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Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Victoria Miranda, Looking To Fill The Void

By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Hopedale’s Victoria (Tori) Miranda has always found that she was involved in three sports, but when she decided to stop playing basketball she soon found that she had a void in her winter schedule. 
Being that she was no longer playing basketball, Miranda drifted toward winter track to keep her busy in between field hockey and softball.
“Last year I stopped playing basketball because I was not the best at it and was not able to give it the proper amount of time due to my spending more time practicing softball, my main sport,” she said. “So I decided to try out track and found that I not only liked the people, coaches and meets but it was keeping me well conditioned.”
Miranda, who joined the team last year from BMR as they did not have a girls track team, began running sprinting events for the Blue Raiders. 
The junior runs the 55-meter dash as well as the 300, but she feels that the later race is not her favorite as she needs to sprint hard for the entire race and believes that she is much more acclimated to the 55 as it’s quicker.
According to Hopedale Coach Tim Maquire, Miranda came to Hopedale to run during the winter season and the team was more than happy to have her. This year she transferred to Hopedale and is now in the school on a regular basis. 
“She has definitely given us a good boost in her events to help us pick up points, she was a solid pick up for sure,” the Coach said. “In addition to the 55, 300 and 4x200 relay, Tori tried the long jump last year and although small picked up the shot put for us this year and is currently our third best athlete in the event.”
Having tried the long jump last year, the junior decided to give it another chance this season, but found that she just wasn’t hitting her mark and felt it was best to let it go.
“The shot put wasn’t going my way this year and I didn’t want to waste my time focusing on an event that I was not doing well in, while taking away time from my sprinting,” Miranda said. “I tried the shot put in its place and found that I really enjoyed it and it allowed me to do something else at the meets between my other events instead of just waiting around.”
Although she is truly enjoying throwing the shot put and doing it with success, Miranda’s main focus has been the 55-meter dash where she has been able to etch her name into Hopedale history. During the Coaches Invitational Meet the junior sprinter was able to eclipse Kyana Farhart’s 2014 record pace of 8.07 in the dash putting up a time of 7.97 to break 9-year record at Hopedale.
With a time that was relatively close (her best time was 8.13) to the record Miranda was hoping to top the time at the Coaches Invitational Meet, but she wouldn’t find out if she was able to do so for some time after her race. 
“I knew that I had the possibility of breaking it, so prior to the race I continually stretched, worked on my breathing and practiced my block starts, but the closer it got to my heat the more nervous I got,” she said. “Things changes when I was finally got the blocks. I found myself more relaxed and luckily in a fast heat where I just tried to keep up with the other runners.”
Not only was she able to keep pace with the other runners, but she also said she felt really good during the event. However, despite all that, she would not find out her time right away as the timing boards at the Reggie Lewis Arena were not working that day. So as she awaited her results, the nerves kicked in.
“It was nerve racking, but I was really excited when my coach told me that I had broken the record. It was something that I really wanted to do and being so close it pushed me hard to reach this goal,” the new record holder said. “It means a lot to me as people have told me that I was fast but I never really realized it until I got the record. Now I know that I am actually fast and to be the only one over the last nine years to do it is amazing.”
Still with the remainder of the season to still take part in, Miranda is looking to lower her 55-meter time even lower, while looking to put her name in the record books once again, this time in the 300. The record currently sits at a time of 44.3 seconds while Miranda’s time is 3 seconds off at 47.0.
While the junior is eying the 300-meter record, her Coach sees her taking part in the District Championships where he believes that she will be able to qualify for the Division 5 State Meet, where she will have a chance to improve upon last year’s performance.