Brenna McGinn is a name that you might not recognize — after all, she is a rookie — but it’s a name you need to learn quickly to get ready for this year’s Little 500.
McGinn, a senior riding for Kappa Alpha Theta, just picked up cycling this year. She was a competitive cheerleader in high school, but never ran track or cross country, the sport of choice for several Little 500 riders. In fact, she admits she forgot how to ride a bike the summer before coming to IU.
But despite her newness, McGinn has picked up riding immediately. She finished fifth overall at ITTs, the top rider outside of the No. 1 heat.
We asked McGinn to tell us how she’s gotten to where she is today, and what’s made her successful at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
33to1: What were the nerves like before ITTs?
McGinn: They were pretty high just because ITTs were supposed to be on Wednesday. I felt really prepared on Wednesday because I had been doing ITTs and then the weather kinda screwed that up. The weather continued to screw the track up, so I hadn’t gotten to do an ITT since Tuesday. So I was nervous about my pacing and, I mean, I got to see my teammates kill it all day so that just made me more amped up.
I guess I didn’t really get crazy nervous until I was on the warm up bike and I realized that so many people were watching and it is an individual thing, my team isn’t there with me. That’s when it started kicking in a lot.
33to1: Was that the best time you had ever done on your ITTs? How did that compare to your practice times?
McGinn: My fastest time I put up before my ITT was on Monday and it was 2:46 (McGinn’s official ITT run on Saturday was 2:42.97). I was happy with that. I knew that that would’ve landed me seventh last year, and you’re not supposed to compare times at all, but it was a little bit of a confidence boost going into it.
The track was so fast. I saw that in the times all day. My teammates all killed it. They all bested their own times. That was definitely a personal record for me. I felt good, ya know, after I started feeling things again.