Bellringer girls' track team looks to build on indoor season

By Kevin Hotary - Staf Writer
East Hampton - posted Mon., Apr. 16, 2012
East Hampton High School's Cheryl Pratt works on the hurdles. Photos by Kevin Hotary.
East Hampton High School's Cheryl Pratt works on the hurdles. Photos by Kevin Hotary.

“It was a great year,” said East Hampton High School girls’ track coach Bill Wilkie of 2011, in which the Bellringers placed second in the Shoreline Conference. They followed that up this past winter with a second-place finish for the indoor season.

“That gives us an indication of where we fall in our league,” said Wilkie, adding that it is difficult to predict, given the fact that the outdoor team is twice the size of the indoor team. Wilkie said that freshman interest was low during the indoor season, but many more have come out for the outdoor season. And that means that Wilkie will try them out in all of the different events, trying to find the right fit for each athlete.

“I want every new kid to try every single event somewhere in the first four weeks. After the first month, they know what they like and I know what they’re good at, and they spend the rest of the season there,” he said. This practice has worked well for Wilkie and the team.

He said that a few years ago he had a distance runner who was doing fair, but then tried the javelin. “By the end of the year she set a school record in javelin. She had an arm that nobody ever knew about. You don’t know until you try. You don’t know what you’re good at,” said Wilkie.

This year, Wilkie will be counting on sophomore Hannah Cook to help lead in the team. “She’s one of the best high jumpers in the league,” he said. Junior Amber Sekoll, the state champion in pole vault during the indoor season, will also be important for the teams’ success.

“Last year she was a good athlete. This year she’s a great athlete,” said Wilkie. In addition to pole vaulting, Sekoll is also one of the team's top 400-meter runners, he said.

“I think I’ve really pushed myself to my limit this year, and it really paid off during my indoor season,” said Sekoll, who said that she will try any event that the coach wants to put her in. “I just want to better myself in every area,” she said.

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