Female athletes of various talents have assembled again under a new head coach for this year’s track season. Taking the reigns from social studies division head Todd Phillips, social studies teacher Sean Milligan has been delegated the responsibility of coaching the team.
Though this has been the second alteration in the coaching staff within two years, Milligan has ensured that little has changed. Math teacher Rachel Barry is still responsible for the long distance runners while Milligan handles sprinters.
“Having a new head coach is really fun,” sophomore Rachel Morse said. “He runs the whole team differently but in a good way. No pun intended.”
There was, however, initial concern regarding the number girls who experienced injuries. Thigh pains and shin splints were common toward the begining of the season, but this has since been amended with the introduction of new stretching techniques. Milligan touched on the importance of stretching before any kind of athletic activity.
“We all need to follow the proper steps to prevent and treat injuries the right way and that starts with our athletic training staff,” Milligan said. “Running is a very intense and high impact sport. Over time runners wear down and become injured.
Nearly two months into the season already, and with indoor conference around the corner, Milligan is satisfied with the achievements of the girls thus far.
Girls varsity took 1st place at the Addison Trails invite on March 3 with sprinters like senior Ava Sewerynski taking high strides in her races. Senior Mary Cronin has also been competing considerably well, and junior Nigh Hardrict has been “a huge surprise for the team,” according to Milligan.
Returning key players like Emily Stegmeier, who ran in the state meet last year, have continued improving. The coaching staff and her friends are hopeful that she will return.
Several underclassmen have broken personal records in the last months as well. Sophomore Nicole Garcia broke two of her records from last year in one meet.
“A lot of the underclassmen are really talented and even upperclassmen trying new events are doing really well for it being so early in the season,” junior Bridget Pelrine said.
“I am not guaranteeing conference championships or state qualifiers, but I hope that people will see a difference in the way we compete,” Milligan said. “I want to win, and I know the girls want to as well, I do expect some of our girls will surprise everyone this season.”