After three years of doing the walk for the Eagles, freshman Sofia Maluf has learned to talk the talk of a winner in a big way at the big meets. Having refined her legitimate walking motion in an event that always seems to be dominated by the girls who can best disguise their semi-illegal jog, Maluf has also learned a few truly nasty tricks to use on the way to the finish line. At the Westchester County Meet on February 1, she exhibited a showpiece known as the sucker pinch that sprang her to a late-closing triumph in the Class C contest.
Maluf has battled senior Anna Drabek of Croton Harmon in the racewalk a few times over the past years, but never in a bigger spot. With two of the 7 1/2 laps of the race to go, Maluf's early lead over Drabek had disappeared as they battled around the track exchanging leads. Going into the final turn, Drabek had a step lead and seemed in position to cruise the last 100 meters to victory.
As Maluf swung out wide in the turn she saw that Drabek had made a critical mistake by staying too inside as they approached a slightly fading Class A runner, Dorothy Belony of New Rochelle, ahead. Striding into action, Maluf burst a little ahead of Drabek and with her left elbow pointed menacingly outward, she made sure that the Croton walker could not squeeze through the small gap between Belony and herself on the inside. Maintaining this position around the turn and well into the home straightaway, Maluf prevented a frustrated Drabek from unleashing a final surge to the finish and took a close one-second margin win in Class C and 11th in the Open competition.
With 3 1/2 more years to go, Maluf is well set to spring a good many more evilish tricks on the way to gold and glory. For smarts, toughness, and raw desire, Maluf gets a POTW in a great Eagle performance that provides the right type of message to the team heading into the Sectionals.