Memorial sprinter dual-sports – in Irish dancing

Madison Memorial is the home to a dual-sport athlete in two sports you may not automatically think of.

On the track, junior Meg Fitzpatrick is a force in the 200 and 400-meter dash – taking home conference titles with a 26.28 and a 59.75, respectively.

"I actually [set personal records] at the City Championships and then again at Conference. So, that was really great," said Fitzpatrick.

But Fitzpatrick has much more to be proud of than being the Big 8 Conference Champion in the 200 and 400-meter dash. She’s also a very accomplished Irish dancer.

"I’ve been to Ireland twice and Scotland for the World Championships," said Fitzpatrick. "And the All-Irelands and the All-Scotland Championships. This last year, I achieved a recall. So, I placed in the top 50 at the All-Irelands. [Irish dancing] is something very neat, where it’s super athletic, but it’s a performance art.  That juxtaposition, I just really enjoy it."

"Meg’s an athlete who is a top-end student," said Memorial girls’ track coach Drew Slempkes. "She’s a dancer. She’s an artist. She’s a track athlete. Her ability to manage all of it, compartmentalize stress, focus in on the task at hand and in the moment – I think it shows a lot of maturity for a young lady her age."

Fitzpatrick not only dances but also teaches the next generation of performers at the Cashel Dennehy School of Irish Dance in Madison.

 "It’s been really fun over the last couple of years just to give back because when I was younger, girls who were in high school gave me lessons," said Fitzpatrick. "It’s been really nice."

Fitzpatrick moves on to Thursday’s sectionals after qualifying at Regionals on Monday.

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