Season Interrupted: Newbury Park runner Archana Mohandas is bound for MIT


Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Name: Archana Mohandas

School: Newbury Park

Sport: Cross-country/track

Key stats: She won the Marmonte League girls’ 3,200-meter championship in 2018 and 2019 and recorded a fastest time of 10 minutes 45 seconds. She won the Marmonte League cross-country title in 2018.

Summer plans: She intends to run and take online classes.

Fall plans: She will attend MIT.

On the abrupt end to the track season: “It does suck for seniors needing to set PRs [personal records] and juniors who needed times for college. But I completely understand these are necessary measures for safety. For me, I hoped to set a PR and I never had been to the state meet. I felt it would have been really cool if I could do that this year.”


On her acceptance to MIT: “Running helped me balance my academics. Both went hand in hand. I don’t usually react to things, but it was definitely exciting. I remember being so scared to open [the computer link]. I was waiting for a long time. I had my friends on FaceTime and my family around me.”

Lessons learned from the sports stoppage: “We can’t be with our teammates, which is a huge aspect of high school running. I didn’t realize until now how much my team pushes me to train harder and keep me motivated.”

On the new things she’s discovered with her free time: “I’ve been drawing and painting. That’s something I always liked doing but never had time.”

Where she sees herself in 10 years: “I hope to do some sort of science, physics or applied math in college. I always thought it would be cool to do research.”

See the video and interviews with other athletes at