The girls track team. Photo submitted by David Londino.

On May 25, 2019, the Malden High School Varsity Outdoor Track and Field Team competed in the Division 1 State Meet. Many athletes competed at their best and some even set new personal records and even school records.

Junior Isabella Machado was one of the few who competed in this meet. Machado ran the outdoor two mile and the 4x800m relay race. Machado holds the current school record in the two mile with the time of 12 minutes and nine seconds. This puts Machado within the ranks of the top 20 two-milers in the state of Massachusetts.

Machado explains that leading up to the event, she did the workouts her coaches gave her and stuck to her normal training routine and “made sure [she] got as much sleep as [she] possibly could because [she] knew [she] needed to rest [her] body for the race.” Machado was placed last which means she was expected to be last out of approximately 30 athletes, so with the motivation of not wanting to place last, she ran her absolute best and placed first.

Machado would like to sincerely thank Head Coach David Londino, “Even though he can be a tough coach at times, [she] really wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much this season if it wasn’t for his ‘tough love’ and great coaching.” She also want to thanks her teammates and other coaches “who would always cheer [her] on during [her] races,” giving her the “energy and motivation” to keep pushing herself and finish strong. “Thank you guys!”

Junior Jean Gerard is also one of the athletes who competed in the D1 meet, in the 110m hurdles and the 400m hurdles with a time of 15.95 seconds and 58.00 seconds respectively. “The 58 seconds [he] got is now the school record on, but [he] still got the hand held time of 57 something to beat. [He] was so close to getting a States medal in the 400m hurdles coming in ninth place when top eight get medals.”

When asked what he did to prepare himself before the race, Gerard states he “watched some anime, brought food, drinks and told [himself] you got this.” In addition to Gerard’s unique pre-race routine, he also ran four laps at a faster pace than his usual warm up. Shortly after, he got together with the other hurdlers and did the hurdle stretches before their races and then cheered Bella on because her race was first.

Gerard sees his biggest inspiration are the Olympic Games and Usain Bolt, mainly because “the man isn’t human.” But within the team, his biggest inspirations are Shataeya Smith and Matt Chen. Along with Machado, Gerard states he would like to thank Londino for Cross Country his freshman year, because “he made [Gerard] do the mile indoor and that really built [his] endurance. Without that happening, [he] would not make it through a 400.” He also thanks Coach D because “he gave [them] these workouts that made you feel like you died and then died in your death.”

He lastly thanks throwing coach Witchie Exilhomme for having a hard-working mentality and  “would push you to your limits.” Gerard would like to extend his thanks to family and friends as well.

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