Woodstock Academy girls’ track team already looking to states

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Woodstock - posted Tue., Apr. 17, 2012
Sarah Swenson takes off from the blocks in practice. Photos by D. Coffey.
Sarah Swenson takes off from the blocks in practice. Photos by D. Coffey.

In his 11th year as Woodstock Academy's girls’ track head coach, Chris Dodge is happy where his team stands early in the season. After competing in only two meets so far this season, nine of his athletes have already qualified for the state championship meet at the end of the season. He expects several of them to do well there. He also expects six girls to do well at the New England regionals.

The team boasts 31 members, an average number for Woodstock, but far smaller than the two teams they have competed against: East Lyme and NFA. East Lyme brought 64 members and NFA brought 80 members to compete against the Centaurs. “Our record is a little deceiving,” Dodge said. “We've run against two of the best teams in the state. But this is a good-size team. I like this size. I know everyone's name.”

Dodge is counting on junior Molly Gibeault to come through for the Centaurs in the pole vault. “When she's on, she's really good,” he said. “She's already won a state championship, so she's one of the best in the state in that event.”

He's counting on senior Sarah Gilloran to do well in the hurdles and sophomore Sarah Swenson to be competitive in the 200m, 400m, and quarter mile, the race he thinks is her strongest. “I'm hopeful we can get her all the way up to the New England championships,” Dodge said.

The Centaur relay team competed in the indoor national meet in New York City this winter. “I'm hopeful they will do very well and advance to the New England level,” Dodge said.

Abby Lamarre is a strong runner in the 2-mile event. She broke the school record by five seconds in the first race she ran this season. In the second race, she lowered her mark by another seven seconds. “She's a very talented runner. I expect her to do very well,” Dodge said.

“I'm pretty happy with where we are at this point,” the coach said. The athletes still have the rest of the season to earn qualifying times for the states.

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