RHAM girls' track team off to strong start
By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Andover, Hebron, Marlborough - posted Tue., Apr. 26, 2011
The RHAM High School girls’ track team has gotten off to a fast start this year, beginning the season with three conference wins and only one loss overall, coming last week – spring break week – to Bacon Academy.
“I had 11 girls on vacation,” said coach Tom Hammon. “We probably would have won if they were there.”
There’s no reason to believe that the success won’t continue for the RHAM girls, as the team is loaded with talent, according to Hammon.
“We’ve got some really good kids. We have some outstanding kids, actually,” he said, topping his list of team strengths with the distance runners.
“We’re always strong in the distance races. Eight-hundred and up, we’re really strong,” he said, with miler Chrissy Bendzinski, a freshman, already qualified for the states, and sophomore Olivia Mondo running under 12 minutes at the 2-mile distance. Hammon gives much of the credit for the success of the distance runners to RHAM’s strong cross-country program.
Triple jump and long jump, led by senior Kristen Brett, and discus and shot put are also team strengths.
“I have the best discus thrower in New England,” said Hammon, referring to junior Emily Ezerins. Capable of hitting 130 feet, when the typical throw is around 100 feet or less, Ezerins is nearly unstoppable. Ranked #1 at the state tournament last year, Ezerins finished second, providing added motivation for this season.
With expertise in strength and conditioning, Hammon requires all 55 girls on the team to work in the weight room as well as on the track – twice a week for distance runners and three times a week for everyone else. “They’re very strong girls,” said Hammon.
RHAM High School Girls’ Track Coach Tom Hammon.
First season as head coach.
“The one thing I’m good at is strength and conditioning,” said Hammon, and he believes that weight work for all of his athletes pays off in performance. “I don’t think there’s another track team that’s in the weight room like we are,” he said. Also the football coach, Hammon said that some of the girls even work out over the summer with the football players.
Players to Watch-
Emily Ezerins, Junior, Discus: “The best discus thrower in New England,” according to Hammon, and only a junior, Ezerins' throws already outdistance many competitors by a large margin. Hammon credits her success to her strong work ethic and confidence in her abilities. “She works really hard on details, she works really hard in the off-season, and she’s a great student,” he added.
Kristen Brett, Senior, Triple Jump, Long Jump: “She can do anything,” said Hammon of Brett, who in addition to the jumps also runs some sprints. “She’ll do anything I ask. I only wish she could do more events,” said Hammon. He thinks that overall, Brett may be “one of the best in the state.”