She’s a Runnaaa She’s a Track Star


Ava Padelford, Editor

Dedication and hard work can take you anywhere you want to go. Goals are reached when you put all your effort into making it happen. Seeing improvement is the most rewarding thing when pursuing goals.


For me, sports are my passion. I work hard to get better and I get so excited when I see my goals being met. I run track in the spring. It requires hard work and dedication. Going into a no cut sport like track, people often think it will be easy. Personally, I joined to just stay in shape and have fun, and didn’t think it would be as hard as it is. Despite the challenge, I quickly fell in love with the sport.


I am a sprinter, and I can’t imagine running distance! There have been a few practices where we just ran to gain endurance. Those days were pretty hard for me and I always wanted to quit. I have a lot of respect for the distance kids and their hard work. Everyone on the team, however, works just as hard for their events. 


Every Monday at practice, we have “speed day.” The coaches tell us it’s the day we get better but I know it as the day I’m gonna throw up a few times and feel like my legs are being ripped apart. The hardest speed days of this year included a 300, 200, 150, 100 and a 50. I didn’t run my 150 on this hot sunny day because I was busy throwing up. 


As the season went on, though, I saw myself getting faster and gaining strength and endurance. I started getting new PRs (personal records) at my meets and reached my goal of running in a varsity meet. My hard work paid off! 


Track is one of the most challenging sports I’ve ever done. I grew up playing soccer and I never experienced as much pain as I have in track. I also did basketball and would have to run suicides after suicides but nothing ever made me throw up. Every sport is challenging in their own way, but track was the most difficult for me. 


At my last meet, I ran a 400 for the first time. Mountain Ridge sprint coach, Coach Faust always tells us that every sprinter will run at least one 400 in a meet so we can all have a recorded time. It was the most challenging thing I did at a meet considering I only typically run 100s and 200s.  The last 100 of the race was by far the worst for me. My legs turned into jelly and everything started going black. The second I got off the track, I laid in the grass and just stared at the clouds. 


At our last meet versus O’Connor, I ran with a pulled muscle in my quad. My goal was to try and do the 100 but I wasn’t going to run if it hurt too bad. After our warm up it was feeling very loose and ready to go! I decided to run the race. One of the OC sprint coaches was at the start line to make sure everyone was in the right lane and heat. When he got to me, he asked me what my dad’s name was because he recognized my last name. He then told me that he used to play on my grandpa’s little league team back in the day. It was such a cool encounter because my grandpa passed away in January and it was like he was right there with me! I ran the 100 and got a new PR! I was overwhelmed with joy! 


This season has shown me that hard work truly pays off. Last year, it got cut short due to COVID. I wanted to make sure this year I pushed myself hard to see personal growth. I’ve made many new friends and have grown closer to old friends. I am so thankful we got to have a season and for every memory I made on the team.