Rochelle Township High School senior Angie Saldana had never run the 1600-meter relay throughout her career with the Lady Hubs. But when a teammate went down with an injury at the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Championships this past season, Saldana didn’t hesitate to step up for her team and push herself as hard as she could.
Saldana spent three years with the Lady Hub track and field program, and had the 2020 season not been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she would have been one of Rochelle’s top returning sprinters. Saldana shined during her junior season, helping Rochelle win the 800-meter relay at the Ogle County Championships and setting personal records in the 100-meter dash (13.96 seconds), the 200-meter dash (29.04 seconds) and the pole vault.
“I have so many memories from my time with the track team,” Saldana said. “Being a member of the track program taught me many things, but one important thing the program taught me was that, regardless of how tough something may be, you have to work for what you want… I enjoyed competing and becoming a leader on the team.”
Saldana’s freshman season was highlighted by a second-place finish in the 800-meter relay at DeKalb, where she raced alongside teammate Macey Ryan, who Saldana said became a role model for her later in her high school career. The two Lady Hubs also raced together in the 400-meter relay, helping Rochelle take fifth in the event at the Woodstock Invitational.
“Macey was an amazing runner and she kept running even when she was in pain,” Saldana said. “That’s something I learned from her. Coach [Alison] Vrana was also a role model for me. She always pushed me because she always wanted the best for me.”
Saldana said she plans to attend Northern Illinois University after high school to major in middle level teaching and learning in hopes of becoming a middle school mathematics teacher. She also said she intends to minor in Spanish ESL.