GC’s Maroska Wins Another Race To The End And Wins The Honor Of Female Athlete Of The Year
gREENFIELD – The first time Kayana Maroska ran the 400 meters in a competition, she won a sectional championship.
That says a lot about the confidence that Greenfield-Central High School girls track coach Reuben McCracken has in his junior star, the 2021 Daily Reporter Girls track athlete of the year.
Maroska, who missed a handful of events earlier in the season, was still the team’s leading scorer. His score came mainly in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, 200-meter sprint and as part of one of the Cougars relay teams.
To stand out at the IHSAA State Gathering, McCracken believed Maroska’s best chance would be in the 400.
âOne of our goals was to qualify for the state in something, and I took it up to the 400,â McCracken said. âIn the end, I thought she had better chances in the 400 than in the 300 hurdles. I think she liked the idea of ââgoing out and declaring, and she accepted the idea that it was her best move. She signed up and we went.
Maroska admitted that she preferred the shorter races. Plus, she hadn’t run the 400 for two years.
â(Coach McCracken) gave me the idea that I could perform really well all season for the 400, but he didn’t put me in the test to run it,â said Maroska. “He installed faith in me that I could do so to declare in the 400.”
Maroska entered the section with a pretty solid resume, but not in the 400m.
She was one of three girls to win multiple individual events at the Hoosier Heritage Conference Championships. Maroska won both hurdle races (100 – 15.96 seconds, 300 – 47.82 seconds).
Nicki Southerland of Delta won the 1,600 and 3,200 races and Anyssa Hall of New Castle won the 100 and 200 meter sprints as well as the long jump.
The Greenfield-Central star has also won the Shelbyville section twice. This time it was in the 100m hurdles (16.02 seconds) and the 400 (1: 01.23). She was also second in the 200 (27.13 seconds).
âI was nervous (before the 400) because it would be the first time in over two years,â said Maroska. âI just knew I had to keep a cool head on this if I wanted to go regional. I just tell myself, every time I run, to go out, to do what I can. I know what I’m capable of and I just need to get out there and have some fun and compete.
It was the start of something big.
Maroska cut her time the following week at Franklin Regional. She crossed the 1 minute mark, finishing second in 58.91 seconds. She narrowly came close to winning the race as Kate Henselmeier of Center Grove won in 58.89 seconds.
It was a tough loss to the gang, but second place earned her a spot in the IHSAA Girls’ Track and Field Finals held at Ben Davis High School earlier this month.
She was the only runner in the county to score in the competition, placing eighth with a time of 59.49 seconds.
âIt’s kinda crazy,â Maroska said. “I knew the 400 was going to be something I would end up doing, because I’ve been doing it ever since I started running, but I never knew I could do it, especially in the 400.”
McCracken said it took a lot of hard work and dedication. Something he knew he could take away from his quick junior.
âIt takes a special kind of kid to want to run the 400 and be ready to work and endure the way that race can hurt you,â said McCracken. “She didn’t mind, she was going to go.”
The coach called her selfless, versatile and a runner ready to do what she’s been asked to do, even if those are things she doesn’t like to do. “When she does, she does whatever is asked of her,” added the coach.
Maroska also prides herself on doing good for others. She said she wasn’t just trying to do well for herself. When she runs, she also does so for her coach, teammates and parents.
She said they have all been a great support system for her.
âI have high expectations and I don’t want to disappoint anyone,â she said. âI sort of do it for everyone and me. I want to go out and do what is expected of me or better than what is expected of me. This is what keeps me going and makes me want to keep running.