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Track: Mitschke eyes podium in new event

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, May 5, 2018
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Maddie Mitschke

Maddie Mitschke. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

When Maddie Mitschke left Abilene Christian University last weekend, she didn’t know if she would get to compete at the UIL track and field championships.

The Paradise junior took third place in the 300 hurdles at the 3A Region I meet, clocking a 45.25. She missed out on the silver medal and a guaranteed berth at state by 0.05 seconds.

“I was kind of crying, kind of being a little pouty, but I was praying ‘Please God let me have [the wild card]’,” Mitschke said.

Her prayers were quickly answered.

On the way home, Paradise girls track coach Johna Ford announced to the entire team that Mitschke had earned the 3A wild card berth by virtue of having the top third place time from all four regions.

“Coach Ford was in the suburban ahead of us and she came in videoing and was like ‘Guess who gets to practice for two more weeks?’ I was freaking out,” Mitschke said. “This is totally unexpected. It’s crazy.”

Mitschke will compete at state May 11 at the University of Texas at Austin. Her time ranks fourth in 3A.

“I think it’s such a great privilege and honor,” Mitschke said. “I’m so excited and blessed to get to go down there and represent my town.”

Mitschke advanced to state in just her first year running the 300 hurdles. Her main event last season was the 400.

Although she took bronze in the 400 at the 2017 District 8-3A meet with a 1:04.27, Mitschke decided it was time to make a change.

“I don’t like the 400,” Mitschke said with a laugh. “It was awful. It’s just a really long race and you have to sprint the whole thing. We were trying to find something I could do and be successful in, so we just took our chances in the 300 [hurdles].”

Mitschke battled an injury for most of this season. Before the Boyd meet on March 8, Mitschke said her side began hurting. She thought it was just a side stitch, but Ford wanted to rule out the possibility of a hernia.

“We went to the trainer and he told me I strained my abdomen and I probably shouldn’t run on it, but I ran the 300 hurdles because I needed to practice in them,” Mitschke said.

Despite dealing with her abdomen strain, Mitschke won the 8-3A title April 6 with a 46.45. The following week at area, she won another gold medal with a 47.57.

“I’ve healed up. Now it just gets sore after I run,” Mitschke said. “My hurdles require me to focus on my core and stuff, so I had to ease back into it. [The injury] made me mad. I was doing pretty good and I did not want that [injury] to be the end of my track season.”

Now, her season will end in Austin.

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