Bellringer girls conclude a strong season
By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
East Hampton - posted Mon., Jun. 6, 2011
Spring 2011 was a good season for track at East Hampton High School, with the girls’ team nearly matching the boys’ success, losing only once to Old Saybrook and finishing third in the Shoreline League tournament.
The track events are particularly strong on the girls' team, said head coach Bill Wilkie, adding, “We’ve got some up and coming people in the field events who did score here and there, as well.”
Wilkie was optimistic that the girls’ team would perform well this season, based on a strong indoor season, which included high jumper Laura Pumphrey reaching 5’ 4”, a height matched by few others across the state, and exceeded by no one, said Wilkie.
“With a team like ours that went in with a lot of experienced seniors, we thought that we were going to do well,” he said. Unfortunately for Wilkie, many of his top athletes are part of the particularly large senior class.
“It’s been the driving force of this program for four years,” said Wilkie, who started with 40 freshmen (boys and girls) four years ago, with about half eventually dropping from the team. "It’s insane to have 40 freshmen. But it’s encouraging to know that down the road they’ll really help you out,” he said.
This year has been a different story, as only four freshmen total (two boys and two girls) joined the team.
“To have that few freshmen come out for track is an incredibly unusual scenario that I’ve never seen before,” said Wilkie.
Saying that he had “no expectations whatsoever” heading into the state tournament, in which the East Hampton girls finished third, Wilkie said that, for him, the individual performances were more important than the overall team performance.
“We’ve got some athletes that should do really well,” he said.
“We’re really strong in the track events,” said Wilkie of his girls' team, which finished third in both the Shoreline League tournament and the Class S state tournament. “We can score in just about any event.”
Players to Watch-
Nikki Chambers - Senior Co-Captain, Track Events: Chambers set five records during the indoor season, including two in one day. “She’s been amazing,” said Wilkie. “She anchors our 4 x 800 (second in the state tournament), runs the 800 (in which she finished second in the state tournament) and runs a leg of the 4 x 400 (third in state),” he said. “She’s just been awesome as a team leader, and absolutely amazing as an athlete this year.”
Laura Pumphrey - Senior Co-Captain, High Jump and Hurdles: “She’s an amazing jumper. She’s the best high jumper we’ve ever had. We’ve never had a girl jump 5’ 4”,” said Wilkie about Pumphrey, who placed second at the Shoreline tournament. Equally strong in the hurdles, Pumphrey finished third in the 100-meter hurdles at the state tournament. “Her best time ranks her in the top three in the state,” said Wilkie.