Best on the Shoreline!
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Senior captain Elena Boyington helped her 4x400 relay earn All-Shoreline Conference Second Team accolades on behalf of the Haddam-Killingworth girls’ outdoor track team this spring. (Photo courtesy of Elena Boyington )
Elena Boyington used her speed to succeed throughout the early days of her athletic career. When she got to high school, Elena decided to put that attribute to good use by blazing down the running lanes as a member of the Haddam-Killingworth girls’ track program.
Elena recently graduated from H-K after competing for the Cougars’ indoor and outdoor track teams. Elena played soccer, basketball, and softball while growing up, focusing more on soccer during the middle school. Elena joined the H-K girls’ soccer squad as a freshman, after which she signed up for indoor track that winter and outdoor track in the spring.
This year, Elena capped off her high school career by helping the Cougars’ 4x400 relay take second place at the Shoreline Conference Championship. Elena and her teammates earned All-Shoreline Shoreline Conference Second Team honors as a result of this performance.
“I had always been fast, my coaches told me, and I knew I could sprint. For me, the words to use would definitely be consistent and reliable,” says Elena. “I came in fast as a freshman, but there’s a mental part to it, as well. My mental game was strong all four years, and I tried to help boost the morale of the girls around me.”
After participating in individual sprinting events, Elena took a similar approach to the 4x400 relay by going all out from the start. Elena’s enjoyment for the sport continued to grow as she learned more and more about running relays.
“For races, I told myself it would be short, so right when the gun went off, I told myself to keep moving my feet and going faster,” Elena says. “With the 4x400, it was interesting to learn strategy, but I learned how to run it and began to like it. I started out as hard as I could for the relays and kept the pace. I was just about doing the best I could.”
Elena wound up competing in several events for H-K. As time went by, she started to take a liking to a few races that were not initially on her radar.
“My favorite sprinting events changed for me. In my freshman and sophomore years, I liked the 200 and 4x200 in indoor, because it was short, but not too short,” says Elena. “Junior year, I started to like the 300, because it was a little more satisfying to me. By senior year, my favorite race ever became the 4x4. I just loved the feeling after running it.”
H-K outdoor track Head Coach Matt Diglio says that Elena is a selfless leader who displayed great dedication to her relay teams. Diglio adds that Elena helped create a positive atmosphere while serving as a senior captain for the Cougars’ indoor and outdoor squads.
“Elena has been a valuable member of our track team for the past four years. She has always been dedicated, hard-working, and a great teammate,” Diglio says. “As one of our top sprinters, Elena sacrificed individual accolades for helping her team on relays over the years. She has truly matured into a leader and role model on the team.”
Looking back at her time on the track, Elena feels thankful for the impact that the experience had on her. Elena learned how to better herself through competition, while encouraging others to dig deep in order to realize their potential.
“Track changed me for the better. It is so underrated as a sport. It challenges you mentally and physically every single day, and the community of people is amazing,” says Elena. “I learned how to work as a team and deal with everyone’s nerves. I learned a lot about myself. You can have good and bad days. There are so many highs and lows, but the highs are so amazing, which make the lows worth it.”