After a much eventful season, the Malden High Outdoor Track team has ended their season on a high note. 

Senior captain Leslie Rodriguez expressed that it is a rather bittersweet end for her after these past years. “I feel sad because I’m leaving track… But I’m also happy because I get to close this chapter on my life that has taken four years of my life,” she said. 

She added that the memories she has cultivated during track as a whole have been significant for her including completing her goals for the seasons. “Being able to run at Reggie Lewis… and breaking my own records, and my personal best has been the best, but also making friends as well.”  

Rodriguez running the 800.

As one of the captains, Rodriguez is going to miss the liveliness that the team brings. “It hasn’t been an easy season… But it’s been a strong season,” she stated. “Everyone is coming here every day… And they’re doing what they can and they’re doing their best… And they keep breaking records.”

Adding on to that thought, senior Aiden Thompson, who has been doing track for three years, noted that seeing himself improve in his events is special to him. He explained that “I didn’t know what I was doing… But it was a really welcoming community… We all come together and we produce something good every day.”

“Just seeing everyone doing all the practices and putting their all into it… it’s so good to see them make something even great and put everything together for the team,” he said. 

Although it is his second year doing track, sophomore Nick Duggan expressed that “I’m a little bit sad… it’s kind of like a family, but I’m happy to get back to training in summer.” Duggan explained that both a challenge and a success for him was “pushing past your limits, going the extra mile, and then when you’re in pain, going a bit further.” 

For next year, Duggan hopes that “we all grow a bit more, we get a little bit faster, and then we get a lot more people on the team.” 

Freshman Damien Josaphat joined because “I thought it would be fun to join with friends, but I got really attached to everyone here.” 

Rodriguez noted a specific challenge that allowed her to grow as a runner. During one of the meets, she had passed out while running for her 800 meter race. “Just like actually facing the fact that I need to listen to my body and when I’m hungry.” 

“You listen to your body… That’s the best advice… Everyone else is worrying about their times and what they want and how they look,” she said. “Don’t worry about that… you should worry about yourself… Don’t be afraid to fail… You won’t win every time, but you’ll do just fine.”

With the track season officially coming to an end, the team aspires to continue running at full speed through the challenges they face and cross the finish line for next year with their successes.

All photos by Carlos Aragon.

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