By: Connor Blake, Staff Writer
Mykayla Hoggard, of the USM Women’s Indoor Track & Field Team, is jumping her way into the record books during her sophomore season with the Huskies.
The health sciences major out of Bangor, Maine graduated from Bangor High School as a three-sport athlete participating in soccer as well as indoor and outdoor track. Hoggard competed in the 2018 State Class A Outdoor Championships finishing sixth in the 55-meters and fifth in the long jump.
After graduating in 2018, Hoggard came to USM to continue her athletic success. Early on in her rookie season, she was named Little East Conference (LEC) Rookie Track Athlete of the week two times. She also finished that season by qualifying for the New England Division III championships.
More recently in her sophomore season at USM Hoggard has soared, breaking and setting a new USM record for the long jump (5.73 meters) and in the 55-meter dash(7.41) at this year’s USM Open I event. As the LEC Indoor Track & Field Championships will have already come and gone by the time of publication, Hoggard has her eyes on a high finish, having been the first USM athlete, male or female to be picked by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III Athlete of the Week since the program began in 2015.
This week, The Free Press spoke with Hoggard about her sophomore season, breaking records and where she sees herself in the future.
Q: What is it like, setting the school record in long jump and the 55-meter dash, especially during your sophomore season?
A: Looking back on my freshman year I did not see myself in this place. I am very very grateful for what I have accomplished at such an early period in my college career. And I’ll never forget how I felt when I did it.
Q: How do you intend to build your success individually?
A: I will build on my success by continuing to work hard and to keep setting my goals higher and higher as I accomplish each one, one after the other
Q: How have your coaches helped you on and off the track?
A: The way that my track coaches have helped me on and off the track is they really inspired me to stay focused and keep on a direct path to success. They have also taught me to always keep a holistic outlook on life to be a better athlete, we work on mindfulness, keeping a healthy body and a positive mind to help me perform to the best of my ability as an athlete.
Q: Why do you do Track & Field?
A: I mainly do track and field to keep in shape and also working out makes me feel happy. I really like staying in shape because it makes me feel good about myself.
Q: What has this sport taught you that can be transferred to other areas of life?
A: This sport has taught me how to be mentally tough, to never give up, also how to never settle and always push myself to your highest potential.
Q: How do you balance school with Track & Field?
A: In the beginning, it was pretty hard I’m not going to lie, but I always make sure I keep separate time to get what I need to do done. I make sure to use my planner and schedule certain times where I can do my homework to the best of my ability in a quiet peaceful setting.
Q: What do you do outside of the sport?
A: I really like hanging out with my friends, I cherish them deeply so I always make sure to make time for them. Whether it’s having a simple heart-to-heart conversation or grabbing lunch or dinner.
Q: Who is your inspiration in life?
A: My inspiration in my life was my late mother because she taught me to never give up and do whatever it takes to succeed in life and be the best person I can be. She had been through so much in her past life and as I watched her as a young girl, it made me aspire to be the strong-willed woman she was.
Q: What are you planning to do after school
A: Right now my major social work so I’m really hoping to be able to take my degree and go somewhere with it. I’ve always wanted to work with kids in need so I’m really hoping that I will be able to fulfill my dream in doing that.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to other student-athletes who are looking for success
A: Never give up, also the word can’t is not an option. If you set a goal for yourself to focus on nothing but that goal. You must speak your goal into existence and it will happen for you.
Q: If I were to ask a teammate “Tell me about Mykayla” what would they say?
A: I believe they would say that I am a very fun, happy go lucky, positive and of course a hard-working athlete.
Q: When you look back at USM what will you remember?
A: When I look back at USM I will definitely remember all of my teammates, friends, and coaches. Not only will I remember them, but I will also remember the lessons that I’ve learned from attending college in general. College has definitely made me a better stronger woman.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: I’m very proud of myself not only for my athletic accomplishments but for simply attending college. I am the first in my direct family to be able to say that I have attended college. I did not realize how much of an accomplishment that was until people started telling me when I arrived. I will never forget how proud my family always tells me they are every day.