Senior Gets the Jump on His Competition

Numan Maloney clears the bar at the state qualifiers. He will compete at states this weekend at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Credits: Vic McGee

Somers senior Numan Maloney is a member of the Tuskers' track and field team.

How old were you when you started competing in track and field and how did you get started?

I first started track through the middle school modified program as a seventh-grader. Both of my sisters did track and I thought getting to run as fast as I could every day after school sounded like a lot of fun.

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What do you enjoy about competing in the high jump and long jump? Why are you successful in these events?

I’ve always loved jumping, ever since I began playing basketball as a kid. When I started running track, I saw high jump and long jump as the track and field equivalents of a slam dunk and found that they could bring out a different kind of energy in me. I’m never satisfied with my performance regardless of how I do, and I always go into competitions chasing the feeling of a personal record.

What is your goal at your final state meet this weekend?

My goal is to finally get the outdoor school record and end my high school career with a new personal best. As always, I want to try to push myself and win the event.

As a senior on the team, how much do you value being a leader?

I have a very close relationship with the younger jumpers on the team and I really pride myself on helping them to improve and become the best athletes they can. One of the best feelings is knowing that I helped someone else achieve their goals.

What is your favorite team activity, pre-meet or post-meet ritual that you share with your teammates?

Throughout the years we’ve formed a tradition of pre and post-meet freestyle rap sessions to lighten the mood and get excited. There’s nothing quite like getting in the zone right before a race or celebrating with some fire verses. It’s definitely going to be something I’ll miss when I leave Somers.

Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?

I have always looked up to my teammates for guidance and they’ve been some of my closest friends. I’d have to say my biggest role model has been my good friend Mike Panzarino (who actually taught me to high jump) because he deserves a lot of credit for how much I love and care about my sport. I hope this doesn’t get to his head.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I’ve been in a 90’s hip hop phase for the past few years and I’m still waiting to grow out of it.

Do you plan on continuing your track and field career in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you pick that school?

I am incredibly lucky and excited to be jumping for Brown next year. I chose Brown because there truly isn’t any place quite like it and I’ve never met students that are so happy and motivated in my life.

Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?

I plan on studying economics because money isn’t everything, but it does make the world go round.

Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?

Ashton Eaton, who is the best decathlete of all-time and has been a huge inspiration for me. I’ll always be a Knicks fan, through thick and thin.

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a meet?

Listening to “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” before I jump will never stop getting me pumped.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

To remember everyone’s name I’ve ever met. I feel like it would fix at least half of the awkward situations I face every day.

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

Japan. When I was little I loved karate and I’m always down for sushi.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a meet?

Nothing does it quite like a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Best place to eat in Somers and why?

My mom’s house. I grew up eating Bengali food and I’m probably going to go through withdrawal next year.

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?

Instagram. I’m too young for Facebook and not famous enough for Twitter to be interesting.

For a young athlete growing up in Somers, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the track and field program and why should they go out for the team?

Track and field has the most supportive community and culture out of any sport I’ve ever played. I guarantee that you will not only make great friends but find something that you’re good at and enjoy. There’s no other sport with the same level of individual focus, and you are always in charge of your success.

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