They prepared, they competed, they achieved success. Seniors Mariah Whitmore and Sam Mills used their States experience to propel themselves forward in their athletic careers.
Unlike other sports, track is individualized. Two Biddeford seniors found their own victory at the Maine Indoor Tracks State finals. This event was held inside the Costello Sports Complex at the Gorham Campus at University of Southern Maine. The athletes of BHS’ hard work pays off as many of them find a place at States.
Preparing for these events isn’t just physical. It takes a lot of mental strength and discipline as well.
“Getting in the zone at a meet, especially States, sets the tone for the whole meet, for me anyways,” said senior high jumper Mariah Whitmore. “It helps me focus on my goal.”
Despite the pressure, long distance runner Mills felt eager and enthusiastic before his race.
“I was so excited,” said Mills, “I couldn’t wait.”
Whitmore also felt confident going into her high jump event. She placed 7th, allowing her to score points for Biddeford High School.
“I just go out there and do my best. I came out with a pretty good outcome of a 5’4” and a new season personal record,” said Whitmore.
The athletes lives are taken over by preparing for States. A key role of success for these athletes is prioritizing practice, rest, and nutrition above all else.
“It affects everything in my life,” said Mills. “I’ve been having to do slower runs so I don’t wear myself out.”
A lot of athletes follow their own mantra in order to stay focused and feel as though they aren’t just going through the motions, but working towards a tangible goal.
“Respect the purpose of the run,” said Mills. “That’s been in my head a lot lately.”
Many events were very close between multiple athletes in finishing. The one mile race in particular came down to the wire.
“It was a really tight race. I got eighth and I was only about four seconds behind the person who got second place,” said Mills. “We all came in together and it was just kinda the way it all shook out.”
Even though Mills was barely edged off the podium, he was still very optimistic about the outcome.
“I ran way faster than I ever have before,” said Mills. “It was fun to be really competitive and put myself out there for the entire race.”
In a lot of ways, competing at states propels these athletes forward in experience and confidence. Mills Plans to attend the University of Maine Orono in the fall for cross country and indoor track.
“This gives me pretty good confidence going forward,” said Mills. “The distances are a little bit shorter for outdoor so I know that my times can be a lot faster. It just proved that the training system I’m on right now with my coach is working.”
While each event solely depends on an individuals athletic ability, in many ways the track team seems just as close as any other “team” sport.
“Being apart of the track community since middle school has made me prepared to take the next step for the college and I couldn’t be more excited for it,” said Whitmore. “It will only push me to better in outdoor [track] and my future seasons as a Husky at USM this coming fall.”