Girls' indoor track team tops the ECC

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Jewett City - posted Mon., Feb. 28, 2011
Sophomore Chelsea Camacho runs hurdles at an indoor track practice at Griswold High School. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Sophomore Chelsea Camacho runs hurdles at an indoor track practice at Griswold High School. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

Griswold’s girls indoor track team has proven to be nothing if not resilient this season.

Despite  a rocky start, marred by high emotion and loss, the girls pulled out their fourth ECC title, taking two individual titles and a second place in the State Opens.

Practices for the team were just getting underway when the school was hit by tragedy – a car crash that killed four of the five GHS students inside.  Coach Christopher Morth said that the losses hit his girls hard. “Griswold in general has had it really rough in the last year and a half, with kids passing away before their time,” he said.  The grief among students “went on and on, and is still going on to an extent.”

Between that and the unpredictable  weather, practices at the start of the season were haphazard.  “The weather affects track and field more than it does other sports, but you saw that statewide,” Morth said. “If your school doesn’t have an indoor track, you’re in trouble.”

That didn’t stop the Wolverine girls, however. Rising to the occasion, they pulled out their fourth straight team win in the ECC championship in New London Feb. 5.

“I always felt we had the best game plan,” said Morth. “This year I questioned a lot of things. I didn’t know how prepared we were. It was a little nerve-wracking going in. Thankfully, the girls competed excellently. They know how to handle the pressure.”

Standouts on the GHS team included high jumper Morgan Parrette, who maintained her 5’2” personal best at the competition and made the top of the podium. She also placed second at the State Class S tournament and fourth in the state Open tournament, qualifying  her for the New England indoor track championship in Boston and the nationals in New York City.

Her teammate, Stephanie Messier, won the ECC titles in the mile and two-mile races.

Sports Spotlight – standout seniors

Stephanie Messier

1-mile and 2-mile race

ECC champion

Indoor track

Stephanie’s track career started in fourth grade with a “fun run.” She kept up the sport through middle school and now trains year- round, running outdoor track as well as cross country. This is her third year in indoor track. “I’m definitely planning on running in college,” she said.

Morgan Parrette

ECC champion, high jump

State Class S second place

State opens fourth place

Morgan has been jumping 5’2”, a record she was able to maintain at the ECC tournament.  “I’d been doing well all season, so I was pretty confident,” she said.  An aspiring translator, she plans to major in foreign languages in college, but “absolutely” plans to continue her track career, too.

Griswold Girls’ Indoor Track Coach

Christopher Morth

Sixth season as head coach:

Served as assistant outdoor track coach for 1 year

“You get to know these people quite well after a while,” said Morth of his team.  “Morgan (Parrette) has been my athlete for eight seasons. This is our fourth straight ECC girls’ title.”

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