The young stars have certainly proven themselves at the past two meets. The future of NDA track seems safe in the hands of several talented freshmen and sophomores.
On Jan. 4, NDA competed at the MSTCA Freshman/Sophomore Invitational. Five Cougars had personal bests. Freshman Lauren Varela improved her 55-meter dash time, crossing the finish line in 7.97 seconds. In the 55 hurdles, sophomore Jessica Roach recorded a new PR, with a time of 11.33 seconds. Freshman Kaleigh Erickson ran the 300 in a time of 48.55 seconds. Sophomore Sophie Love finished the 600 with a time of 1:56.83. Freshman Madison Caron cleared the bar at 4 feet, 6 inches in the high jump, improving on her previous mark of 4 feet, 3.25 inches. Overall, the meet was very successful for the Cougars.
On Jan. 7, the Cougars faced their second Dual County League opponent, Arlington, and won, 64-31. Twelve personal records helped NDA win their second straight league meet.
Freshman Lauren Varela continued her success in the 55, shaving off another tenth of a second for a new personal best of 7.89 seconds. Fellow freshmen sprinters Tori Kenyon and Kaleigh Erickson improved their times in the 300 dash. Tori crossed the finish line in 44.89 seconds, while Kaleigh finished in 47.30 seconds.
Three hurdlers had personal bests. Sophomore Jessica Roach completed the 55 hurdles in 11.31 seconds, followed by sophomore Kailia Defalco in 11.36 seconds and sophomore Moira Welch in 11.44 seconds.
Four Cougars recorded personal bests in the field events. In the long jump, junior Larkin Beecher jumped 14-8.25, finishing in fourth place overall behind teammate Julianne McGowan, who placed third with a jump of 15-3.5.
In shot put, freshman Jamie Granskie and sophomore Rachel Laiosa both had personal bests, throwing 22-11 and 21-2 respectively.
The distance runners also continue to perform well. In the 1000, freshman Kelsey Whitaker finished with a time of 3:23.50, just ahead of teammate Corrina Lucini, who came in with a time of 3:23.94. Kelsey and Corrina both ran hard in order to take away an early lead from a Weston runner. Their competitive spirits drove Kelsey to second place overall, while Corrina placed third.
In the mile, senior Rachel Pedro finished with a time of 6:23.44, a new personal record. Also running the mile for NDA was senior Ellen Callahan, who placed seventh overall with a time of 5:57.71.
Once again, the juniors led in point scoring, finishing the day with 27.25 points. The freshmen continued to impress with 18.75 points scored by the youngest members of the team.
NDA athletes will be competing along with over 2,000 other athletes from around the state Saturday at the MSTCA Winter Festival. Also this weekend, NDA runners will be competing in the Dartmouth Relays on Jan. 9 -10.
The Cougars are hoping even as the weather gets colder their hot streak of great performances continues, particularly from the younger team members.