The Panthers set many individual marks.
For the Whitman-Hanson Regional High girls’ indoor track team, the record wasn’t there, but the effort was.
The Panthers, despite an 0-5 mark on the season, did what they could.
“Indoor track is always a tough sell because we train in the cold and there are, admittedly, other options for the student-athletes,” said head coach Steve George. “I couldn’t have been more pleased with their efforts.”
George credited the 0-5 campaign to a lack of depth. The Panthers had nearly 40 participants, which is low compared to the rest of the Patriot League.
“We are rarely shut out in any single event, but while we have one athlete scoring, our opponents have two,” said George, whose team dropped three meets by 18 points or less. “It’s tough to win when you’re outmanned to that degree.”
The Panthers did still have their share of wins, even if they didn’t show up in their record.
“Victories for a team like ours come every week in individual events, so each time we compete there are bright spots,” George said. “We were competitive each week overall.”
Junior Courtney Woodward was one of many bright spots for W-H.
“[She] moved from distance to mid-distance this year and ran the team’s best times in the 300- and 600-meter runs, along with jumping in with our 4×200 and 4×400 at times, [and] was a major contributor,” George said. “The switch to mid-distance, which she suggested following last year’s campaign, was the right move at the right time for both Courtney and the team.”
Just a sophomore, Izzy Amado was a key contributor.
“In my opinion, [she’s] the strongest athlete since Samantha Coletti graduated three years ago,” George said. “Izzy is a very good miler, an extraordinary 1,000-meter runner and closes the gap or extends the lead in incredible fashion in every relay she enters. One of our spring heptathletes.”
Amado’s classmate, Anna Sullivan, was also strong in bevy of events and is another spring track heptathlete.
“[She’s] our top miler and two miler and anchors our 4×400 and 4×800 relays,” George said. “Just a gifted distance runner who impressed in her first indoor season.”
George coined Dorothy DiMascio-Donohue as a ‘senior who can do it all.’
“She can sprint, hurdle, high jump, long jump and run mid-distance and relay events,” George said. “[She] competes in both the indoor pentathlon and spring heptathlon and is a leader in track and in the classroom.”
Senior captain Ally Bartlett was W-H top points getter, scoring nearly 40 percent of the team’s points.
“[She is] the team’s best in hurdles, long jump and shot put,” George said. “Also a pentathlete/heptathlete and team MVP and Commitment Award recipient.”
George said his vision for the program remain unwavered.
“The goal is to increase participation and with more athletes, achieve greater success in competition,” he said. “Our kids are out there spreading the word that track is not all work, it can be a lot of fun, too.
“What I always hear is that kids just don’t want to put in the effort involved in the sport. While that may apply to some, I don’t think it can be universally applied to our students. All I hope for is that kids will try it, then decide. Nearly 50 years ago I did and fell in love with the sport.”