Lady Wildcats are NCCC conference champs
By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Thu., Jun. 9, 2011
“Our greatest strength as a team is our diversity,” said Suffield High School’s girls’ track coach Leeayn Burke, summing up the championship season. “We do not have depth in every event, but we have competitive talent in almost all areas of track and field.”
With the team finishing the season at a record of 23-1, Burke takes great pride in the team’s ability to consistently perform. “Our greatest strength in terms of an event this year was our middle distance running crew. We have great depth in our 800 runners, which was clear in the conference meet when we took first, second, fourth, sixth and eighth places,” Burke said.
Pitted against formidable teams in both the 400 and 800, Burke recognized the girls’ individual and team contributions. “Our 4x800 team was undefeated this season and is going on to the State Open meet, having placed second in the Class M State meet,” the coach said. “Both the 400 and 800 crews are led by senior Sarah Wilson, one of the top 800 runners in New England, and senior Brennan Taylor - she has been instrumental in our success this season with outstanding performances in the 400 and 800 and as a key leg in both the 4x800 and 4x400 relay teams.”
“Our 4x400 team placed fourth at the state meet, breaking our school record and moving on to the State Open,” Burke continued. “Brianna Bishop, Liz Rigby, Kellen McGann, Paxton McNierney, Rachael Cocca and Kristyn Shank round out our middle-distance runners.”
Entering the conference meet, Suffield found itself in an unusual situation. “Ellington and Avon have been Suffield's key competition during the season for the past two years,” Burke said. “Our loss to Ellington this season [79 to 71] put us tied with Ellington and Avon going into the conference meet. Suffield and Ellington have battled it out for the NCCC title the past two years.”
Ending the year on many high points, the Lady Wildcats’ new champions include: School Records:
4x400 Relay Team: 4:10.59. Class M State meet: Sarah Wilson, Brennan Taylor, Peri Stevens, and Brianna Bishop.
400 meters: Sarah Wilson - 59.44 sec
Pole Vault: Gabriella Attanasio - 9' 6".
4x800 Relay Team: Stafford Rotary Invitational, 9:59.83 minutes. Sarah Wilson, Brennan Taylor, Liz Rigby and Brianna Bishop.
Suffield High School Girls’ Track Head Coach Leeayn Burke
Assistant Coach: David Rusnock
Captains: Sarah Wilson, Katie Ravenola, Gabija Pileika and Mandy Chamberlain.
2011 Goal: “We were conference champs last year, so the team was working to hold on to that title this year as well. The girls had an amazing meet once again this year. They performed beautifully both years and are very deserving of the
NCCC Champion title,” Burke said.
Katie Ravenola – Junior: “Katie is a pleasure to work with and has been an integral part of our distance team for three years,” Burke said. “She ran in the 4x400, 4x800, 1600 and 3200. Her strong performances in the 1600 and 3200 gained us critical points for our conference win. Katie qualified for states in the 1600 with a time of 5:49.87.
Sarah Wilson – Senior: “Sarah's versatility is amazing,” the coach said. “She is most definitely one of the best in track to come through SHS and she excels in all running events and has participated in varsity outdoor track and field since her freshman year. She will graduate from SHS with school records in the 400m, 800m, 400m Hurdles, 2000m Steeple Chase, 4x400m Relay.”