Four Madeira Track Athletes Keep Their Dream Alive

08/04/2020

When it was announced late March that the spring sports season would be cancelled because of the pandemic, it was a devastating blow for the spring athletes.  It was the worst for the seniors.  Madeira was no different than any other school.  Four senior Mustang track members had a real shot at a state championship in the 4 x 800 Relay. Diego Arredondo, Ben Cunningham, Ben Ramos, & Dylan Whitson finished 8th at the 2019 state championship in the 4 x 8.  The four were the only 4x 8 relay team at state championship in 2019 that were all underclassmen.  But the chance to finish their senior year as state champs was ended with the spring sport cancellation.  With the help of their coach Josh Dooley, the four found a new way to end their high school careers as champions.  The four seniors formed the Madeira Distance Project and entered the AAU Junior Olympic competition.  A series of qualifying events are held culminating with the national championship.  The four athletes, now with new life, worked hard and made it to the nationals.  They capped off the qualifying with a school record time of 7:56.75 at the Summer Finale Distance Open in Marion, Indiana.  The AAU National Championship will be held at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida, August 4-8.  The four athletes, along with Coach Dooley, have arrived in Florida.  They will be competing in the 4 x 800 Relay on Thursday at 8:00am.  There will be five teams in the finals.  Madeira will be up against teams from Florida & Texas.  
All four have college plans but only Whitson has plans to run cross country.  Whitson will be going to Ohio State, Arredondo Wisconsin, Cunningham University of Cincinnati, & Ramos Alabama.  According to Coach Dooley, “These four boys are the most dedicated & selfless kids I have ever worked with in my 9-10 years of coaching……  Everything was taken from them but they worked harder twice a day at times in hopes of finding something greater.  They truly are 4 of a kind”.

Good luck to Diego, Ben C, Ben R, & Dylan!