Freshman, Malachi O’Neal, Headed To States For Track

Dakota Skinner

As the track season continues, every student athlete is making the move to break records and self goals. One of those exceptional athletes is freshman, Malachi O’Neal. Being a freshman is hard in itself but adding a sport that is physically demanding is even harder. O’Neal been running since he was six years old. Running for some is an escape from the outside world, to have a chance to forget whatever may be going on in life. To just run.

Running for O’Neal is just that, an escape. He says, “It helps me clear my head and when I run I feel like I’m free.” When he runs on the track he turns into a new person, each time with a new goal; to pass the next person to reach the finish line. Some aspects of track are more than a team collaboration, sometimes it is an individual race; where the pressure is only on one person. O’Neal says, “Track is more about me than the team, to get better I can train alone and when I train it takes my mind off of stuff.” While being on a team sport most of the time it is all team oriented but when running track there are times when the run your run and no one else’s; it is on you to complete your run to the best of your ability and if you fail you only disappoint yourself.

Only being a freshman O’Neal has a long road ahead of him before his high school track career ends and he’s on to college. Being at the beginning of his track journey, O’Neal has the ability to shape himself into an exceptional runner, seeing as he has qualified for states in the 100m sprint event. When qualifying he had to beat a senior for the spot and he did it without a doubt. “Honestly, I felt kinda bad but it was his fault for not putting in his all and doubting my speed.” When asked about the feeling of going to states, “It feels like I accomplished something that I have been training for all my life.” He has been waiting for this moment since he began running and now that it is here he cannot wait to fight till the end to see the outcome.

As states is approaching O’Neal has been training and pushing himself to new extents, hoping to finish the season strong and continue working on his skills. Good luck to the other runners who qualified for states and to O’Neal for a fantastic freshman track season.