With brother Joey Melone back home from months away in the Army, Riverside-Brookfield's Sarah Melone now has a fresh mindset as she finished first at Thursday's invitational at Elmwood Park. Read more from Eric Van Dril on High School Cube News.
Riverside-Brookfield senior Sarah Melone said she was excited all day Thursday thinking about her older brother coming home later that night.
Joey Melone, a 2012 Riverside-Brookfield graduate who's now in the Army, was scheduled to fly into Chicago from South Carolina on Thursday evening after he spent the previous 135 days away from home.
Sarah Melone said she and her family planned on picking up Joey Melone at the airport Thursday evening, but, before going to the airport, she competed in Elmwood Park's Tiger Invitational. Sarah Melone said she used her brother's return as motivation en route to winning the meet with a season-best time of 18 minutes, 46 seconds. She said she thought about him as she walked up to the starting line, and she continued to think about him as she pushed herself further and further away from her competition.
“It really pumped me up — to do well and be strong for him,” said Sarah Melone. “During the race, if I'm feeling pain or anything, I just have to think, 'I'm doing this for Joey today. I need to be strong for Joey. No matter what I'm feeling right now, I need to go faster for Joey.' ”