SHERIDAN—Maddy McClure’s first year running track competitively didn’t happen until her senior year of high school. Luckily for her, it wasn’t her last.
The Sheridan High School graduate officially committed to continue her track career at the University of Wyoming next year.
Although she only ran one year of track in high school, McClure was no stranger to competition. The three-sport athlete piled on the accolades during her tenure at SHS.
McClure lettered in soccer, basketball, track and cross-country during her prep career, while earning All-Conference honors in basketball her junior and senior year and All-Conference honors in track as a senior.
“Playing three sports keeps me busy, but I’d be bored if I didn’t do it,” McClure said. “That’s why I wanted to continue my career in track. Having participated in sports in junior high and high school, I’m used to the schedule.”
“It keeps me focused,” McClure added. “Playing sports helps me be better with my academics, as well. I’m used to being a student-athlete.”
Art Baures, who coached McClure on the high school track team, was not surprised that she was successful in the sport despite her lack of experience.
“I knew she would be good,” Baures said. “She’s built like a runner, and having played soccer and basketball, she had built a good cardiovascular system.”
Although Baures described his track star as a “shy girl,” he was quick to point out her extremely competitive spirit.
“It’s kind of funny, her confidence grew throughout the season,” Baures said. “She likes to win, which was a huge benefit to her motivation to get better.
“She worked on her form throughout the season,” Baures added. “It’s very rare to put it all together in just one season.”
McClure says she was hesitant at first, but echoed her coach’s comments about her competitiveness being a big reason for her success.
“I wanted to see how successful I could be,” McClure said. “I had some doubts, but I like to compete. I don’t like to lose.”
McClure recorded personal bests of 58.9 seconds in the 400 meters and 2 minutes 18 seconds in the 800-meter run, despite fighting a leg injury for a majority of the season.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is a common injury for runners but one that makes it very difficult to compete. It occurs when the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh becomes tight or inflamed. The IT band also connects to the knee, which makes bending the knee difficult when the IT band is inflamed.
“The injury kept her from running,” Baures said. “She had all this success with no defined workouts. It makes you think she could be even better.”
“It took some training time away on the track,” McClure said of her injury. “I could have been better.”
Despite her lack of experience coming into the season and her time away from the track due to her injury, McClure still managed to make it to the state track meet, finishing third in the 400-meter race and fourth in the 800-meter.
“The 400 and 800 are fairly technical races,” Baures said. “For her, the learning curve was steep. She’s such a smart kid, though, and her ability to learn really benefitted her. She’s really intuitive.”
McClure knows that the learning is far from over as she goes on to the next level, but her can’t-lose attitude and love of the sport puts her in prime position to conquer any challenges that come her way.
“It’s going to be a tough one; my inexperience is going to catch up to me,” McClure said. “But I’ve set some goals, talked with the coaches, and I plan on pushing myself.
“I’m planning on moving up and possibly running the mile,” McClure added. “The coaches mentioned that to me, and I’m willing to do that. I’m willing to do anything they throw at me.”
As for now, McClure is spending the summer resting and recovering from her injury before beginning her collegiate career at the University of Wyoming in the fall.