The Student News Site of Shadow Ridge High School

The Lariat

The Student News Site of Shadow Ridge High School

The Lariat

The Student News Site of Shadow Ridge High School

The Lariat

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Leah-ding Track Star, Leah Okuda!

Senior%2C+Leah+Okuda+after+committing+to+UNLV%21+%28Courtesy+of%3A+Leah+Okuda%29
Senior, Leah Okuda after committing to UNLV! (Courtesy of: Leah Okuda)

Star athlete at Shadow Ridge, senior, Leah Okuda, has officially committed to the UNLV Track and Field Team! Shadow Ridge track is proud to represent Okuda, as she has continued to run through several milestones throughout her high school career. 

Senior, Leah Okuda committing to UNLV track! (Courtesy of: Leah Okuda)

Okuda never fails to impress coaches and fellow athletes, as she has been running track and cross country since her freshman year and continues to work hard and improve on her skills everyday. 

Okuda explains, “I enjoy challenging myself and doing things that I used to think were impossible. Most of my friends are on the track team too, so I love being able to hang out with them.”

Okuda has developed strong relationships with both her coaches and teammates, as they all work together to help motivate one another at all times. This sense of support has helped to build up self-esteem and establish a familial connection within the team.

“My coaches believe in me when I don’t. They have taught me how to work hard, and how to push myself. My teammates are also very supportive and have always been encouraging me to do my best. They cheer loudly at meets and make sure that I know how much they love me and how much they believe in me,” Okuda expresses.

Senior, Leah Okuda at the Mt. Sac meet! (Courtesy of: Leah Okuda)

This sense of community has continued to support Okuda in all of her accomplishments as a student athlete at Shadow Ridge. She has an exceptional work ethic, and is looked up to by those around her, as she is always searching for more, and working to improve on her abilities.

Track and Field coach, Mike Smith expresses, “It has been great working with Leah. She works extremely hard at all of the big and little things. When I tell her that she has to hit certain marks in workouts or competitions, she goes out there and hits it right on the money. Leah constantly wants to get better. She does all of her track workouts with no questions asked, works hard in the weight room, and continues to get straight A’s in all of her classes. I couldn’t ask for a better student athlete.”

With much to be proud of, Okuda works consistently at improving both her mindset and abilities, making sure to reflect on her past and only work towards the future. She finds immense pleasure in accomplishing her goals, and has a strong work ethic driving her to do her very best.

Okuda states, “Breaking school records always makes me really proud of myself, especially because it’s something that I never thought I would accomplish when I was a freshman or a sophomore. I think that qualifying in every running event for two years was also an accomplishment that comes with a lot of bragging rights, and I had a lot of fun doing it.”

After working so hard since her freshman year, Okuda is more than proud to say that she has officially committed to UNLV track! She has come so far, and has worked immensely hard to get where she is.

Okuda conveys, “Starting out, I never thought I’d make it this far. I didn’t even think running in college was an option, until about a year ago. Now that I’ve committed, I’m glad that I’ve been trying my best for the last four years. There were many workouts where I’ve asked myself if it’s worth it. After committing, I’m happy to say that all of the blood, sweat, and tears have been worth it, and I’m so glad that I never gave up.”

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About the Contributor
Talor Gitman, Campus Life Editor
Talor is a junior at Shadow Ridge High School. She enjoys watching movies, dancing, spending time with friends, and has been in Las Vegas for about three years. Being from San Diego, Talor also loves going to the beach with friends and family. Some of her favorite movies consist of comedies such as Grown Ups, Just go With it, or The Goonies. This year, Talor strives to write amazing articles, and hopes to turn them in on time!
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