Anadarko’s Elizabeth Saldana – Character Counts Presented by Bank of Commerce

By Rachelle Rogers

While many freshmen are struggling to get their feet underneath them, Anadarko’s Elizabeth Saldana is ahead of the pack. She runs track and cross country for the Warriors. She is also involved in various academic events and other functions with her tribe, the Wichita Tribe, and she interns at a local broadcasting company. All while maintaining an A average. “My parents always tell me that grades come first so I’m always striving to get the highest grade in every class,” states Elizabeth Saldana.

Saldana has been running cross country since she was in 5th grade and track since the 7th grade.

This past fall she placed 20th at the 4A State Cross Country meet. She currently runs the individual 800m and 1 mile and is the first leg of the two-mile relay. She has helped her team place in the two-mile relay and is currently the fastest on the team in the 800m placing 3rd at the Kingfisher track meet.

“My biggest influence is my family. They support me in everything I do,” says Elizabeth Saldana. A proud daughter of an Army Veteran, she’s very in touch with and proud of both her Native American and Puerto Rican culture.

 Reading, listening to music and sewing are some of her favorite things to do when she’s not training. One of Elizabeth’s brothers is autistic so she forms a team every year for the Autism Run in Oklahoma City to raise money for Autism Oklahoma. They are called Team Oscar, named after her brother. “It’s amazing what they are doing for kids on the spectrum,” says Saldana.

Elizabeth has been trying to get her coach to let her pole vault, so towards the end of the season he let her try it. She went to their conference track meet and placed 6th in the pole vault despite the fact that it was only her second time to compete. “She’s one of the hardest working young ladies that I have seen in some time,” states head coach Keith Shaull. “She’s pretty serious about it and she’s very gutsy.”

“I’m very proud of my hometown, this will always be my home and I’m so glad I get to represent my school and my town.” With regionals and state quickly approaching right now her focus is doing the best she can for her team, her family and her hometown of Anadarko.