Track and Field State Versus Graduation


Chad Kleifoth

Middleton High School’s Track and Field senior photos. Senior athlete photos are displayed in various places around the school.

Sarah Larsen

For the past few months, Middleton High School seniors on the Track and Field team have put in countless hours to prepare for the final State meet. The meet can be characterized as bittersweet since it involves the final races of their high school career. This year, however, that is not the only thing seniors are thinking about. 

The meet is held on June 2 and 3, the same day Middleton High School is hosting their graduation rehearsal and graduation. Seniors have worked to accomplish both qualifying for the State meet and attending graduation, which is an important ceremony for many seniors. Now, they are faced with the challenge of choosing between two major events.

“It’s a disappointing decision to have to make,” said senior athlete Zaira Malloy-Salgado. Malloy-Zalgado is a long distance runner who qualified for State and has made the decision to compete in the 1600 meter run and the 3200 meter run. Malloy-Zalgado has qualified and participated in State in the past and also has plans to continue running in college.

What makes this so disappointing for the seniors is that the date overlap of the State meet is happening for the first time this year. Graduation and State have always been held on the same weekend, however, graduation has always taken place on a Sunday the day after State. This year the two events will overlap due to the fact that another school reserved the space for their graduation on the planned Sunday.

“It feels like an ‘of course it’s us’ moment,” said senior athlete, Finn Patenaude. Patenaude qualified for State and has made the decision to compete at State in the 110 meter hurdles, the 300 meter hurdles and the 4×400 meter relay. Patenaude has competed in State before and will also be pursuing a track career in college. 

The decision was clear for both Malloy-Salgado and Patenaude because they both have a very good chance of placing in top spots at State, as do the many other seniors qualifying for State. They both placed very high in the conference meet, regionals and sectionals, and are prepared to give it their all at their last high school State meet. Although these seniors are feeling disappointed due to the situation at hand, Malloy-Salgado and Patenaude report that they are feeling more motivated to do well at State. Now that they have chosen to go, they hope to prove that they made the right decision.