BENTONVILLE -- If Madison Galindo had her way, she would give herself a busy agenda today as she participates in the Class 6A state track and field meet.
The Bentonville senior distance runner said she would love to be the one that runs the anchor leg in the Lady Tigers' 3,200-meter relay team this afternoon at Fort Smith Southside. She would follow up that performance by running the 1,600, 800 and the 3,200 races later in the meet.
"I would love to run all of them, honestly," Galindo said. "I don't think I would have specific ones that I prefer over the other. I just think distance is a fun group of events."
The only preference Galindo has for this year's meet is to stay healthy, something that she wasn't able to experience during last year's state meet in Little Rock. Even though she came down with the flu before the meet, she still tried to run and did help Bentonville win the 3,200 relay.
But her performances suffered as the meet continued. She finished eighth in the 1,600 and 11th in the 800, and she eventually had to drop out of the 3,200 -- which she calls her favorite race.
"It was not fun," Galindo said. "I tried to push through it, but my body wasn't having it. So I decided to cut it off after the 800.
"It just hurt. My lungs hurt, my heart hurt, my head hurt. Everything that wasn't my legs hurt. It wasn't like I was sore, but I couldn't breathe and I couldn't get myself to go any faster. I don't think I checked to see if I was running a fever, but I probably was."
A healthy Galindo -- something she has strived to do throughout this spring -- means two state meet records could be in danger of falling today. Her best 3,200 time of 10 minutes, 42.56 seconds, which she ran in March during the Tiger Relays, easily surpasses the state meet record of 11:04.31 set by Ashley Williams of Mount St. Mary in 2003.
She was also part of the Bentonville 3,200-meter relay team that ran 9:27.40 last month at the Kansas Relays. That not only surpasses the state meet record (9:41.74 by Bentonville in 2019) but the state overall record (9:31.46 by Bentonville in 2016) as well.
The only thing Bentonville Coach Randy Ramaker guarantees about Galindo is she will run the 1,600, where she ran a personal-best 5:02.37 during the McDonald's Relays two weeks ago on the same track and should be pushed by Springdale Har-Ber sophomore Lilly Beshears. The rest of Galindo's schedule may rest on how things look before the meet starts.
"It will be an interesting call," Ramaker said. "I'm going to warm up six or seven girls for the 4x800 and decide at the check-in who I want to run that race, based on different things. She will have a choice to run the 800 probably, depending on how the meet's going, then she'll run the 3,200. It's a bit of her choice and a bit of my choice. The first part is my choice, the second part is her choice.
"Last year at the state meet, we needed every distance runner -- almost all of them that qualified -- and they had a huge day. They ran the 4x800, then ran the mile, the 800 and the 2-mile, and that hurts. That's a lot of running to do in one day at a high level. I don't wish that upon [Galindo], but I won't take it away from her either."
Galindo, who has already signed to run college track and cross country at Elon, a private NCAA Division I college in North Carolina, said she probably would love to break the 6A state meet record in the 3,200 if given her preference. The only problem is the 3,200 is the next-to-last event to run.
"I really love that race," Galindo said. "But you have all these other races, and trying to save energy for that one is kind of hard.
"But I also love the 4x800. You have a team as a whole, like Bentonville, but then you have the relay teams. You have three girls that you get to hang out with and train with, and in one race you're running together. So I love that race because of the team aspect of it, and I love those girls so much. We've all worked so really hard for this."