Although Indoor Track is usually focused on running, not everyone on the team is a runner. There are different aspects of Indoor Track that build up the team’s score such as shot put, and high jump. Senior Anna Julia Souza is a shot put thrower for Malden.
Her track and field journey began during her junior year. Upon joining the team, she felt good to find a sport to play to her own strengths. Along with this, she finds it interesting to see how the team works; how different track is. In other sports, the spotlight is usually on one person who “carries” the team, but track has a list of smaller events, and everyone's contribution combines for a win. She concludes that track is special because of “all these different events for different body types, which you don’t see in [other] sports.”
All the little events that are held are important for the athletes to come together to support each other and treat each other kindly. Every person in every event matters. “It’s a lot of take and give- if you’re nice, you get treated nicely back,” she explains, though of course there's always going to be that same high school drama. Though, she still believes that “the coaches are there to help you, the teammates are there to help you improve, and it's a safe place to work as a team outside of school.”
After coming a long way, this year she qualified for the States competition. She’s been training to build up muscle for a good throw, and in the state, a good throw is 30 meters out in front. Though the idea of going to states is a bit nerve-wracking to Souza considering that in the past she’s had a hard time easing up before a meet.
“Last year, when [she] first did it, [she] would always get stressed out before a meet,” she explained. This year, to prepare for meets, Souza tries not to think about it, and stays loose and relaxed and "just [tries] to keep a clear mind,” she stated.
To add onto her plate, Souza explained that just being in the competition is going to be a challenge. She stated that “before [her] last few meets [she’d] go to [her] coach’s room a lot and he’d say ‘No you’re gonna hit a 30, you’re gonna hit a 30,’” and she’s had her doubts thinking, “[she] can barely hit a 28." She just barely met the requirement, adding to the strain and is “scared to go in and not be as good as the other people." Though, Souza remains hopeful and is still proud of the improvement she has made.
Souza hopes that she’d be able to continue her track and field experience outside of high school. Though right now, she plans on focusing on her strength and posture to get the best throw she can at her last indoor track meet.