Steph DeSantis and Michelle Monahan Excell in Throwing


Mackenzie Wilson

The two throwers pose at practice before the Division II Championship Meet.

In a town like Walpole, sports are a big deal. Students will dedicate nearly their entire school year to practicing, playing, and cheering on their teams as well as others. Out of these students, the best players and teams will always covet after the school records. The greatest honor any athlete can gain is breaking the record and having their name etched into school history. In this past spring track season, both junior Michelle Monahan and senior Steph Desantis have become two of these lucky athletes.

With a throw of 104′ 4″, Michelle broke the previous discus record from 1977, and with a throw of 113’0″, Steph Desantis broke the previous javelin record of Kristan Papirio from 2009.

This is not the first time that Monahan has broken the school record; however, the first time was under major speculation. The speculation came during a track meet versus Milton last year, when the officials missed her longest throw of the season.  The official erroneously measured a discus previously thrown by a junior varsity athlete from a previous flight.  When the angry spectators loudly complained, the official corrected himself by marking her throw at an estimated distance.  Unfortunately, the official’s uncertainty cast doubt upon Monahan’s previous record 99’11”.  Until she threw her 104’4″, she had been throwing in the shadow of this official’s folly, but now, she has been overjoyed with the certainty that she is the official school record holder.

Monahan said, “It’s great to know that my hard work has paid off and I hope to keep breaking my records.”

She is not entirely without competition. Senior Lizzy Almeda is not too far behind with her own best throw of 101′ 10″.  However, Monahan has one more year of throwing, unlike Almeda, giving her more time to beat whatever record Almeda or herself may set. Beating the record could even happen at the Division II Meet for track this year on May 26. She placed 12th last year and has expectations of placing even higher this year.

Steph DeSantis was also very thrilled by the fact that she has been able to break the school record. After Papirio set the record in 2009, when DeSantis was a sophomore, she has been giving it her all to break the old record. Her work payed off, at the BSC Championship DeSantis threw 113’0″. When asked if she had a chance at PR-ing again the Division II Meet, DeSantis was slightly hesitant, saying: “We’ll see.” But, she is still hopeful that she will beat it.

Michelle Monahan can definitely be described as a sporty girl. She is constantly involved in sports – playing field hockey in fall and basketball in the winter.  With such a busy sports schedule, Monahan describes herself as being in constant training.  Monahan is also an active member of the National Honor Society and takes AP and Honors classes. She is highly involved in other school activities including prom committee and is the current Junior Class President. “Being class president is a big responsibility,” said Monahan, “It has definitely taught me great leadership skills.”  This is her third year as class president and Monahan hopes for reelection this fall.

DeSantis, much like Monahan, is a huge sports enthusiast. In fact, she was recently voted the “Most Athletic” of her senior class. She is also a three-season athlete–playing soccer in fall and joining Monahan on the basketball court in winter. Out of soccer, basketball, and track DeSantis’ favorite is soccer. Since sophomore year, DeSantis has been a varsity player as a striker and playing midfield. She always finds a way to overcome new challenges with the support of her teammates and coaches. Each has helped her grow into the excellent athlete and person she is today.

Both Monahan and DeSantis are skilled people who have earned their spots in school history as athletes. Their impressive efforts have let them qualify for the Division II Meet on May 26th and will keep them in their teammates hearts  after they are gone. DeSantis will take her skills to Bridgewater this fall and hopes to join their soccer team; while Monahan will return to Walpole High as a senior. The girls have left behind impressive legacies in their wake, and they will not soon be forgotten.