The Staples girls outdoor track team hopes its senior leadership will propel the squad to a successful spring.

The Lady Wreckers are especially relying on senior tri-captains Ingrid Johnson, Emily Hanrahan, and Kristin Weiler to provide this leadership.

Staples Coach Jesse McCray says that these seniors have made substantial contributions to the program and have accomplished a lot over the years.

Last year's team had a 7-4 regular season record, finished fifth at the FCIAC championships, sixth at Class LL and 16th at State Open

However, the Lady Wreckers lost Joselyn Henry, who scored the majority of the team's points as she competed in nearly every field event, to graduation. In addition, Kylie Gould was a key middle distance runner and also graduated.

Despite these losses, Staples still has many key athletes returning including senior Liz Moyer, juniors Misha Strage, Lexie Schacne, Courtney Mullen, Nina Lochoff, Alex Popkin and Caroline Smith and sophomores Emily Troelstra, Kelly Harris, Amanda Gionetti, Sydney Friedman and Georgia Kursten.

On the indoor team, six girls were listed on ESPN's top 100. Among them Johnson, Schacne, and Mullen will return for the outdoor season.

McCray likes the way his team is looking so far and said, "The team has had some great practices so far. The girls are working very hard and know that by May we will be looking much better than we are now."

Because the team is so young, McCray said the they will have to rely on some sophomores and freshman to carry part of the weight.

Freshman Caroline Koenig was the Western Division indoor champion in the 2-mile and classmate Melissa Mann is a very talented shot putter. McCray hopes that Koenig, Mann and many others will improve as the season progresses.

McCray is especially relying on his seniors to bring the team success and set a positive example for younger athletes. He said, "The seniors have done a good job at competing at their best when it counts. During championship season they are breaking school records, running their best times, and brimming with confidence."

Staples toughest competition this year will be Danbury who McCray said is "the best team in the state." In addition Wilton, Trumbull, Brien McMahon and Ridgefield will be tough too.

The Lady Wreckers hopes that they can compete at a high level during championship season and place well in the postseason meets.

Johnson said, "As a team, we hope to place high, if not win, some of the bigger invitational and championship meets this upcoming season. Most of all, we hope to do much better than in years past."