Athlete of the Month: Malia K. ’21

Hayden R. ’21
The Spence Voice, Issue 36 Number I
Malia K. ’21 has been playing sports since she was six years old. Since she can remember, she has been surrounded by sports, making them a large part of who she is today. 
Malia has played soccer, basketball, and ran track for Spence, but this year is the first that she will be running indoor track. “Going into my first year running indoor track, not having run any of the events, I hope to set high standards for myself and continue to push myself to run the fastest times that I can,” said Malia.
By playing sports, Malia believes she has found a new sense of confidence within herself. “Sports have given me a sense of self and an identifier,” Malia said. Malia loves the community that comes from being a part of a sports team, and she especially treasures the relationships she has made with coaches and teammates. 
Since freshman year, Malia has continued to grow as a player and a teammate. “I remember being very tentative as a freshman, not wanting to assert myself too much, being intimidated by my older teammates,” said Malia. Now, as a junior, Malia has realized that her confidence greatly impacts her performance.
“Having off days, making mistakes, and losing games and races, is something every athlete is going to face during their career, but it’s the athletes who can turn those experiences into a learning one that will continue to grow and get better,” Malia said.
One of Malia’s favorite parts of competing is having a personal goal to chase after. In eighth grade when Malia first joined the varsity track team, she ran both the 400- and 200-meter races and barely broke 30 seconds in the 200. In ninth grade, she realized her potential in sprinting and moved into the 100-meter race.         
“Every year, I had a new time to break, a new personal record I wanted to beat, and I couldn’t have imagined myself as an eighth grader thinking that in 10th grade I’d be able to run just over 26 seconds in the 200m, around four whole seconds faster than when I started out,” said Malia.
As for soccer, Malia hopes the team will be able to make the championship game and ultimately win, giving Spence soccer its first title. “I hope we keep improving ourselves to work as a unit and continue to support each other as much as possible,” said Malia. This season she also hopes to break her record and the school record of goals scored in one season, which is at an astounding 15 goals.
In her Spence career, Malia has participated in seven complete varsity seasons. Malia has acknowledged that throughout these seasons, she has not only improved her skills as a player and a runner, but also her overall attitude towards sports. “I love being able to, for a period of time, just forget about whatever stressful things that I may have going on and just have fun doing something that I love,” said Malia. 
Malia is looking forward to finishing out the soccer season on a high note and continuing to improve and reach her goals in the upcoming indoor and outdoor track seasons!