Top Ten: #3 Gillian Willcox

After four years of diligence, senior Gillian Willcox’s time at Malden High School has come to an end, along with the rest of the Class of 2016. Whether it was on the track or in the classroom, Willcox could always be found giving her utmost amount of effort.

Although she was shy coming into high school, Willcox quickly found her place at MHS her freshman year, beginning her journey where she’d grow to become one of the school’s top runners. Willcox is a varsity three-season runner (cross country, indoor track and outdoor track), all coached by MHS English teacher David Londino.

Throughout her time on the team, Willcox has “gained a lot of friendships and become more outgoing and confident in everything [she does].” Puzzled by the idea of one of her high school highlight moments not being related to running, Willcox expresses that “after 2.7 miles [she] was still neck and neck with [a Somerville competitor], but in the last 100 meters [Willcox] beat her right at the line…which [she] will remember until [she is] 100 years old.”

Because of Willcox’s commitment to running and to her studies, time management was a constant obstacle. “No one wants to just sit at home every single night and do homework,” says Willcox. On top of a job, social life, and running, “there were times where [Willcox] had to tell herself that [she] just had to sit down and get [her] homework done.”

After being coached by Londino for four years and running with mostly the same people, Willcox claims that her team easily had the biggest influence on her. Willcox expresses that “[she’s] thankful that [she] had teammates, like [senior] Deborah Kibazo, and Coach Londino who would always remind [her] what [she was] capable of.”

Kibazo would like to thank Willcox “for the countless laughs, support at every race, advice [she gives] on whatever whenever, [her] never-ending optimism, and of course, [her] constant stream of Drake lyrics.” Furthermore, Kibazo “can’t even begin to explain the ways [Willcox] has been there for [her], not just as a teammate or a friend, but as the sister she’s become.”

Best friend for 18 years and counting, senior Jacqueline Smith expresses that Willcox “is one of the most caring people [she knows], she is nice to everyone, and puts a lot of effort into everything she does.”

Moving forward, Willcox will be attending the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the Honors Program, glad that the “stressful college process” is over. “Even though it’s not supposed to affect you, money is one of the biggest reasons [she’s] going there,” says Willcox. Willcox will be majoring in chemistry, inspired by her love for “AP Chemistry with Mr. Berryman” which was “the best class [she] took at MHS.”

As for underclassmen, Willcox urges them to remember that “you should always try your best, but you have to always remember that school isn’t everything. At the end of the day, it’s about making yourself the happiest.” Willcox will cherish something as simple as “smiling at people” on her way to class every day at MHS because it contributed to the “welcoming environment [she has] loved these past four years.”

Senior Gillian Willcox. Photo by Felicia Fallano.
Senior Gillian Willcox. Photo by Felicia Fallano.

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