By Erica Laidler (Editor-in-Chief).
They may be only two meets in, but the Sharon girls’ track team already has secured two victories and the promise of a successful season.
Last Saturday, the team beat North Attleboro, their hardest competition in the Davenport, by two points. And though the boys team lost by ten in the meet, both squads beat Foxboro two weeks ago.
“It was interesting to witness the competitive atmosphere first hand,” said SHS junior and sprinter Angela Wallace, who joined indoor track for the first time this year. “It was very nerve-racking knowing Sharon would be going up against such a…competitive team. We knew [it] would be a fight until the end.”
Wallace says the girls’ victory can be attributed to their ability to remain calm, support each other, and put forth their best efforts despite the pressure. “The endless support, cheering, and praise from the captain’s, coaches, and runners are a constant reminder of why I chose to pursue a sport that chooses to look after all of its players,” she added.
After beating North Attleboro and Foxboro, teams which earlier defeated Canton and Stoughton by significant margins, the girls teams’ path to the Davenport title seems nearly assured. They will run against Milford, Stoughton, and Canton in the coming months before the postseason.
The boys team crushed Foxboro 73 to 22 two weeks ago, but the North Attleboro meet proved more of a struggle.
Sophomore Noah Wieland says he was surprised by the loss. “I thought we were going to win the way we were training that week…the results of our workouts showed that we could’ve stood a fair chance,” he said.
Despite the loss, the boys achieved some impressive times and placements.
Sophomore Chris Gong and senior Oliver Hu placed 2-3 in their heat of the 55m dash, senior Patrick Carries and junior Jeffrey Thomas finished first and second in shot put, senior Juvan Elisma won long jump, and senior Matt Hoffman came in first in his heat of the 300m followed by senior Juvan Elisma in third. Hu also placed third in the 55m dash, while Hoffman came in third in his second race, the 600m.
The 4x200m relay also beat North Attleboro, though the 4x400m lost.
In distance, senior Terry Sun beat all North Attleboro competitors with times of 4:42 and 10:29 in the mile and 2 mile, while sophomore Kanishka Sethi and junior Grant Fawcett placed second and third in their heat of the 1000m.
Senior Oliver Hu says North Attleboro was a talented opponent but not an invincible one. “[Our] team just needed to step up as a whole against a difficult team and we just didn’t show up…If we showed up we would have won,” he said.
But Hu notes there is still a long season ahead. “Beating North would have felt good; however, we need to be positive and learn from this massive L,” he said.
Wieland agrees. Despite the loss, he said the team is still “a strong one this year.”
“We just need to continue working harder in order to succeed,” he said. “There is still hope that we can come out on top.”
The girls’ team clocked in some impressive times and distances as well. Wallace and freshman Jada Johnson came in first and third in their heats of the 55m dash, seniors Erica Laidler and Meaghan Connolly placed one-two in their heats of the 600m, and sophomore Maya Biran ran to second in the 55m hurdles. Wallace also placed third in the 300m.
As for field events, Aiyana Williams secured third in shot put, while Johnson and sophomore Jill Patel placed 2-3 in high jump. Johnson also won long jump, followed by senior Ally Steinberg in third.
Throwing Coach Roy says he has been very pleased with his shot putters’ performance this year. “We’ve had three kids [Carries, Thomas, and McManus] break a school record that’s been standing for five years,” he said. “They’re a powerhouse. Looking at League Standings they’re in 2nd, 3rd, and 6th, so they’re going to a lot of damage in the league meet.”
This year, the shot put crew began travelling to Foxboro every Thursday to train with their team, which lacks a throwing coach but practices in an indoor throwing facility.
Though the Foxboro trips are new, Roy says the shotputters “haven’t really changed anything [in training] – we’ve stuck to the same plan that’s been working for us,” he said, adding that the throwers lift weights, sprint and condition (which people do not always associate with shot put training), and perform core work.
“I can’t ask any more of them than for them to be a little better than the last time they threw,” added Roy.
Junior Aiyana Williams says she and the team have significantly proved from last year. “I’m taking better criticism, doing more work , and now that I’m pursuing a leadership role I’m more motivated,” she said, adding that her teammates have PR’ed and that she is now only two feet from breaking the school record herself.
“We’ve all [Williams, McManus, Carries, and Thomas] qualified for Divisional States this year, so things are looking pretty good right now,” said Williams.
Though the girls’ 4x400m relay team beat North Atttleboro by 14 seconds, the 4×200 relay lost.
Despite the defeat, Wallace says there is a lot of potential for the 4×200 team, whose end goal is to qualify for states and see where it takes them. “The lineup of the team was changed for the North Attleboro meet and we successfully ran our hardest until the end,” said Wallace.
“But when running the 4x200m with [Steinberg, Johnson, and Connolly], we missed the qualification cut off my a mere second,” added Wallace. “If we continue to improve on our speed, insurance, and handoffs, there is no doubt that we will succeed.”
The distance team also performed well. In a last-lap sprint, Junior Maria Gieg won the two mile. Sophomore Dana Jaffe clocked in just half a minute later. Junior Ari Tolay won the mile and later her heat of the 1000m with a time of 3:17, after which senior Victoria Zambello crossed the finish at 3:30.
Junior Jesse Kim says she does not regret her choice to join track. “What surprised me about distance was how much you really bond with the people you’re running with and how well you get to know them,” she said. “It’s kind of like dying together on a run makes you closer.”
She adds that she’s not sure what the team could have done to make the meet less close. “Everyone knew going in it was going to be a tough meet to win and I think they gave it their all. Everyone worked hard and fought for every point,” said Kim.