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My name is Madison Pachner and I have been asked to write the athlete diaries during this spring track and field season.

I am an 18-year-old senior whoop, whoop and honestly life is really good right now.

I have attended Leonardtown High School for the past two years and have participated in volleyball and basketball as well as shot put and discus in track.

Before Leonardtown, I attended Hanover High School in Virginia. We did not have the best record, to say the least; however, I did have a really amazing throwing coach who helped me step up to the next level.

While it was hard to move, I am very grateful for the many people I have met and the opportunities that have come to me from living here.

One of the good things about Leonardtown is the strength of the track team. When I moved, I was worried that I would not have as great of a coach. The first day of practice last year, which was my birthday, was cold and rather dismal. I went home very depressed and not very hopeful that I would achieve my goal of placing high at the Maryland state meet.

Soon I began to see the strength of the Leonardtown Raiders. [Head] coach [Shawn] Snyder takes the time to study each of the events, so that he knows how to help every single athlete. I was impressed by the camaraderie on the team.

After our crazy Easter Relays where we compete in costumes, it was evident to me that the majority of our success as a team comes from our dedicated coaches. Being on a winning team is exciting and I believe that we push one another to excel in our individual events for the good of the team.

So far, my final high school season has started off too slowly for my liking. I had only practiced for two weeks when I was hit in the back of the head by a discus thrown at practice.

I quickly learned the truth to the sign that hangs on the fence, “Heads up or Heads off.” Unfortunately, I received six staples to close the cut on my head, and due to my concussion I had to endure the torture of doing absolutely nothing for three weeks.

I was very eager to start throwing again and after just one day back at practice, we had our home meet. I did not perform very well and this was nerve-wracking to me as the state meet looms ever nearer.

This past Tuesday night at La Plata, with a few more days of practice behind me, I was relieved to find my confidence again. I am so happy to be back competing with my team.

I was very surprised to be asked to do these diaries and will try to keep them interesting. I appreciate the opportunity and challenge this gives me and hope that I will represent my Raiders well.

Madison PachnerLeonardtown senior