BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Bronxville High School track star Meredith Rizzo is The Bronxville Daily Voice Athlete of the Month for February.
Rizzo recovered from a break in the navicular bone in her foot last spring to win two events at the Section 1 Class C championship. She won the 600-meter event and anchored the 4X800-meter relay team to help lead Bronxville to its 17th consecutive section title.
The senior had surgery in the first week of August and doctors put two pins in her foot. She missed the entire cross-country season as a result, and coach Jim Mitchell said Rizzo probably would have won the state title had she been able to compete.
“I was definitely bummed not to run cross-country. I had big plans,” Rizzo said. “I really wanted to go to Nike nationals or at least try to with the team but that was a bust. So it was sort of a bit of a shock not getting to run.”
But Rizzo started on the road to recovery as soon as she could. She ran some in October and by the first week of November she was running three miles at a time. Still, she could not do the one thing she really wanted to do and had to sit on the sidelines as her cross-country teammates competed.
“The girls had a great season and I was glad that I could hobble around and watch them,” Rizzo said. “It was definitely weird watching and not running.”
To make matters more stressful, Rizzo had plenty of other issues on her mind. She had schoolwork to do and applied early to Yale University. Happily, the school accepted her.
But she finally got to step back on the track to compete at the league championships in the first weekend in January and won. Her second race, coincidentally, was at Yale in front of her future teammates and coaches.
Rizzo said she kept her hopes and expectations low for the winter season. But she won her individual event at the sectional meet and anchored the 4X800 relay team, which ranks fourth in New York State and in the top six in the nation.
And those teammates helped Rizzo heal in more ways than one.
“We’re all very close and I definitely needed their support when I was coming back. It was tough, definitely mentally as well as physically challenging,” Rizzo said. “I had to battle myself to get back out there, so their help was definitely something that I needed and that I really appreciated.”
The Student-Athlete of the Month is chosen by the sports reporters and editors at The Daily Voice.