Wolverine girls eye ECC title in track and field

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Witer
Griswold - posted Tue., May. 3, 2011
Kendall McGrath, a sophomore at Griswold High School, competes in the high jump at the Ledyard Relays April 30. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Kendall McGrath, a sophomore at Griswold High School, competes in the high jump at the Ledyard Relays April 30. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

With a solid core of his indoor track team following him outdoors for the spring season, Griswold High School girls' track and field coach Chris Morth has high hopes for a strong showing at ECCs and states this year.

“The greatest strength of the team this year is the top-level quality we have,” he said. “Morgan Parrette is one of the best high-jumpers in the state. Tessa Velasquez is the returning state titlist in the javelin, and we have an excellent core of distance runners to hold the team together.”

The girls proved their mettle in last weekend's Ledyard Invitational Relays, with the girls' 4 x 1600 team of Stephanie Messier, Alyssa Brehler, Krystn Larose and Kendall McGrath taking first place. Parrette also claimed top honors in high jump.

The Wolverine girls are moving outdoors on a high note, after clinching a fourth straight ECC title in indoor track.

“We only lost a handful of seniors from last year, but they were important ones,” said Morth. Messier and Parrette “have really stepped to the forefront this year as senior leaders on the team.”

And new blood is turning up some surprises as well. With his squad down two runners in the shuttle relay last weekend at Ledyard, Morth plugged Velasquez and Brittany Schaffer into the event – where they promptly helped their teammates - experienced 100-meter hurdlers Chelsea Camacho and Morgan Riley - claim first place.

Morth called their performance “a pleasant surprise,” adding that Velasquez and Schaffer will continue to focus on their normal events (javelin and 300-meter hurdles, respectively) for the remainder of the season. “Their best bets for success at big-time meets are at those events,” he said.


Coach's Corner-

Griswold High School Girls' Track and Field Coach Chris Morth

Number of seasons: 7, 6 years as indoor track and boys' soccer coach.

The season ahead:

“Aside from winning the ECC small division, most of our goals for the post-season meets are individual in nature,” said Morth. “We want as many girls to win state titles as possible and move as many people on to the State Open and New Englands as we can.”


Spotlight Players-

Stephanie Messier, Senior 4 x 1600 relay

Messier is ECC champion in the 1- and 2-mile races in indoor track. “As the senior who's been through four years of training and competing, Steph has really been a leader on the team,” said Morth.


Alyssa Brehler, Freshman 4 x 1600 relay

Like her relay teammate Stephanie Messier, Brehler “has been excellent this year,” said Morth. “Alyssa has three more years after this one to make her mark on the ECC and the state, and she's gotten off to a terrific start.”


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