Allegra Maldonado: Female Athlete of the Month

Allegra+Maldonado%3A+Female+Athlete+of+the+Month

Eric Fishbin, Contributing Writer

Despite her petite stature, senior Allegra Maldonado has soared to new heights in cross country.

For the past three years, Maldonado has achieved All-Division honors and is the three-time recipient of the Coaches’ Award, which denotes athletic excellence and commends exceptional teammates.

In joining cross country, Maldonado followed in the footsteps of her older sister, Olivia.  Over the past few years, other girls on the team, such as Sarah Schlafmitz ‘11, Sara Giraldo ‘11, and Meghan Byrnes ‘10, became her role models and her coach, physical education teacher Ms. Robin Cooper, has helped her accomplish her goals.

“Coach Cooper is constantly asking everybody how they are feeling, physically and mentally, and takes our answers into consideration when choosing what types of runs we will be doing for that day or week,” said Maldonado.  “She loves cross country and instills the love for running in all of her athletes.”

Senior Bianca Luparello, a teammate of Maldonado for all of her six years involved in the sport, described her in one word:  “Of the many qualities Allegra is, dedicated is the most accurate description.”

Maldonado is currently the team’s captain, and has worked hard to reach this position.  When the cross country team isn’t in session, she stays in shape by running on the winter and spring track teams.  Throughout the year, Maldonado works hard to improve her speed and form.  This season, Maldonado’s personal record for a 5K run is 20:18.80, but she hopes to lower that time under 20 minutes by the end of the season, a goal well within reach.

“I love that running helps me with personal growth and with finding inner strength,” said Maldonado.  “It can apply to anyone’s life, too.”

This year, as a captain, she hopes to instill in her team the motivation and values that her role models and coach have instilled in her.  But most of all, Maldonado just wants to have a great time, and go for a run.