Girls Supporting Girls

Kiara Malloy-Salgado getting ready to race. (via Kiara Malloy-Salgado)

Everyone cheers for each other, everyone encourages each other to do their best and that’s the best part.”

— Kiara Malloy-Salgado '21

The wind blows harshly. Your palms are sweaty as you line up before the race. You hear your teammates cheering your name. Your nerves ease, because your team will always have your back.

For Michelle Kim ‘20 and Kiara Malloy-Salgado ‘21, one of the most supportive places at West High is in track. The team environment constantly pushes each athlete to better themselves in an encouraging way. Malloy-Salgado ’21 feels being in track means having support from a community. “Everyone cheers for each other, everyone encourages each other to do their best, and that’s the best part [of track meets],” Malloy-Salgado said.

Malloy-Salgado has been in track since seventh grade, but she’s ran her whole life. “All of my family is big on running so it was just something that I was supposed to do.”

Malloy-Salgado has loved the sport regardless of the difficulties. “The dedication is definitely [the hardest part]. There are some days that you definitely just don’t feel like doing it, but you know that you gotta.”

Michelle Kim ‘20 feels similarly about the team atmosphere, “I’ve been doing track for one year, I just started this year. I like all the people, they’re all super supportive and they really care about what they’re doing,” Kim said. “Being surrounded by all of your teammates, they really do support you. I did my first 4×100 in the last meet, and it was really awesome because all of my teammates were screaming my name and supporting me.”

Kim’s friends are the ones who encouraged her to join track in the first place. “My friends convinced me, but I also just wanted to get in shape, I did performance (P.E.) my first tri and I really enjoyed it,” Kim said. “I wanted to keep exercising and I thought track was a good way to continue that.”

Since it’s her first year of track, Michelle had some difficulties at first. “I think, keeping up with trying to be really good, and the pressure [was difficult]. Also after practice, soreness and trying to be as healthy as possible so you’re not always in pain.”

For Michelle and Kiara, track has taught them more than just the lessons of being on a team and running track. “I think our coach really teaches us a lot of good lessons and it really does help me to be a better person. Also just trying to be a healthier person.” Kim said.

“it’s definitely taught dedication and that all good things come in time, if you put in the effort then you’ll get good things.” Malloy-Salgado said.

Overall, both Kim and Malloy-Salgado have enjoyed this season of track and are excited for future meets. “we’ve had a lot of improvements and conditioning went really well, I think we had a lot of people that trained really hard, and a lot of people are improving.” Malloy-Salgado said.

Kim is happy she joined, and thinks that if you want to join track, you definitely should. “Being on a team is an amazing experience. You get to be friends with people you never thought you would.”

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