Winter Girls Track Finishes Victoriously

The Verona Girls Winter Track and Field season, led by captains Colleen Carr, Sam Intili, Melanie McClellan, Erin Smythe, and Heather Sweeney, had a memorable season full of victories, medals, and great times.

The competitive season began with the girls sweeping two events at the SEC Conference Championships. The distance team swept the 3200 meter run with senior Heather Sweeney claiming first, freshman Amanda Flores winning second, and sophomore Melanie Egan coming right behind her with third place. The pole vault team also captured three medals with senior Sam Intili taking second place, junior Gabriela Mercurio third, and junior Kelsey Attamante fourth.

“Sweeping the 3200 was surprising because my other teammates are a freshman and a sophomore, but I know they worked hard,” stated Sweeney.

The relay season was a successful one as well. At County Relays, the shuttle hurdle team, which includes seniors Colleen Carr and Erin Smythe and juniors Marybeth Grund and Laura Williams, came in third place. The 4×800 meter relay team also came in third place with a team including Sweeney,  Attamante, junior Sydney White, and sophomore Sarah Conboy.  At State Relays the shuttle hurdle team came in third again, but broke the school record with a time of 34.98 seconds.

“We knew that we were going to achieve the record this year,” said Carr, “it was great to finally accomplish what we knew we could do all along.”

The 4×800 meter relay was able to place again along with the pole vault relay, which included Attamante, Intili, and Mercurio.

The Sectional Championship Meet was where the girls winter track team really needed to come together. They knew that they had a chance of placing, but they knew it would be a lot of competition to win the meet.

“Honestly, I thought achieving this was impossible,” said Intili. Little did she know, she was going to be proven wrong.

The meet got off to a good start with freshman Julia Ashley coming in second place in the 400 meter run. Soon after, Sweeney came in second place in the mile. In the sprinting events, Williams came in fifth in the 55 meter hurdles and Ashley gained more points for Verona in the 55 meter sprint. Ashley struck again when she came in first in the 800 meter run. This run broke the meet record with a time of 2:21.76. Sweeney racked up more points with another second place finish in the 3200 meter run. The strong pole vault team, consisting of Mercurio, Intili, and Attamante, came in third, fourth, and fifth. The entire meet came down to the last race: the 4×400 meter relay. With an injury and a lot of tired legs, the girls were not sure of what they could do when they heard they had to come in at least second place to win the meet. Happily, the team of Smythe, Attamante, Conboy, and Ashley pulled off gaining second place and winning the entire meet.

“I knew we worked hard and I know we had good athletes, but winning Sectionals was really up in the air,” commented Sweeney, “I was really proud of the team”.

Placing at Sectional Championships makes you qualify for Group Championships. The Verona victories did not end here. Ashley placed again in the 400 and 800 meter runs and Intili placed fifth in pole vault.

“I worked really hard all season at the pole vault club I attend,” said Intili, “It was my first pay off ever and it felt amazing.”

These girls were able to move on to Meet of Champions where Ashley came in fifth in the 800 meter run. She was the first Verona girl to ever place at a winter Meet of Champions.

“This season was good because we had good weather and we were able to do a lot of different workouts,” commented Sweeney about the season, “I am happy that we had a successful season”.