Vindy Spring Athletes: Malina Mitchell

McDonald’s Malina Mitchell didn’t repeat as state champion, but she didn’t end 2017 empty-handed.

The junior distance runner led the area in total medals at the state track and field championships in Columbus with three. She took fourth in the 1600 and 4x800 relay and sixth in the 3200.

She was part of the state title-winning 4x400 relay team last year.

“I was proud of myself for being able to do the one-mile, two-mile double. That’s always a difficult thing to do, let alone in the heat,” Mitchell said. “I’m not satisfied. I want to come back next year and lower my times — maybe break five [minutes] in the mile. As far as the relay goes, I was on a team with three other freshman. It’s exciting to think that I’ll be back next year and we’ll be able to climb a little higher on the podium.”

In district, she broke two meet records while taking first in all four events she competed in — the 1600, 3200, 4x400 and 4x800 relays. Her performance helped the Blue Devils win their sixth consecutive district title. She also had two first-place finishes to help McDonald win its eighth consecutive and final Inter-Tri County League title. The league folded at the end of this academic year.

“It’s definitely the kind of program we have at McDonald. The coaches are so willing to go beyond the two hours of practice everyday,” Mitchell said of the Blue Devils’ run of success. “They’re there at 6 a.m. every morning to let us in the weight room and they put in so much time. Everything goes back into the program and coaches.”

Brian Dzenis

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