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FEATURE: Maddie Cassidy, Rising Track Star

By Emma Wecker and Brookelyn Vande Loo

It is rare for runners to qualify for the state meet not only once, but twice. Maddie Cassidy qualified for state during her cross country season and track season, as a freshman and sophomore. Cassidy has proven to be one of the top runners at Batavia. However, she is only a sophomore and has a lot more to accomplish.

Cross country and track can become a very physically and mentally draining sport.

“My teammates, coaches, and family are great role models to look up too and they help motivate me to keep working hard.”

With a great amount of support from her teammates, coaches and family, Cassidy has been able to achieve many accomplishments.

While cross country and track takes lots of focus and drive, it is important for Cassidy to find the fun within it.

“I like being with my friends and the environment with the team,” Cassidy said.

Only being a sophomore, Cassidy is currently one of Batavia’s top runners. That being said, Cassidy has many awards, personal accomplishments and has so much more to come in the rest of the season this year, and the next two years she has left at Batavia.

Some of her accomplishments include two-time all conference in the DuKane Conference, two-time academic All Conference, and a two-time Illinois cross country state qualifier. She has been on varsity track and cross country for the past two years at the high school. She also was in a state qualifying track relay last year with former students Lili Bendarek, Brooke Silbernagle, and current senior Alli Olsen. Cassidy’s new relay team consists of returning senior Alli Olsen and two freshmen Claire Deppe and Avery Hacker. Just this past week, she raced for the IHSA state track meet by participating in the 1600 and 4×800 at sections. Once again, the 4×800 qualified for the state meet.

Cassidy runs multiple track events; she runs the 800,1600, 3200 and the 4×800.

“The 4×800 is my favorite but for solo events the 1600,” Cassidy said. “I like running with my team but I also like running in my own races. I just like the adrenaline rush running gives me.”

Cassidy’s hard work on and off the field does not go unnoticed by her teammates.

“She is dedicated, hardworking, and wants what’s best for the team,” said Gianna Cesarone.

A typical cross country practice consists of either long runs as a team or doing workouts such as intervals. Cassidy is always seen in the front of the group to help lead and motivate her team members.

“She inspires me because she is just so kind to everyone and has such an amazing spirit,” Madison Wnek said. “She is so energetic and positive towards the team. She is a really amazing team player.”

Even her hard work is noticed by her coaches.

“She takes instructive criticism really well, and she really applies it to her running to improve for each race,” Lucy Jensen said. “I think she brings a very positive energy which then affects everyone on the team in a positive way, ”

Cassidy is always working hard to help her teammates get better and qualify for bigger races. Her freshman year, Cassidy and Bendarek qualified for state while the rest of the team did not.

“Of course I was super proud of myself for qualifying but it was disappointing knowing we couldn’t all go together” Cassidy said. “I sometimes feel like I could’ve run faster to try and get my team more points to qualify but in the end I did the best I could, but it was still disappointing.”

Although Cassidy also has numerous accomplishments with running, she even excels in the classroom. Cassidy has made academic all conference 2 years in a row. To make academic all conference varsity athletes need to maintain a 3.5 gpa or higher throughout their entire season to make academic all conference. Making academic all conference is an amazing accomplishment for any athlete to receive. Balancing tons of school work and participating in the long meets and practices requires a serious amount of time management. However, Cassidy has managed.

“I just work hard to get my stuff done in class, but if I have lots of homework sometimes when I’m on the bus going to races I work on it or get help from some of the upperclassmen,” Cassidy said.

Not only is Cassidy an amazing athlete and student, but she also takes time to give back to the community. She volunteers at her church, and helps out and coaches the elementary and middle school track and cross country team.

Cassidy wins on and off the track giving back to the community, volunteering, and studying while balancing the crazy life as a runner. With her chaotic schedule, it truly shows how hardworking and dedicated Cassidy really is.

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