The Run Ahead

Victoria Gamez Pineda, Reporter

Stress. It stems from many things. School, homework, friends, family, the list goes on and on. But where and how does this stress disappear? By releasing your energy on the tough and hard pavement of your neighborhood, or by stepping onto the loop of the track when the sound of the bell rings. Or maybe it’s through the sound of nervous voices, anxious to see if they made the team or not. For freshman Z. Siddiqui (‘25), all these situations have one thing in common: running. It’s the way she feels most at peace and separated from the world she faces on a daily basis. 

Zoha on the track, where she has been recently spending a lot of time. (Photographer: Author)

When Siddiqui’s brother, who connects with her through their shared love of running, introduced her to track and field, she felt “[inspired] and wanted to do the same.” Not only has her love for running created a passion for her, but it has allowed her to grow her relationship with her brother. 

When Siddiqui first joined ASD, she had the opportunity to join the middle school track and field team where she would be able to compete for one the first times in her life, yet because of the tight restrictions caused by the pandemic, the sport was put on halt. 

Now, during her first year of high school, her dream of competing and making the school’s running teams has been put into motion once more. This year, she has joined both cross country and track and field, giving her the experience of rigorous training in order to improve and prepare for competition. 

Although Siddiqui has enjoyed participating in the sport for as long as she can remember, she often faces difficulties. She describes having to balance academics, friends, and family and taking care of herself as being “challenging at times.” Training five days a week with no break in between is a tough challenge some people can’t handle. 

Luckily, Siddiqui (‘25) is able to tackle these roadblocks by surrounding herself with the people she considers her closest friends, who she met during her first year at ASD in 7th grade. One of these people is N. Zahra (‘25), who describes Siddiqui as someone who is incredibly “outgoing and respectful to other people” and adds that Siddiqui has an incredible work ethic, allowing her to balance all these tasks in her already busy schedule. 

Now, as Siddiqui prepares herself for the 400 and 800m time trials, she hopes to leave her mark by beating the times of previous JV athletes: 1:01.38 for 400m and 2:23.06 for 800m. For Siddiqui, one thing is for sure; her hardworking, passionate, and driven mindset, which is best shown through her love of track and field, is the key to achieving her dream of competing in a MESAC competition as an ASD athlete.