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Norwood - Local Town Pages

Norwood Runner Tina Fontaine Pushes Through the Pain

By Christopher Tremblay
Tina Fontaine’s family moved to Norwood unfortunately during her sophomore year during the Covid-19 Pandemic, so it made it extremely difficult for her to connect with anyone in her new town and school. While living in Randolph, she had run cross country for the middle school and was on the freshman softball team; here in Norwood she was looking forward to trying out for the cross country and track teams.
“I always wanted to run,” Fontaine said. “I was told that I was fast, but I never really got to find out in Randolph as there was no track team at the high school, so I was really excited about trying out for the team here in Norwood.”
While track was something that she wanted to pursue, after her first practice she had different thoughts about the sport when she finally got to the first practice last winter. 
“That first workout was excruciating, and my first thoughts were, what did I get myself into,” Fontaine said. “Until that first meet, I didn’t know what I was in for, however, it was a great experience, and I came in second in the 55 meters.”


Running the 55 meters was a test event for her at first, and once she saw how she performed, Fontaine realized that there was room for improvement. Almost immediately she set her first goal – to beat the team’s top runner, which she eventually did during the winter season.
Coming into her junior campaign on the track, Fontaine was looking to decrease all her personal best times that she set last year. Having had success running, she decided to take on the 100 and 200 this year.
“With the knowledge of the sport now, I wanted to work on my technique and set a goal, which was a bit of a reach for the stars type of goal,” Fontaine said. “I wanted to go undefeated during the year and I kept that in my mind all year long as I kept training.”
When she started winning, she continued to work hard and keep her focus, because she said if she didn’t it could be easy to slip. With that in mind, she made sure she was at every practice no matter what.
“Winning could have made it easy for me to say I don’t need to go to practice, I’ve got this,” Fontaine said. “As the wins kept coming, I had no excuses. I wanted to work 100% to be ready for the next race. I didn’t get too cocky, but instead was just proud of myself and accomplishments.”
Fontaine landed her goal as she went undefeated during the year in both the 100 and 200 in the Tri-Valley League (TVL) dual meets.
“She is a standout sprinter and I figured that she was going to have a good season,” Norwood Girls Track Coach Alana Keady said. “She not only had a good season, but she was one of the top runners in the league.”
Upon entering the TVL Meet, the junior runner was unsure of how she was going to perform as she was having bad shin splint pain. She was afraid that something was going to happen, and it wasn’t going to be good. Lucky for the Norwood sprinter, nothing bad came of the league meet; instead, she finished third in the 100 and fourth in the 200 qualifying for the MIAA Division 3 State Tournament. 
Once at the State Meet, Fontaine posted her personal best time during the preliminaries with a time of 12.68 seconds. Not only was it Fontaine’s best ever time, it was also her fastest time in the 100.
“I was shocked when I looked at my time and found that it was a personal record, especially since my shins were getting worse,” Fontaine said. “While I was extremely excited, I was also nervous about the final, so I didn’t want to ice them. I just rested and recouped for the finals.”
In the State Finals, Fontaine ran a little slower than her preliminaries and finished with a time of 12.80 seconds, which was good enough for fifth place and a spot in the All-State Meet, or the Meet of the Champions as it is now called. 
Although Fontaine had qualified to run the 100 at the Meet of Champions, she had to decline as her shin splints got worse and she had to get x-rays. While disappointed, she has vowed to return next year.
“It was extremely disappointing not being able to go [Meet of Champions] after all my hard work,” Fontain said. “But it was also very exciting knowing that I could have gone. My goal next year is that I will definitely be going.”