Plainfield girls' track and field team boasts talented athletes

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Plainfield - posted Tue., May. 1, 2012
(L to r) Distance runners Kerri Ruffo, Jenna Brown, Tori Crandall, Kathleen Silveira and Lynsey Marchesseault. Photo by D. Coffey.
(L to r) Distance runners Kerri Ruffo, Jenna Brown, Tori Crandall, Kathleen Silveira and Lynsey Marchesseault. Photo by D. Coffey.

Plainfield High School's track and field coach Jeff Parkinson was making sure his athletes were where they were supposed to be on April 30. Parkinson, with the help of assistant coaches Kevin Grant, Tim Delwig and Chad Nadeau, oversees the combined boys' and girls' track teams.

He sent his male sprinters to the weight room and distance runners on their runs. The girls were getting a little more of a rest. “The girls are 2-0,” Parkinson explained. “They have a chance to go 5-0. They'll have an active rest day.” His idea of an active rest day was having them put on their spikes and practice starts for the 200m. He sent his distance runners out for 40-minute runs. His pole-vaulters practiced their take-offs.

There are 35 to 40 girls who make up the Panthers' team. Parkinson has had more athletes in the past, and some have finished stronger in certain events, but that is the nature of an ECC medium team, he said. Still, he has some athletes who will contend for top spots in the states at the end of the season.

Among his sprinters, he counts Tara Hill and Mackenzie Goebel as leaders. Hill is one of the better sprinters on this side of the state, he said, and Goebel is a solid contender. Junior Haley Beausoleil is very good and sophomore Brianna Rocha is coming on strong.

He has one of the best distance runners in the state in Kerri Ruffo, who is Plainfield's record holder, and fifth in the state in the 2-mile. Behind her are Tori Crandall, Jenna Brown and Lynsey Marchesseault. “They would be the best runners on a lot of teams,” Parkinson said. “It's very important to have seconds and thirds in the races. You can't win with just first place.”

Jen Nelson, who throws the shot put and discus, is one of the best - if not the best thrower - on this side of the state, according to Parkinson. Morgan Griffin is a multi-eventer who does a little bit of everything. And Haley Beausoleil, a sprinter, is also becoming one of the Panthers' better pole-vaulters.

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