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SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Star student Mariah Amugo cherishes track & field

RESERVE — During the first meet of the 2020 track and field season, East St. John senior Mariah Amugo was still recovering from a back injury sustained in a car accident. As the second meet drew closer, she was prepared to kick into high gear and achieve the goals she’d set for herself in the triple jump and 400-meter dash.

That was when the threat of the coronavirus shut down the Sugar Cane Relays scheduled for March 18 at West St. John High School. The next day, Mariah learned the entire season would likely be a wash as schools statewide shut their doors.

“It was really heartbreaking because this was my senior year,” Mariah said. “It hurt us a lot, especially the seniors, because it was supposed to be our last year, and we had goals set in place for ourselves that we couldn’t reach this year.”

One of those goals was to extend her triple jump from 35 feet to at least 36 feet. With time and effort, she

East St. John senior Mariah Amugo is a track and field athlete and a star student ranked first in her class.

believes she could have reached 37 feet.

“Normally people struggle with triple jump, but I just fell in love with it immediately,” Mariah said. “When I first learned to do it, it was easy for me. It’s always fun to go through the phases of the jumps, land in the pit, and push yourself to go farther and farther every time.”

Another goal Mariah set was to get her 400-meter dash time down to a minute flat. Last season, she averaged approximately 64 seconds. Reaching that goal would have also helped Mariah excel in the 4×400-meter relay.

Coach Percy Williams said Mariah is a competitive athlete with strong leadership capabilities. He added that she gives just as much effort in the classroom as she does on the field.

With a 4.0 GPA and a 27 on the ACT, Mariah is on track to become East St. John’s 2020 valedictorian. Her other extracurricular activities include Sewing Club, Beta Club, Art Club and National English Honor Society.

Outside of school, Mariah operates her own customized hair piece business. Her work can be found on Instagram @mariahsunits.

Mariah plans to attend Louisiana State University in the fall to pursue a career in the medical field. She feels her math skills make her a perfect fit for studying the chemistry behind drugs and administering medicine to help patients in need.