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Mendelson: Madeleine Reed & Yuji Wakimoto

By Ashan Singh and Maarten Van-Genabeek
Published: June 2010

This year, seniors Madeleine Reed and Yuji Wakimoto have been selected to receive Newton South’s annual Danny Mendelson award for exceptional athletic achievement and sportsmanship.The awards commemorate the life and athletic accomplishments of former South athlete Danny Mendelson. 

Reed, a three-season athlete, has led her teams as captain of Girls’ Cross Country, Girls’ Ice Hockey, and Girls’ Outdoor Track and Field. Her participation in all three programs throughout her four years at South has shown her to be a valuable asset to the community.

She has been a dominant and steady contributor to the Outdoor Track and Field team, which won All-States last year and came in second this year. She was also part of the squad that won All-States in 2008.

In Track and Field, her personal achievements include qualifying for Nationals in the girls’ 2000-meter steeplechase and being a Dual County League (DCL) All-Star in all four years of her involvement on the team.

Additionally, Reed is also an All-American in both Track and Field and Cross Country. She runs the two-mile and the steeplechase.
As well as being a phenomenal runner, Reed excels in the hockey rink. She was a DCL All-Star for four years, almost leading the Girls’ Hockey team to a tournament success.

She was also an important member of the Girls’ Cross Country team, being a DCL All-Star.

Reed led the team all the way to the New England’s meet.

As well as being a fantastic runner, Reed is also a great person. She is not a selfish athlete; she cares deeply about her teammates and their performances.

Reed works hard in practice and has incredible work ethic. She encourages everyone who looks up to her on her sports teams.

She also had a leadership role as captain of all three seasons, and helped to improve her team, leading by example, practicing, and playing hard everyday.

“Madeleine is one of those kids that comes around every so often, Athletic Director Scott Perrin said. “She’s just special in how she does [off the track and out of the rink] and how she performs in the sports she plays.

Out of the many candidates that were contenders for the award, Reed was chosen for her outstanding achievements in South’s athletic program. Her hard work and leadership is certainly a model for all future athletes who will compete for the Lions.

“Her sports accolades speak for themselves, Perrin said.

Reed will be attending Boston College in the fall.

In his years at South, Yuji Wakimoto has been one of the most successful track athletes to ever walk the halls of the school, as he was a captain on the Boys’ Cross Country, Boys’ Indoor Track and Field, and Boys’ Outdoor Track and Field teams.

Wakimoto’s raw talent and hard work ethic has allowed him to succeed during all three running seasons. He even managed to compete with a serious foot injury during the indoor season two years ago.

Wakimoto experienced a stress fracture in his foot, a common but painful injury for track athletes that sidelined him for the majority of the indoor and outdoor season.

Wakimoto, however, was desperate to get back to running and helping his team. He made a full recovery for all three of his seasons this year.

This year, he was part of the 4×800 relay in Outdoor Track and Field that placed fifth in the state, and ran a personal record of 1:56 in the 800-meter run.

Wakimoto is known for his exceptional leadership skills, hard work, and dedication to the team.

He helped lead the Boys’ Outdoor Track and Field team to its fourth consecutive DCL championship, preserving its undefeated record.

His hard work and talent were rewarded as he was designated a DCL All-Star all three seasons this year for his consistently strong athletic performance.

“[Wakimoto] is a kid who scores a lot of points in particularly what was considered a rebuilding year, and [as] a young man who dealt with injury, he still brought the points, Perrin said. 

Wakimoto will be attenting the University of Rochester in the fall.

Both Reed and Wakimoto were chosen out of the many talented athletes at South due to their work ethic, talent, and contributions to the South athletic program.

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Danny Mendelson award. 

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