The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

Freshman Triathlon canceled for first semester students

MAST’s Biscayne Bay, where freshmen complete their triathlon.

One of Miami-Dade’s 522 public schools, MAST Academy has a feature that sets it apart from the rest. Its location in Virginia Key, with the back of the school facing the Biscayne Bay, makes MAST’s mission of excellence as a maritime-focused school so much more profound.  

Luckily for students, this distinctive location allows MAST to offer courses not found in many of the schools in Miami: Swimming I, II, and III and Water Sports. These courses, taught by Mr. Gomes and Ms. Hendrickson offer freshman through senior students the opportunity to obtain lifeguard and diving licenses, a chance to kayak in the Bay, and participation in various other water activities. One of the activities in particular, looked forward to by the instructors to check off an A in their gradebook, is the traditional Freshman Triathlon. This staple activity includes one mile of running, one of swimming, and lastly, one of kayaking. This year however, the triathlon was canceled for freshmen taking Swimming I the first semester. This came as a shock to many freshmen, who from the beginning of the semester, had been warned by older classmates about the dreaded triathlon day. 

“The time that we wanted to do it the weather was very cold. …we had planned to do it early December…and the weather was not cooperating. [Also], there was one or two days that the sampling of [Dog Beach], we go by a certain website, [Florida Health], …the quality was poor, so we don’t go out,” Ms. Hendrickson said. Fortunately, the freshmen should have no worries about this cancelation affecting their grade as Ms. Hendrickson assures that “we grade every single day on participation.”

For many freshmen who spent their semester training for the triathlon, the cancellation was a relief. 

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“We’ve been running, we’ve been kayaking, and we swam. I’m happy it was canceled, I wasn’t ready for it,” freshman Trinidad Rodriguez-Loeches said. The freshmen taking Swimming I second semester will not be so lucky though, as Ms. Hendrickson assures that the Spring triathlon is still on.

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About the Contributor
Mercedes Halliburton
Mercedes Halliburton, Managing Editor
Mercedes Halliburton is a senior at MAST Academy. She is in her fourth year at the school, arriving in 2019 from St. Theresa Catholic School. Halliburton enjoys MAST more than her previous school because she believes that there is more freedom. Halliburton likes MAST because she enjoys swimming and water. She also enjoys reading and writing, saying that it is her favorite subject. Her least favorite subject is math, and her hardest year was junior year. She doesn’t have a least favorite teacher and she likes most of the teachers. She also likes MAST because it has a nice view and is so close to the beach. Even though MAST is fun, Halliburton claims it is also a challenging school with many hard classes.
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