Warren County High School senior will miss her track coach’s pep talks

Diamond Maldonado

Diamond Maldonado is going to speak at her graduation Saturday, and she’s nervous.

“I’m not nervous to speak in front of everybody, I’m more so nervous that I’m going to break down and cry,” Maldonado said. “Because we’ve been with each other for five years now.”

The Warren County High School senior has been heavily involved within the school. She is the senior class president and the captain of the track team.

Maldonado runs sprints, the 4×100 and 4×400 relays and the long jump. She went to the state championships in long jump. She said that out of everything in high school, she is going to miss track and her coach, Joseph Owens.

“I’ve known [Owens] since middle school, and he’s kind of like — he’s not a coach, he’s like a mentor,” Maldonado said. “You look up to him, and he doesn’t disrespect you. He treats you like you’re one of his family members.”

Maldonado looks back at a particular moment when Owens talked to her after she got hurt.

“He gave me the biggest pep talk I’ve ever had in my life,” Maldonado said. “It turned me around.”

During the pep talk, Maldonado said, Owens told her “that I need to look beyond the pain and everything. And I can’t just beat myself up because of a few jumps and a few shin splints here and there.”

Maldonado is going to a college whose name she wouldn’t disclose, where she plans on studying accounting. Math is her favorite subject, she said.

“[Math] sucks, but it’s fun,” she said.

In addition to missing track, Maldonado said she expects she’ll miss the rigid structure of high school. She had perfect attendance during high school, she said, and liked the regimented nature of having bells tell students when to go from one class to another.

There are some aspects of the collegiate schedules that she is looking forward to, though.

“I’m sure the professors are going to be less strict,” Maldonado said. “They’re going to treat us more like adults.”

Warren County High School Graduation

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Date: Saturday.

Speakers: Principal Ernestine Jordan, Class President Diamond Maldonado.

Top Academic Female: Angela Vasishta.

Top Academic Male: Cameron Nelson Woodward.

Graduates: There are 214 people in the graduating class, with 127 heading to college, 12 going to a trade school or other type of school, 69 going into the workforce and six joining the military.