Aruri ended up sitting out the final two dual meets of the season, but after being checked out by doctors she was given the go-ahead to return to workouts.
“I had an MRI to be sure,” she said. “It showed I was OK. They think it’s just because my growth plates are open. It still hurts some, but I am just resting when I need to and I am ready to go.”
Despite the mid-season bump, her coach knows that she will be ready to go for the postseason meets.
“Leila is one of the most focused and dedicated runners I have ever had,” said Golden Warriors head coach Leo Lafond. “Maggie is the best female distance runner in the history of this school. But Leila is equally talented in her own right.”
Aruri said the opportunity to run with Mullins, who is now competing for Boston College, taught her a great deal about how to approach running and competition.
“Myself and the rest of the team learned so much from her,” she said. “I learned about how to run, and I also learned from some things she struggled with. She had a lot of pressure on her and I saw how nervous it made her.
“She was so humble and I think she set the precedent for the way the team is going. She taught us so much, so when others had to step up they would know how to deal with the pressure.”
Aruri now hopes to make those lessons pay off against the best in the state.
“There are some great runners in the MVC, so we will see what happens this weekend,” said Aruri, whose best times is 19:19 over 3.1 miles. “I definitely enjoyed EMass last year (at Boston’s Franklin Park). I feel like that was one of the first times I really fulfilled my expectations.