Walpole Girls Track and Field Team Sets High Standards at the Winter Festival

Gina Conti

A Junior runner leads the pack for Walpole.


The Reggie Lewis Center officially opened its doors for the Massachusetts Indoor Track and Field teams on December 15, 2012 for the annual Large Schools Winter Festival Invitational.   Girls Track and Field Coach, Conor Cashman, brought 38 girls to compete in the state event.

To kick off the meet, 9 Walpole athletes competed in the 1 mile run.  In the first heat, freshmen Anna Van Der Linden and Kelli Celentano compete in their first varsity race to finish with times of 6:37.65 and 6:47.15. Freshman Meghan Coakley surprised the crowd with a 6:32.6 – an 18 second PR from the Walpole time trial, 3 weeks ago. In the second heat of the mile, Junior Mackenzie Wilson and Ashley Waldron also ran strong miles. The girls clocked in at 5:57.31 and 5:58.45; both girls breaking 6 minutes for the first time.   Freshman phenom Alyssa Murphy ran to the lead at the shot of the gun in her first varsity mile.  Murphy set a quick pace for the first 800 meters splitting a 2:53.  Junior Kristen Coyne used a sit-and-kick approach letting Murphy lead the way at first. Eventually, Coyne took over and finished at 5:51.73 while Murphy finished at 5:52.64.  Senior Captain Megan Peterson competed in the fastest section of the girls mile finishing at 5:49.81.  Peterson finished 16th overall with the winner at 5:29.88.

In the girls 1000m run, sophomore Allie Morris took it right from the gun.  Morris ran a PR of 3:28.85; Walpole’s second fastest time this season.  Along with Morris was sophomore Molly Lanahan.  Lanahan led Morris for the first half of the race, splitting a 36.0 for the first lap. Morris eventually took control of the race finishing ahead of Lanahan. Lanahan finished in at 3:31.12.  Returning sophomore Katie Flinn, competed in her first race in a while due to a hip injury.  Flinn finished with a 3:34.51.  Even though it was Flinn’s first race back she still managed to gut it out to PR from last season.  Freshman Julia Averill competed in the 1000 for her first time, with a time of 3:37.42.

Coach Cashman only entered 3 girls in the 600m, but all ran exeptionally well.  Junior Megan Jenkins and sophomore Lucy Lynch were competing in the same heat pushing eachother for the duration of the 3 laps.  Lynch outkicked Jenkins by .01 seconds.  Lynch finished at 1:48.89, Jenkins 1:48.90.  Both girls missed the qualifying standard by less than 2 seconds.  Senior Micaela Barry finished 2 seconds off of her PR from last season with a time of 1:57. 00.

In the sprinting events, 5 girls competed in the 300m dash.  Returning senior Nina Tobin sprinted in to finish at 47.13.  Tobin’s sister, freshman Nicole Tobin ran a 2 second PR with a time of 46. 93.  Sophomore Abby McMackin ran her first 300m of the season to finish with a time of 47.04.  Junior Helena Ford ran the second fastest time for Walpole in the meet; 46.24.  Junior Captain Gina Conti competed in her second 300m dash since freshman year to PR by over 2 seconds with a time of 43.71.

In the 55m dash Senior Captain Maddy Shea led the lower classman.  Shea ran her fastest 55m of the season.  Although she did not PR, Shea is out to crush the school record set last 2011-2012 season by Erin McCarthy, a time of 7. 68.  Shea holds a 7.71 from last year.  Freshman Hiromi Kondo blazzed only .01 behind Shea to finish at 7.91.  Sophomore Kaitlin Carter finished in at 8.40, and freshman Kelley Flinn finished at 8.44.  Freshman Stina Cofsky crossed the line at 8.67.  With four girls trailing right behind Shea, this leaves Walpole filling in the missing gaps from last season, of McCarthy, Lizzy Almeda, and Savonna Small Brown.  Sophomore Claire Rinne ran solo in the girls 55m hurdles.  Rinne continues to improve every race, as she finished with a time of 10.34.

In the field events Shea, Kondo, and Flinn competed in the long jump.  Shea jumped 15-09.00 to take second place overall.  Kondo jumped 14-02.00, and Flinn competed in the long jump for her first time, jumping 12-10.00.  In the girls shot put, junior Alexa DeMarco led the newcomers, junior Erin Leblanc and sophomore Caitlin Campbell.  Junior Ana Orfanidis did not compete due to a wrist injury.  DeMarco threw her season best with a 22-5.00 and Leblanc threw a 21-10.00.  Campbell threw 20-00.00. Coach Cashman is looking for these three athletes to step up to fill in the gap with Orfanidis is out.

Girls Track and Field breaks through the first two meets with many individuals setting high standards.  The team will compete in their second duel meet Thursday December 20 against Milton.