After placing fourth at the FCIAC championship, 10th at Class LL and 14th at State Open last year, the Staples girls track team and coach Jesse McCray are hoping to step it up. Senior captains Kylie Gould, Gabrielle Guetta, Joselyn Henry and Katelyn Burke are ready to lead the team in its quest for success, despite the loss of many valuable graduated seniors.

"Losing 13 athletes due to graduation is a major blow to the team. However, the underclassmen and newcomers are stepping up to fill their shoes. Graduated Olivia Massay, sprinter and long jumper; Danielle Borom, sprinter; and Betsy Goldemen, distance, were three key athletes last year that scored a lot of points for the team," said Gould.

Some key returnees include sprinters Henry, Burke and junior Kelley Hussey. Henry is also a jumper, Gould, junior Ingrid Johnson and senior Olivia Allen compete at middle distance and junior distance runners are Emily Hanrahan and Kristin Weiler.

Key newcomers include freshman Georgia Kursten and Turner Block.

To improve the team's placing at FCIACS, Class LL and State Open as well as having more athletes to qualify for the championship meets, Gould notes that the team has "developed a new warm-up that focuses on building our core and improving upon our overall fitness."

McCray believe if the team remains healthy, it will improve upon last year's placing at FCIACS, Class LL and the State Open.

"I expect the team to improve every year. There are a lot of returning athletes that are a year stronger and more experienced," said McCray, who also noted that the "long sprints between 400 and 600 meters will be improved as well as competitive pole vaulting."

With all this promising talent, the team will definitely push to improve upon last year's records.

"So far, it looks like we have a very dedicated team that is going to be willing to put in the hard work and effort that we need to have a successful season. It should be a lot of fun, and exciting to see how the season goes," said Guetta.