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Walpole’s Costa awarded MSTCA Scholarship

Pictured following her fourth-place finish at all-states, Mia Costa (520) was recently awarded the MSTCA Scholarship following her strong efforts on the track and in the class room at Walpole High School. Photo by Keith Brouillard.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Is they were for all high school athletes, the last two years have been difficult for Mia Costa. The recent Walpole High grad and track star was forced to surrender her entire 2020 spring season due to COVID, followed by an a series of stress injuries which sidelined her for a significant chunk of 2020-2021.

Fast forward to July of 2021, and its safe to say that Costa has overcome it all, and then some. On June 26, Costa placed fourth at all-states with a personal record time of 2:15.30. Costa's time ranked second all-time in program history for the 800m event.

Recently, Costa was named a Bay State Conference All-Star for her efforts on the track alongside teammates Laine DiMartinis and Cara King (Honorable Mention). Along with being named a BSC All-Star, Costa was also recently awarded the Mass State Track Coaches Association (MSTCA) Scholarship.

Costa, who will attend Northwestern University in the fall, plans to major in biology on the pre-med track, with a possible double major in psychology.

"Considering this was my last year competing, being awarded this MSTCA Scholarship certainly felt like the cherry on top after not only this season, but all four years that I have ran at Walpole High School," said Costa when asked what this scholarship means to her. "This spring I was coming off another stress injury, so Coach [Conor] Cashman and I worked to get me back into shape as quickly and safely as possible so I would be able to have a memorable last season. It was easier said than done, but I couldn’t be happier with how this season turned out, and the scholarship was meaningful as it showed me that all our effort was recognized."

As far as her plans for college, Costa says she does not plan on running at Northwestern. While the idea of walking on is tempting, Costa says she plans to run for fun while at school.

"Right now, I do not plan on running for Northwestern," said Costa. "I have considered the idea of walking on the team or joining their club track team, but I also like the idea of running recreationally and using it as a means to meet new friends and stay active while in school. In terms of my major, I currently plan on studying biology on the pre-med track, with a possible double major in psychology. Initially, running D1 in college was important to me during my search, but eventually I came to realize that with the academic rigor of being a pre-med student, it would be hard to balance everything on my plate, and running is something I could always do out of enjoyment, anyway."

A humbled Costa was also sure to give praise to her coach, Conor Cashman, for his efforts in helping train her throughout the last four years.

"Under the guidance of Coach Cashman, I have learned a lot about not only the sport of running, but also a lot about myself and being a good teammate," said Costa. "I personally was extremely prone to injuries throughout high school, and he was always accommodating and supportive of me as I would work to rehab and return to competition. His support helped me be resilient when dealing with injuries and even helped me push through the toughest races. It has also helped me reciprocate the same support to the other girls on the team as they competed alongside me throughout each season."

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

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