As the snow begins to melt, the Mount Greylock track team is eager to resume practice. After the girl’s 16th place finish at the Western Massachusetts Division II Sectional track meet, the Mounties look to make up for the loss of seniors Jenna Phelps and Emily Kaegi. Phelps and Kaegi were the highest scoring Mounties at last year’s sectional meet, with Kaegi finishing second in the mile and Phelps finishing second in the pentathlon.
Mt. Greylock has access to the track at Williams college this year. Last year the track was under construction for the spring season, leaving the Mounties without a composite track to practice on. Coach Brian Gill said, “We can do all our conditioning. But high jump is really technical. … Relay exchanges — and it shows — it’s just different on a grass track. Relay exchanges, blocks and hurdling — those are the big technical things that have hurt us.” Despite having a grass track, the Mounties managed to send two girls to Western Mass for high jump, and one of the two, Sydney Gurek, returns this year for her sophomore season. Gill said of Gurek, “She has proven herself to be pretty good and has done a lot of work in the off season.”
Returning on the distance side is captain Laura Galib, and junior, Mollyann Haskins. There are also some talented underclassmen in freshmen, Bella Bote and Octavia Crowell. Eighth grader, Margo Smith also showed promising results last year.
Mt. Greylock is also strong in the hurdles. Key returners participating in the hurdles event are sophomore, Niku Darafshi, and eighth grader, Ella Dudley in the 400, who are both top seven all time in the 400 hurdles at Mt. Greylock. Also returning is sophomore Serena Chow who put in times right behind Gurek last year.
Uncharacteristically for Greylock, throwing should be a strong suit for the Mounties this year. “Throwing might actually be a strength for us, we have been good in throwing for the last few years but we might be better than that this year with captain Elizabeth Bernardy in the discus. We have Jackie Van Slycke who placed at Western Mass last year in her first year ever doing track. We are also expecting a lot from Sara Rudd in the throws,” noted Gill.
Additionally, Greylock has a strong sprinting team. Eighth grader Maddie Albert is looking to improve upon her fifth place finish in the 400 at the 2014 Western Massachusetts meet. Also returning are senior Maeve Shine and sophomore Lina Marcinczyk.
On the boys side, the team is senior laden, with twelve returning. There are five key seniors returning to the distance team in captain Carter Stripp, Jake and Sam Kobrin, Thomas Schoorlemmer, and Joey Gais. “All of them are returning and all of them are excellent, they can cover 400 and up so they are in a good place,” said Gill.
Captain Ryan Benoit will contribute to the 400 hurdles and throwing. Senior Nico Clarke will also try to improve in throwing. Sophomore Cameron Castonguay and junior Taylor Carlough are strong returners in sprints and hurdles. The Mounties also have strong underclassmen in freshman Ethan Schoorlemmer and Owen Brandriss. “It will be a very interesting season for us. We don’t have a ton of experienced, returning scorers from Western Mass meets or the big championship meets. It will be very exciting because we have a lot of kids who have done a lot of work and really want to prove themselves. We are very balanced,” claimed Gill.