The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Emma Manderino: Track Queen


Junior Emma Manderino has participated in both cross country and track and field since her freshman year of high school. She has always been a phenomenal athlete, but last Thursday, during the PAC Eight Finals, Manderino outshone her fellow teammates, beating her personal record, and qualifying for CIF in both the 1600 and 3200 meter races. Expressions met with Manderino to learn about her recent successes and the hard work it took to achieve her running goals.


Expressions: What did you expect going into prelims? What time did you have to break to qualify for CIF?


Junior Emma Manderino: It has been a little less competitive this year regarding the distance girls from the other schools in the county, so I expected to be towards the front of the pack alongside my teammates. To qualify for CIF I had to either get top three in the race or run a 5:13.


Expressions: How did you prepare for this race?


Manderino: After a break from cross country season, which consisted of shorter, relaxed running, track build-up began. Since January, my teammates and I have worked together to stay consistent with our weekly training pattern of  Monday morning long runs, Wednesday hill repeats or track workouts, Saturday tempo runs (runs with a faster pace), and all of the regular runs in between. This, as well as eating healthy, resting well, and hydrating, is what prepared me for this race and racing in general.


Expressions: How did you feel when you saw the results?


Manderino: I was pretty happy with the results because they reflected all of the hard work I’ve put into this track season. Like most of the races I do, I still feel like I could improve, so I like to say that I’m happy and proud, but not satisfied. I was also super proud of all of my teammates. We have a really strong group this year and everyone did great.


Expressions: Do you plan on running in college? What are your future plans with track in general?


Manderino: No matter what I will continue to run in college, yes. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I would want to run on a college team or be in a running club, but I lean more towards being on a team. To do this, I would first need to improve my times, and then commit myself to a more difficult training regimen and balance that with college academics, which is a challenge I am willing to take.


Expressions: Why distance running?


Manderino: It allows one to test their mental and physical capabilities. Distance running is one of the most physically challenging sports, but the gratification that comes from it is worth the struggle. Finishing an 11 mile run or a tough workout in the heat yields an incredible sense of accomplishment and strength. It is also a sport that can be done anywhere, by anyone, and at any age. All you really need is some shoes and some legs.


Expressions: What motivates you to keep running?


Manderino: I just love it. It clears my mind, lifts my mood, releases pent up stress, and allows me to be outside in nature. My future running goals also keep me motivated, like making it to State with the team next year.


Expressions: What was your favorite memory of track from this season?


Manderino: There’s so many. One of my favorite memories from this season was doing a hard hill-repeat workout on SLO Drive in the pouring rain. The whole team was laughing because we were freezing, and wet, and had a lot of work to do, but we were doing it together. It was the perfect embodiment of the grit, mental strength, and teamwork that running is all about.

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