By Ray Hamill — Fortuna’s Maggie Stacy is driven to succeed, and now she’s taking that drive to the collegiate level.
The outgoing senior, a standout in cross country and track and field, recently committed to compete in both sports at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, following in the footsteps of fellow senior and close friend McKenzie Emmons, who will play basketball at the community college.
And Fortuna cross country and track head coach Josh Quintal has no doubt Stacy has what it takes to succeed at the next level.
“Her tenacity is what makes her special,” he said. “She’s a fighter. She’s had injuries and she’s not one to tell you she’s hurt before a race, she’ll just go out and do it.”
For Stacy, the decision to attend Cuesta was not the original plan.
“My family is moving to Bakersfield, so there was a change in plan from what I originally was thinking for college,” the senior said. “But it’s a nice area and my best friend McKenzie is going there.”
Stacy had been leaning towards attending Sonoma State before the family decision to move, but says she didn’t want to be that far away from them.
And when Emmons heard the news, she jumped at the opportunity to convince her best friend to join her at Cuesta after she had committed to the school.
“We’ll get to cheer each other on,” Stacy said.
Stacy competed in track in all four years of high school, specializing in the 1600m and 3200m, as well as competing three years in cross country, placing fifth in the H-DNL Championships last fall.
And she says she loves the competition.
“It’s so different from other sports,” she said of running. “It’s kind of on you, which can be a good thing or can be a bad thing.
“I love the feeling when you put it all out there and did everything you could do.”
That drive was evident this spring when the prep track season was put on hold, before eventually being canceled.
Stacy and Fortuna teammate Lexy Roberts, who will attend Sac State after graduation, committed to keep practicing every day together just like they would have if school had not been closed.
“We said we might as well keep running so we would be ready if the season kicked back in,” she said. “We’re still going. We still wanted to better ourselves.”
Quintal believes Cuesta is getting the perfect competitor in Stacy.
“She’s just easy to coach,” he said. “Whatever you tell her, she’ll do it, and I just expect her to continue to get better and better.”
The two-sport senior standout says she learned a lot from her time competing at Fortuna and is grateful for what her coaches have done for her.
“Honestly, I feel it sounds kind of cheesy, but I learned to never quit no matter how hard it gets,” she said. “So many times I wanted to quit and my coach Josh Quintal kept telling me I can do it. I learned to never quit on yourself.”
The Husky senior has lived in Humboldt for the past 10 years and said she will miss the area, but also that she is excited about the opportunities ahead.
“Fortuna’s been great,” she said. “I’m not originally from here, and I’m sad to be leaving, but I’m definitely excited for new opportunities.”
Stacy intends to major in Business Management and will pursue her real estate license after graduation.