and the rest of the pack she was confused about how to adjust her strategy, but she opted to slow down and let Harper catch up.

"Now looking back on it, when I was in front I probably should have gone faster, but I slowed down," O'Very said. "I was going to try to stay with Krystal, see what things she was going to do, and I should have just sped up... she did what I did to her last year."

But she was able to find some consolation in the team victory.

"A lot of us were worried ... but it turned out really good, and we won, I was surprised, I must say," O'Very said.

But all of her success hasn't alienated O'Very from the other kids her age. Much like the "famous" music producer Bruce Dickinson (played by Christopher Walken) in the Saturday Night Live skit told the Blue Oyster Cult, "I put my pants on, just like the rest of you ... one leg at a time. Except once my pants are on, I make gold records."

With except of course the exception she's not the type to bring attention to her own accomplishments. She is just like any other girl her age in so many ways, she just happens to be one of the top runners in the state. For example, in addition to running, she likes to draw, go bowling with her family and especially loves corn mazes in the fall.

Her favorite was this a joined side-by-side corn mazes, but the corn mazes themselves weren't haunted, but in between the mazes there was a haunted aisle, similar to a spook alley.

"It was one of the scariest thing I've ever done in my life," O'Very said.

And the maze was set up with a storyline leading to the biggest spook of the night from Old Man River, who stood guarding the exit of the aisle. And the sight of him scared her and her friends so much they screamed franticly and made a bolt for the exit.

And in the process one of her friends fell down and the group trampled over him in the hasty retreat. It wasn't until they safely reached their destination that they realized they left something behind in their panicked state.

"We were like, 'Where'd he go?' and he was still back there on the ground," O'Very said. "It was so funny."

But her mother, JoLynn O'Very, said that is one of the few times you'll hear of Macinze thinking only about herself. "She's very concerned about other people and their happiness and success and she's like that in our family too," JoLynn said about Macinze.

Perhaps one of the simplest examples of when her concern for others was shown was when she went to the matches some of her male cross country teammates, who are also on Mountain Crest's returning state champion wrestling team in the winter -- even before they shake hands and the referee blows the whistle.

"I would get nervous before the meets, I'm like they're going to like go and kill each other," Macinze said. "I don't understand it too well, but I do my best to cheer for them."

She might not understand wrestling, but she's well acquainted with competition, even if it's something as simple as going bowling with her family and they usually invite another family to come along.

"You know what, she's always on when we play against a family who has an older guy on the team," her mother said. "We always laugh at her that that's when she wins, when there's some good competition for her."

But Macinze doesn't let her competitiveness overcome her. One time when her 13-year-old younger sister Meghan beat her in a swim meet, instead of throwing a temper tantrum, like a lot of people would be tempted to do when a younger sibling beats them in a sporting event, she was the first to congratulate Meghan.

"She jumped out of the water and grabbed hold of Meghan and kissed her and said, 'You're amazing, good for you,'" her mother said. "You know that inside she's feeling bad, because that's her stroke, that's what she's always been best at."

Macinze and Meghan share a strong bond, which makes her even more anxious for the 2007 cross country season, because she be able to run along side her sister, who will be a freshman next year.

"That's way exciting for me and I think she's excited about it too," Macinze said. "We talk about it sometimes and she's like, 'I have to live up to your name?' and I'm like, 'Meghan it's not even a big deal, I have to live up to your's in swimming, don't worry about it.'"

Family is very important for the O'Verys, and fitness sports are something the whole family shares in common. Her father Bruce O'Very was a collegiate swimmer at the University of Utah, and he and JoLynn still run marathons every year. All of the O'Very children run, swim and bicycle, also.

It's those leadership attributes and a renewed sense of urgency and work ethic that will make Macinze even more dominant in 2007 and 2008 then she was her freshman season. In a way, coming in second may have been the best thing that could have happened to Macinze at state.

"She (Harper) was supposed to win it last year and she ended up taking fifth and Macinze won, and I know that's what motivated her," her mother said. "She was like 'That 'Cinze is not going to beat me again,' and her whole year was spent figuring out how to beat Macinze, and I hope that Macinze does the same thing (that Harper did) this year."

The disappointment of 2006 will motivate her to out-work all the other runners. This year Macinze worked as hard as everyone else, but she said she didn't push herself to the next level.

"That's what good runners do, and I want to be a great runner," O'Very said.

With that commitment and desire, college coaches will be taking note of her soon enough.

NW
MK

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