Girls' track team strong despite cold in first meet
Jennifer Chabot knew after she held her girls' outdoor track informational meeting in February that she was going to have a large team this year, but nothing could have prepared her for the 103 girls that were waiting for her on the first day of track tryouts.
"I had to go back and get my glasses to make sure I wasn't seeing things," the North Kingstown High School coach said. "We have never had a team this large in NK history."
Chabot is at a loss to explain exactly what drew so many girls to the team this year, but she is thrilled to have such a large team.
"A big team is great and it says a lot for this program. With 19 events, there is something for everyone," she said. "The only downside is that I have to limit the number of girls that can go to the away meets because there is not enough room on the bus for everyone."
Chabot was able to see the abilities of some of the newcomers during the Skippers first dual meet of the season and she was pleased with what she saw.
"I think the girls did better than I expected. They put up good times, especially considering that it was not a warm day," she explained. "We scored in all of the field events as well, so I am very proud of all of them."
North Kingstown posted a lopsided victory, defeating Chariho 130-23 and East Greenwich 124- 29.
The day started with islander Erin Brennan easily winning the 3000 meters with a time of 11:10. Brennan pulled away with just under 1500 meters remaining in the race and did not look back, finishing a full 10 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. She also assisted the 4 x 400 relay team to a first place finish.
Senior Nikki Dubuc led the sprint team with wins in the 200- and 400-meter races. Kyra Reppe, a Jamestown resident, also scored for the sprinters and is expected to be a key element for the squad this season.
"Kyra is a strong sprinter and a great competitor and I expect that she is going to score a lot of points for us this year," the coach said. "Normally we are stronger in the distance events, but this year I would say the sprints and distance are equal. The sprinters are defi- nitely going to hold their own."
The hurdles events belonged to Chelsea Tetreault, who finished first in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. Jamestown resident Kate Brennan also scored in the hurdles, finishing second in the 100-meter and fourth in the 300- meter.
"We lost all of our hurdlers last year and Chelsea and Kate have really stepped up and are going to be strong competition," Chabot said.
The Skippers swept the top three positions in the 800-meter, with Alexa Mazur finishing first, Jackie Owensby, second and islander Caitlin Downing in third.
Allie Stasiuk dominated the field in the 1500-meter, finishing first with a time of 5:14.
Finishing first in seven of eight field events was a definite confi- dence booster for the team. Jamestown resident Catie Kelly started the win streak with an 8-foot pole vault.
"Catie Kelley is one of the top pole vaulters in the state and I know she will be strong all the way through states and New Englands," Chabot noted.
The weights team was led by senior Andie Wilson's 26.5-foot throw in the shot put, Meg Mc- Govern's 129-foot hammer throw and a 65.1-foot throw by Stephanie Guilbault in the discus.
The jumpers also posted big numbers with Kelsey White jumping 14-feet, 8-inches in the long jump and Meg Buckley clearing 4- feet, 6-inches in the long jump.
Gia Hunold placed first in the javelin event with a 91-foot, 8- inch throw.
The throwers success in the meet will help them face one of their biggest challenges, facing a tough throwing Coventry team in the final dual meet of the season.
"Coventry won the division championship last year in part because they have very strong throwers," the coach said.
The southern division, which includes North Kingstown, Coventry, Westerly and South Kingstown, is the strongest division in Division I.
"Coventry and South Kingstown are always tough and we have to face them in the last meet on May 8," Chabot concluded. "I would love to win the division and I think this year we have the strength to do it."
The team will host the Injury Fund meet on Tuesday, April 17, at 10 a.m.