Showing posts with label Maine state champion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maine state champion. Show all posts

Friday, July 5, 2024

Windham athlete finishes seventh nationally in Triple Jump competition

By Kaysa Jalbert

Many are familiar with the term “adulting” to describe the mundane responsibilities that make up the daily life of an adult, but there’s not a term to describe the lives of teenagers whose days are packed with classes, homework, practices, and work, while maintaining a social life and preparing for their futures full of adulting. Some call this overachieving, but in the eyes of most teens today, it’s simply what it means to be a teen.

Tayla Pelletier of Windham High School
finished seventh in the nation in the triple
jump at the Adidas Nationals at North
Carolina Agricultural and Technical State
University in Greensboro, N.C. in June
after winning the Maine state
championship and the New England 
championship this spring. She will be
a senior at WHS this fall.
Tayla Pelletier is one of these busy teens, as a soon-to-be senior at Windham High School, an honors student, working two part-time jobs and on top of it all, a competitor in the National Track and Field Championships. To her, all of this is what it means to be trying your best.

Earlier this spring, Pelletier won the Triple Jump event at the Maine State Championships at Thornton Academy on Saturday June 1 and went on to win the New England Championships at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday June 8 in the triple jump.

She then traveled out of state to compete in the Adidas Nationals at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina where she competed in the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and the triple jump events.

“Competing in sports has definitely shown how hard I can be on myself,” Pelletier said. “I set very high expectations and always strive to do my best.”

Leading up to competing for a title, Pelletier said she focuses her thoughts on trying her best and staying patient in the air and not getting upset with herself over a bad jump, but to instead focus on the next one.

When she’s not in school, or practicing her triple jump, she can be found at one of her two part-time jobs. Somedays she is serving scoops at the Ice Cream Dugout in Windham, and on other days she works at Beacon Pizza in Raymond.

Pelletier started working at the age of 15 during the summer of her sophomore year. She has held her job at the Ice Cream Dugout for three years and started working at two different jobs last year.

“I wanted to get my first job because I liked the idea of having my own money and being able to get the things I wanted by myself without parents help,” she said. “I wanted to be more independent and to rely less on my parents for everything especially with having five siblings.”

At this point, Pelletier says that she’s undecided in what she wants to do as a future career, but she is certain she wants to continue participating in track into college while studying.

Pelletier started competing in the triple jump during the spring season of her freshman year.

“What interests me most about track is the environment. The team supports one another, and even those you compete against are super friendly,” said Pelletier. “What I like most about being an athlete is the goals I am able to set for myself, and the team and coaches who push me to and support me with achieving these goals.”

Pelletier says that balancing two jobs, school and sports can be a lot at times, especially while taking anatomy and physiology, and honors classes, and there is a lot of work that comes with it.

“My weeks are busy, and nights can be long but it’s all worth it in the end,” she said. “Having a busy schedule can be exhausting, but you just have to find a way to manage it all. And when you get days off then you need to enjoy them and use them as a day off and one to relax.”

Ever since she got into track Tayla has started watching past Olympic competitions or world track and field meets. Through this, she said she gathers a sense of how she can improve on her form and gain inspiration to keep working and never stop giving it her all.

“I enjoy competing because it allows me to not only prove myself but it’s something I can control,” said Pelletier. “I enjoy the competition and have found a lot of joy in this sport and am always looking forward to meet days, especially when it comes to the competition. This fuels my energy and as long as I have the right mindset, I know I can perform.”

She says competing at the Adidas Nationals was a great experience, and she was happy with her times in both the 100-meter hurdle and 400-meter hurdle events, considering it was her first time running the 400-meter hurdles. As for her triple jump, she started the event seeded ninth and came out of finals placed seventh overall. Pelletier attended the Adidas Nationals in North Carolina accompanied by her mom and grandmother.

At home, Pelletier’s hard work makes her a role model for her two sisters and three brothers, all younger than she is.

“My siblings are extremely supportive and are always excited to know how I do,” she said. <