CORTLAND — When Mia Malito was in seventh grade, a trip down to Columbus to root on older brother Nicolas Malito at the state meet began a quest to kickstart a track and field career. Along with her other older brother, Dominic, who was well on his way to make a name for himself as a freshman in 2019, the seeds of future success were planted.
A nixed season due to a COVID-19 and a full spring season under their belts as teammates, Dominic and Mia have become mainstays of late, consistently trading wins in the high jump and long jump, with both former state qualifiers playing huge roles on the Indians’ sprinters core.
For the duo, track and field has just been in their family’s blood for as far back as they can remember.
“(Nick) kind of set our standard for us, and then both of us are just trying to go above and beyond what he’s done,” said Dom, who competes in several different events in a given meet. “A lot of practice, I feel like from other sports, we’ve always just had athleticism, jumping has always kind of been our thing.”
Two years ago, Dom had the opportunity to earn a school record on the Indians’ 4×200 team as a freshman with his older brother Nick. It’s that kind of commendation that became a part of the legacy that’s already been written at Girard.
“Just seeing it on the board and everything just makes me happy,” Dom said.
Following the kind of success that her two older brothers were having, Mia made her track debut last season as a freshman, eventually punching a ticket to Columbus for the high jump, placing 16th in Division II.
This week at the Trumbull County Championships, Mia earned event victories in the long jump (16-08.75), high jump (5-02), and the 4×400 (4:16.84), becoming diverse with her event choices like Dom has and earning the girl’s field MVP at Lakeview.
“I go to practice with Dom every day. We’re there a lot of times, we leave together, we go home and work out together, so it’s definitely good to have him,” Mia explained. “For sprinting we do a lot of 300 repeats, 50 repeats, especially for the 400, finishing is a big thing so we work on that a lot.”
High jump has become Mia’s favorite event of the bunch. She has her eyes set on her aunt Carla’s record of 5-04.
“It’s very exciting because I talk to her every day, and she wants me to beat the record so bad,” Mia said.
Heading to state as just a freshman can be daunting at first, but it didn’t phase Mia. Despite her 17th-place finish, the experience of just being on the biggest stage proved valuable.
“It was exciting. I really wasn’t expecting it, but I got it done,” Mia explained. “My coach helped me out a lot. We work on it everyday. There’s a lot of competition; you might not see it at the beginning of the season, but as you start to advance, people are very good, so you just have to keep working hard.”
Dom is coming off a run to state himself, finishing seventh at the long jump last year. His goal this season is to help as many of his fellow teammates make it to Columbus that he can, but only finishing seventh has lingered in his mind.
“Not too happy about that, and ever since that day all I’ve been thinking about is getting back there and really getting back to competing,” Dom said.
At the Trumbull Country Meet, he earned event titles for the long jump (22-04.50) with top three finishes in the high jump (6-02), and 100 (11.48), helping the Girard boy’s team earn the title with 110 points while being named the boy’s meet MVP.
Both Malito siblings are found elsewhere, too, with Dom taking his share of the snaps as the Indians’ running back and Mia becoming a key contributor on the hardwood in the winter.
“A lot of practice, from other sports we’ve always just had athleticism, jumping has always kind of been our thing, with the help from the coaches working on our form and kind of critiquing everything and really just helping us out has really pushed us to be better athletes overall,” Dom explained.