Sports

Resilience defines girls’ track and field season

During the course of a season, any given team will face the ups and downs associated with high school sports. The teams that recover from disappointment and thrive on triumph will undoubtedly find success. The enduring North’s girls’ track team has enjoyed a solid season, posting a 5-3 record heading into states. Throughout the spring, the training and preparation that was supposed to power the girls in cancelled winter meets helped them through a spring season of resilience.

The first obstacle the Knights faced arose even before the snow melted off the ground. After being held captive by the weather throughout the winter season, the squad regrouped, setting its sights on its spring goals. The Knights aimed to “have many of the girls qualify for the Meet of Champions and break some school records,” coach Monica Biro said. The girls broke a whopping five school records this year, including records in both the 4×1600 relay and long-jump relay.

The Knights competed against some very solid programs this season, as they raced in the Central Group 4 division. “Group 4 is very competitive, but the girls thrive on the competition,” Biro said. North suffered two difficult losses early in the year, falling 66-74 to Ewing and 85-55 to Notre Dame, but rebounded strongly, defeating Princeton a few weeks later: “Our night meet under the lights against Princeton was definitely a standout meet because we were resting some of our usual scorers, and the young and inexperienced athletes stepped up to beat a very good Princeton team,” Biro said.

The Knights’ throwers experienced an excellent run of form this season, fuelling the team during important meets. “Probably the biggest standout this season has been our throwers, led by seniors Madison Sumners and Miyah Lewis, along with sophomore Easter Rucci,” Biro said. “They have earned us the most points ever that throwers have ever accumulated, and even swept in all three throws (for the first time) at the Trenton meet, with many personal best results.” In only her second meet as a javelin thrower, Rucci broke the school record in the event.

Of course, resilience is a prerequisite for a demanding sport like track and field: “We’ve been working since November, so our muscles are getting sore but were all pushing through the pain,” junior Lauren Black said. Despite the two early losses, the Knights matched last year’s third-place division finish and finished sixth, two places above their 2013 standing, in the county competition.  In the sectional meet—the first round of states—seniors Patrycja Dziekonska and Simone Counts both advanced to the group meets after stellar performances.  The team’s determined motto shined through in another strong campaign. As Biro stated, “Most athletes will have situations happen in competition that are disappointing, but it’s what you do about it that turns a disappointment into finding something more in yourself that you didn’t know you had.”

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