Riding on the wave of success from their indoor season is the girls outdoor track team. The team has continued to train for the new spring season and has used indoor as a springboard.
Head coach Mr. Schulte hopes that this will give them a competitive edge over the other teams in the division. “We’re strong on the track,” Schulte said. He exuded confidence throughout the conversation until he made mention of the throwers, where he seemed a tiny bit concerned about, “how [they] will develop.”
There is no question though, that they are certainly a noteworthy team. Determined runners, and captains, Rachel Mezzoni, Valerie Hiller, and Abby Shackett will not be an uncommon sight at the head of the pack during the season.
“I think we are going to do pretty good this year,” Mezzoni said. “There are a lot of upperclassmen who have definitely matured into better runners.”
Mezzoni is speaking of runners like juniors Catie Miller and Julia Maurer, both of whom have shown promise in the past.
“It’s great to see how flexible our team is in terms of all the different events that we run well,” said assistant coach Ms. Pirrello. “We have talented sprinters, mid-distance, and long distance athletes.”
A lineup like this should allow the team to achieve Schulte’s goal, to have at least one athlete to advance to states in each event that the team competes in. It should not be too long into the season before it becomes clear if this is possible or not.
“I’ve made states in the 400, 4x400, and the 4x800 in the past,” said Shackett. “I feel like I am in good shape already so I will hopefully do it again.”
Hiller, who holds records for the cross country and indoor track teams, should be able to win several long distance events while Shackett covers the short distance.
“Valerie’s such a good runner,” Maurer said. “Everyone knows that she is going to win a ton of events.”
Barring any unexpected injuries that take key runners like Shackett or any of the other captains off the track, it should be an exciting season. Their first meet will be away versus North and East Haven on the fifth of April.
“I think we’re all ready to go,” Mezzoni said. “Any extra time we have between now and the actual start of the season will only make us better.”