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Braintree High Student Press

Braintree High Student Press

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Caitlyn Chang: Making Big Strides

Caitlyn+Chang+running+to+the+finish+line+during+a+spring+track+meet.+Image+via+Caitlyn+Chang
Caitlyn Chang running to the finish line during a spring track meet. Image via Caitlyn Chang

Caitlyn Chang is a current junior at Braintree High School who competes competitively for the school’s cross-country, winter track, and spring track teams. However, Chang was not always competing in a cross-country jersey during the fall.

Chang (second from the right) posing with her medal and teammates after a meet. Image via Caitlyn Chang

“She’s exceptional; she’s one of the best we have ever had, and she is only a junior. Not only are her times very fast, but she is also a leader as an athlete on the track and off the track,” XC and Track coach Joe Rich said.

Throughout Chang’s underclassman years as a track athlete, she has achieved greatness. Chang competes in the 800, mile, 4×4 relay, and sprint medley for track. Under these competitions, Chang has qualified for races such as: MIAA All-State Championships, MIAA DIV 1 Championships, MSTCA D1 State Relays, Bay State Conference Championship, MSTCA Coaches Twilight Invitational, MSTCA Tozzi Twilight Frosh/Soph Meet, New England Indoor Championships, MIAA Meet of Champions, and MIAA DI Indoor Track & Field Championships. The accolades keep coming; however, the greatest achievement was attending New Balance Nationals Indoor and New Balance Nationals Outdoor last track season. Chang’s 4×800 group placed 39th in the country, as Chang personally placed 25th in the country competing in the 800.

Caitlyn had entered high school planning on playing soccer in the fall for all four years, as she had grown up playing soccer competitively at a local soccer club, South Shore Select. After playing two years of high school soccer, Chang decided to make the switch in the fall of her junior year to run cross country. After two years of success in running, Chang said she made this decision because of the great success she had found.

“Sophmore track season, I had so many more opportunities to compete at, like higher levels for track, and I just thought I would be better set off for my winter and spring seasons if I did cross country,” said Chang.

This season Chang had definitely grown into the sport, as cross country is an adjustment from her typical track meets. 

“It definitely took time to get used to, as cross country is definitely more mileage, longer races,” explained Chang. 

Chang taking a big stride in her cross-country meet. Image via Caitlyn Chang
Chang taking a big stride in her cross-country meet. Image via Caitlyn Chang

Obviously, Caitlyn adjusted well, as she placed 61st in the MIAA State Championship for Cross Country. Chang qualified for this championship race by racing the weekend before in the Division 1A meet and placing among the top 10 individuals who did not qualify by team. In addition, Chang received end-of-season allocations including BayState Conference All Stars along with Patriot Ledger Honorable Mention. 

Chang credits a lot of her success to not only her coaches but also her teammates: “I’m really lucky to have had such great coaches and teammates that helped me along the way.” Chang’s humbleness speaks volumes as she is going into the winter track season as a junior captain. It was her teammates that put her into this role. “I opened up to a vote and let any experienced junior to be apart of the vote if they wanted to be; the athletes [voted] chose two juniors actually for the captain role [total of 5],” explained coach Rich.

Chang (second from the right with a medal around her neck) posing with teammates and coach (Joe Rich) after a meet. Image via Caitlyn Chang.

Besides being heavily involved in the athletics at Braintree High School, Chang is an active member inside the walls of BHS. Chang is Class of 2025 President, as well as a current member of clubs such as SADD, MVP, GEM, Key Club, and a peer leader for Bridges. Chang has a bright future ahead of her and is definitely looking at running as an option in college. 

But as of now, Caitlyn Chang feels a lot more prepared this year going into the winter track season, as she has been doing more workouts that make her feel prepared as well as coming off of a high cross country season. Coach Rich is expecting to see a difference in her this season.

“She’s always been a smart racer, but she is going to be a little smarter now that she has the endurance aspect to it.”

 

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About the Contributor
Summer Lamont, BHS News Reporter
Summer is part of the class of 2025 and is currently in her first semester of Braintree News. She plays soccer for Braintree high and has a strong passion for photography.

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