Sophomore Meri Feener Qualifies for Nike Nationals


(Photo/ David Forester)

Caroline Donnelly, Staff Writer

Walpole High School sophomore, Meri Feener, recently qualified for track nationals in Staten Island, New York on March 13 after an extremely successful winter season. Nationals is a meet sponsored by Nike that unites the top runners from around the country to compete; however, because of COVID-19 last year, the meet was canceled for safety precautions.

“This was my first indoor season and I had no idea we would end up making it this far,” Feener said.

During Feener’s winter season, she competed in the 55 meter dash and the 4×200 relay alongside her teammates which brought her all the way to nationals.  

“The requirement to qualify in the 4×200 relay was to run a time of under 1:51 seconds,” said Feener. “We qualified with a time of 1:50.18 before running a 1:48.69 race later in the season.”

 Feener has yet to experience a “normal” high school atmosphere because of the pandemic, but despite these challenges, she still managed to succeed in her season. She first joined the Walpole track team in the spring of her freshman year. In addition to her qualifications for nationals, Feener helped the team win their heat in the Bay State Conference Championship Meet and ultimately break two school records. Feener attributes her success to her teammates and coaches for motivating her to work harder. 

“My teammates have always been so supportive and helpful, and the coaches are always pushing us to be the best athletes we can be, and I appreciate both so much,” Feener said. “My coaches have helped us every step of the way and my teammates have worked so hard all season to make this happen.”

Even through COVID-19 restrictions, members of the girls track team say they have felt closer than ever this season, and the team is excited for Feener’s accomplishments. 

“Meri rightfully deserves her spot in every event because she always competes her best  and always gives 100% effort with everything,” senior Cara King said. “She also makes everyone laugh at practice and is always fun to be around.”  

Feener’s coach, Corey Coogan, has also played a large role in her success throughout the season by pushing her to become a better athlete through every race. 

Meri is a fierce competitor,” said Coogan. “She is one of our best young sprinters on the team.”

As the season comes to a close, Feener is approaching nationals where she hopes to bring her best and make all of her hard work pay off.