By John Philip Wyllie
Departing Bonita Vista Girls Track Coach, Ian Cumming remembers when senior Maggie Torres first started running hurdles for him four years ago. At that time, the notion of Torres evolving into a top-flight South Bay track star seemed a little far-fetched. But with the right attitude a lot can change in four years.
“Maggie is an athlete that started as average and worked very hard to become the prominent hurdler in the Mesa League and one of the better hurdlers in the county,” Cumming said. Torres is also a bit of a jack-of-all-trades for the Barons.
“I run the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, the 4x1 relay and do the high jump,” Torres said after warming up on the track Wednesday. “I am the strongest in the 100m. Hopefully, that will be the one that will get me into CIF competition.” Her recent time in the event (15.7 seconds) places her among the county’s elite.
“She has won four invitational races this season and that is pretty impressive considering the level of competition in San Diego,” Cumming said. “She is also undefeated in dual competition and is one of the leaders on our team.” But Torres, who also competed on the Barons Mesa League champion soccer team, is known for a lot more than just her athletic ability. With a G.P.A. of 3.8 earned while enrolled in rigorous I.B. and A.P. classes, she is equally competitive in the classroom.
“It has always been my goal to do well in high school so that I could go to a good college,” Torres explained. “Sports were always just an extra thing. I don’t even know how I have improved as much as I have.” Earlier this year she learned that her primary academic goal had been achieved. She will enroll at the University of Santa Cruz in the fall. She credits her family and parents for much of her success.
“Everyone in my family always (strives) to do their best. My parents often watch me out here and they know how hard it is. They know that I can do it and when I am feeling like I can’t, they are there to push and encourage me to do my best. My dad probably believes in me more than I do,” Torres added.
Aware that her days at Bonita Vista High are coming to an end, Torres would like to leave her mark before she exits with her diploma.
“I am hoping to set a school record in the 100m event. Anticipating the advantage of running on a fast all-weather track during CIF competition, she thinks the record is within reach. But first of course, she must qualify.
A more long-range goal of hers is to one day explore her Mexican heritage.
“Other than to Rosarito, we haven’t traveled too much to Mexico. But I have some family down there and someday I would like to visit them.”
First however, she will be off to college in pursuit of an education that may one day qualify her as a child psychologist. Although she has no plans to compete in collegiate track and field, she intends to keep running. After all, when she first joined the team it was only to stay in shape.