By: Aashika Mehta and Camila Angola
A talented athlete is often thought of as bold and outgoing. But few seem to realize that some athletes prefer to remain hidden in the shadows. Senior Julia Grande is the embodiment of such an athlete. Grande is at the core of the girl’s track team. As she journeys through the final season of her track career at North, Grande has high hopes for the future.
Grande began her career in track and field when she was in middle school. Her participation in the sport stemmed from an innate passion for running and desire to be part of a team. She runs long distance events and her favorite is the 3200 meter race. “Long distance running is really hard to do if you don’t like it, but I love it. It’s honestly a stress reliever for me. I don’t think about school or anything else that I was stressed out about during the day; I just focus on the next step and what’s in front of me,” said Grande. With a positive mindset, Grande manages to achieve all of her goals when running.
Her dedication to track clearly impresses her teammates. “Julia has a heart, mind, and body of steel. She never lets a workout defeat her mentally and is always up for a challenge,” said Sophomore Salini Iyer, a distance runner on the girls track team. Grande’s arduous workouts are not only good for her, but also for the rest of the team, because of the positive example that she sets by doing them consistently and without complaint.
Although she may not be the most outspoken person on the team, Grande’s patience has most definitely made an impact on her teammates and coaches. She is always willing to help and comfort her teammates whether in practice or in meets, and goes the extra mile to help to those around her. “She’s very kind hearted. When my daughter was born Julia brought her a bunch of children’s books. So thoughtful of her. ” said Coach Brian Gould. Whether in school or at home, Grande always tries to consider how her actions could affect others and be considerate.
It comes as no surprise that Grande has loved animals ever since she was little. When she has free time on the weekends, Grande volunteers at the SAVE animal shelter. In the future she would like pursue a career as a veterinarian, because of how much she enjoys being around animals, and her willingness to overcome any challenges that she could face. “ I realize it’s going to take a lot of schooling but I know I want to have a career where I am making something better and am helping someone, whether it has to do with animals or not.” said Grande.