Welcoming Back Fellow Panther From Italy


Anna Adams, Staff Writer/ Editor

Last year, a reputable cross country and track runner moved to Italy. Amid COVID-19 restrictions that hampered his running career, this runner has returned to the United States as of this February. Here comes senior Matthew Fleming as he returns to finish out his running legacy at Medina Valley.

“My time in Italy wasn’t as fun as you’d expect,” Fleming said, who revealed that Italy still enforces strict COVID-19 regulations and restrictions. “I wasn’t able to experience all that Italy had to offer.” In fact, his Italian school canceled its entire track season last year. The current restrictions in Italy can abruptly warrant two-week quarantines, consequently disrupting any recently established schedules. 

“Last year, my old school straight-up canceled track season and I didn’t want to risk that happening again,” Fleming said. As this January went by, track season had not even been considered in Italy, while Medina Valley was already getting ready for its first track meet. So, he took matters into his own hands and returned to the United States.

“It is very nice to be back in school here at Medina Valley and to, in general, be back in a place that has somewhat returned to ‘normal’ from COVID,” Fleming said, who came back in time for the first track meet of the season. On February 17, he raced the 800-meter dash, the 400-meter dash, and the 1600-meter race at Harlandale. Though it was windy, he believes that it went well.

Happy to be back at Medina Valley, Fleming is determined to uphold his athletic reputation and bring victory to his team. Once a Panther, always a Panther, no matter the country!