The Panthers will be led by captains Ally Bartlett and Samantha Perkins.
The Whitman-Hanson Regional High girls’ indoor track team is aiming to stay afloat as it works its way down a grueling schedule.
“Ideally, we would like to win several meets in what has become a very deep and talented Patriot League,” said fifth-year head coach Steve George, whose team went 1-3-1 last winter. “But realistically, we have eight to 10 girls who are very athletic and have the experience needed to be successful this season.”
With their multi-event experience and success, seniors Ally Bartlett (captain) and Dorothy DiMascio-Donohue and junior Samantha Perkins (captain) will boost the club.
“All three girls can long jump, high jump, throw the shot put, run the hurdles and dash events and can run mid-distance events if called upon,” George explained.
George said he is also counting on junior Courtney Woodward, sophomore Hailey Minicucci and freshman Skylar Jordan to fill similar roles of competing in multiple events.
“Courtney moves back from distance/mid-distance where she was good, to faster events at which she is very good,” George said. “Hailey is a speedster and Skylar is a diamond in the rough and will improve dramatically through the season.”
In the mid-distance and distance events, the Panthers will be led by the cross country team’s top runner, junior Tori Boss, and senior Maeve McDonough. Sophomores Izzy Amado and Anna Sullivan are also valuable pieces due to their versatility.
“[I] feel certain that we will be very competitive in the 600, 1,000, mile and 2-mile each week,” George said. “I’m also confident with our 300 runners.”
It’s the sprinting, hurdles and relays that have been a focal point on improvement for George. The Panthers added former standout, Samantha Richner to their staff to build up the group.
“Bringing on coach Richner addresses the areas of sprints, hurdles and field events and we are hoping to see improvement in those areas,” George said. “Putting together our relay teams (4×400 and 4×200) is a priority as is getting them in sync with each other. Obviously handoffs are crucial in those events and we are working with all the potential relay runners to find a good fit.”
George said a few freshmen have caught his attention early on, but most namely Emily Hanrahan.
“Emily looks like a terrific shot putter,” the coach said. “[That’s] something we have been looking for since I arrived five year sago.”
The Panthers are back in action Friday, Dec. 21 at 4:30 p.m. against Hingham at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury.
“With a relatively small team of 35, we necessarily move kids to different events every meet,” George said. “Almost everybody with experience has had to participate in various events already and they are ready to do whatever it’s best for the team.”