Undefeated Lady Wreckers sweep tri-meet
Updated 6:07 pm, Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Staples girls outdoor track team could not ask for a better regular season.
Staples swept its regular-season finale Monday to cap the season at 11-0. The Lady Wreckers defeated host Norwalk, 118-25, and Stamford, 117-27 to cement their perfect dual meet season.
"Obviously, I'm happy," Staples coach Jesse McCray said. "I'm especially happy for the girls because we worked so hard. We had slipups in the past and could have had slipups this year, but the girls worked through it."
This is the Lady Wreckers' best season of the millennium. Although Staples hasn't gone undefeated in a long time, its leaders aren't shocked by the team's success.
"I'm very proud of the entire team and it's a great accomplishment for us," Lady Wrecker captain Lexie Schachne said. "I'm not surprised because we worked so hard, and I think we deserve it."
Schachne credits McCray and his assistants, Cari Christenson, Rachel Martinich and Scott Burns for the team's success.
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"This year, the coaches helped us with technique and strength training," Schachne said. "They deserve a lot of credit."
Staples was especially dominant in running and jumping events all year, and this meet was no exception.
The Lady Wreckers were perfect in relays on Monday. Caitlin Hartmann, Amanda Giannitti, Kelly Harris and Nina Lochoff won the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 52.33 seconds. Alex Popkin, Erica Hefnawy, Courtney Mullen and Emily Troelstra carried the 4x400 meter relay team (4:17.3) to victory.
Troelstra has been the top hurdler this spring and delivered victories in the 110-meter high hurdles (17.3) and 300-meter intermediate hurdles (48.1). Alice McDonald took second in the 100-hurdles (19.9).
McCray also inserted Troelstra in the 200-meter dash (27.3), which she won. Hartmann (28.5) took second in the 200 and 100-meter dash (13.3). Lochoff was third in the 100 (13.6).
Mullen triumphed in the 400 meters (63.0) and Popkin topped the field in the 800 meters (2:24.5).
Caroline Koenig outdistanced her opponents with victories in the 1,600 meters (5:33) and 3,200 meters (12:09.7). Koenig led a sweep in the 1,600 with Georgia Kursten (5:41.1) and Caroline Smith (5:50.5) placing second and third.
Schachne led a sweep in the pole vault with Lochoff and Sydney Friedman placing second and third, respectively.
Although Schachne won in Norwalk, she had a bigger accomplishment Saturday by leaping 11-9 to win the pole vault in the 42nd annual Glenn Loucks Championship games in White Plains, N.Y.
"I was really happy with my jump," Schachne said. "It was a competitive meet and was happy to win. I wanted to stay focused for the meet."
Back at Norwalk, Misha Strage won the long jump (14-11.5) and triple jump (33-9). Elizabeth Knoll prevailed in the long jump (4-10).
Jasmine Henry led the Lady Wreckers in throwing with wins in the shot put (30-9) and javelin (82-2) with her older sister, Joselyn (current member of the Sacred Heart University track team) present. Henry took third in the discus (71-7).
"My sister was there and she helped," Henry said. "Her legacy is a lot to live up to, and she gave me good advice, telling me things I could do better."
The younger Henry has improved all season and hopes to carry the momentum into FCIACs.
"It feels pretty good to win because it's our last meet before FCIACs," Jasmine Henry said. "Hopefully, I'll do well, score some points and give us a chance to win FCIACs."
Going 11-0 is big for Staples but it isn't ready to rest on its laurels. The Lady Wreckers hope to win FCIACs May 22 at Danbury.
"It will be exciting," McCray said. "Greenwich is very good, Darien is always strong in the technical events, and Danbury has a lot of pride and talent. Any of the four teams can win it and don't count out Wilton, they are a dark horse. It will be very close among the top four teams."
McCray feels his girls need to do one thing in order to win.
"We happy to be 11-0 and win the Western Division championship," he said. "We have a week to prepare, and I hope the girls run their best race of the year. It would be a great accomplishment for the girls and they deserve it. We hope to prove it on the track."
Schachne said, "I just hope we continue our success and be competitive. We have to have more mental toughness than the other teams. Coach McCray says everyone has talent and it comes down to what we're thinking and our attitude."