Rockville track team working for big meet experience

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., May. 4, 2012
Freshman Carlie Clayton clears the high jump bar in Rockville's meet vs. Bloomfield and Classical Magnet on May 2. Photos by Steve Smith.
Freshman Carlie Clayton clears the high jump bar in Rockville's meet vs. Bloomfield and Classical Magnet on May 2. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Rockville High School girls' track team, while low in numbers, is high on effort and team camaraderie. Coach Ray Owens said that while the team has only about 12 active members, the experienced athletes are not only qualifying themselves for the state meets, but also helping their younger teammates to improve.

“We don’t have enough girls to fill all of the spots that we could score points in, so scoring points is difficult,” Owens said. “We have quite a few inexperienced girls, but our older girls are really good at mentoring our younger girls. Because of that, the younger girls are making progress toward qualifying for the state and class championships. Others are continuing to work at it.”

Senior captains Kelly Walker and Jenny Mears, Owens said, are at the forefront of their events. While Mears placed second in javelin at last year’s state meet, Walker is the current defending 300-meter hurdles state champion, and also won the 400-meter title at the recent Irv Black Invitational.

Owens said his job is constantly teaching all of his players, which can be difficult with many players who are not year-round track athletes. “There’s a lot of re-teaching,” he said, adding that the athletes who take part in indoor track at least have a conditioning base to start the season.

The goal for Owens the rest of the season is to get as many girls as possible the experience they need to enter the larger meets, which inspires them to keep pushing themselves.

“Once they get that experience at the conference or state championships and they see what the atmosphere is like, and what the other athletes are like, it kind of sets fire under them to achieve a little bit higher,” Owens said, adding that while he has no control over how his players fare at the meets, he can make sure they get the experience to get there.

Rockville will compete at the CT Relays on May 12 and then hosts Fermi on May 15. For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.


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