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As the 2012 Inter Secondary Schools’ Track and Field Championships draw near, SEARCHLIGHT begins a series of features of athletes likely to impress at the March 29 event.{{more}}

Shafique Maloney is a 13-year-old student of the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, who has her eyes set on becoming the Junior Champion at the marquee event for the Secondary Schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I want to do my best and be the Junior Champion,” Maloney told SEARCHLIGHT last Friday afternoon at the Grammar School Playing Field, while going through her paces with the school outfit.

But the second form student, who specialises in the 100 m and the 200 m, first wants to impress at her school’s Inter House School Sports set for this Thursday at the Victoria Park.

Maloney, at her school’s event, wants to sweep the divisional title and win the overall Victrix Ludorum award.

A former student of the Richland Park Primary School, Maloney said she did not take up Track and Field seriously until she entered the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, two years ago.

“I am more serious about it now that I see what you can get out of it,” the budding female athlete said.

And, Maloney is not looking outside or globally for her inspiration, as she is finding it within the walls of her school.

“My favourite athlete is Brandon Parris,” Maloney revealed.

Parris is a fifth form student of the Thomas Saunders Secondary School and is one of this country’s most promising young male athletes, whose pet event is the 400 m.

Apart from her immediate aspirations for the two local upcoming events, Maloney has her eyes set on the bigger picture, that is, making the Thomas Saunders Secondary School’s team to this year’s Penn Relays in April in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It is the first time that the Thomas Saunders Secondary will be participating in the female category of the Penn Relays, after the male team made its debut in the 2011 version.

For Maloney, her overall goal is “to see how far I can go in the sport”. (RT)