By ANDREW COGLIANO
Energy and excitement fill the air of the Malden High School gymnasium as the indoor track season begins. A mammoth turnout for the first practice of the year promised a good season. Coach David Londino also joined in on the fun, discussing cuts, returning players, and practice requirements. As the practice came to a close, both players and coach were buzzing with excitement.
“I feel like we have a really good team [this year] because everyone worked hard all season and it paid off,” says returning sophomore Victoria Hannafin on her feelings of the team this year. Londino also made a good prediction based on the cross country team’s efforts, saying that “the distance team is coming from a strong cross country season, [but there are also] some strong sprinters, jumpers, and throwers as well.” Clearly, both the team and the coach believes that their cross country season will power them to victory.
The team has acquired a new coach, Jayson Payeur. Jacqueline Bouley, a junior who is returning for her third indoor season, commented he is "going to be a good addition because he knows what [he is] doing,” stated Bouley. In response to being asked about the strengths and weaknesses of the girls team this year, she says that “The distance team is pretty strong, and [we have] always had key sprinters.” Bouley added lastly that she thinks “the more who become trained the better,” addressing the large number of freshmen. Payeur has his work cut out for him, and it looks like he plans to deliver.
Also contributing to the increased morale is the size of the team in general. The crowd definitely provoked positive reactions, and gave a good start to the upcoming season. Sophomore Teresa Wu was quoted as saying it is "a big team. It was much smaller than this last year...and I hope this team will be decent,” with a smile and a laugh. Of course, this allows for the new talent to be integrated into the team, hopefully for the better.
On the flipside, they have many new additions to the team. They made up the girth of the pack, but the spark in their eyes showed promising determination and grit. “[There are] a lot of newcomers [and the crowd] looks really big, so I’m really excited for this season.” said Menatallah Hassan, a sophomore. With an equal balance of both fresh blood and veteran members, MHS Girls Indoor Track has set the bar, and their standards, very high.