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HHS girls track begins defense of league title

by | Apr 18, 2023 | Sports

The Hopkinton High School girls track and field team has 94 athletes this spring and a few goals in mind, including capturing another Tri-Valley League title.

“We always like to win the league title, which generally means you have to be undefeated in the regular season,” coach Jean Cann said. “There are only five meets, and we have to win them all.”

The Hillers crushed Norwood in their opener, a meet that featured both veterans and newcomers winning events and scoring points. Hopkinton expects to have several athletes with the ability to win or place in multiple events. Loryn Canty won both the 55-meter dash and the shot put during the TVL meet in the indoor season and won the shot put and, the 100-meter dash while anchoring the winning 4×100 relay team in the spring season opener.

Senior captain Shelby Jones is expected to score in the shot, the 200 and the 400 hurdles, and sisters Bridget and Keira O’Connor are doing multiple events. Sophomore Josie Hopkins also will compete in a variety of events, including the hurdles and the jumps.

Hopkinton will have a strong and deep distance crew this season. Juniors Stephanie Johnson and Bethel Flanagan are expected to stand out in the 800, and senior Autumn Tumbleton and sophomore Elyse Srodawa will compete in the mile and 2-mile events.

The strong crop of distance runners is boosted by freshman Chloe Tumbleton, who placed in the season opener in the 800. Freshman Georgia Flynn placed in the triple jump against Norwood, and Mary Finnegan, another freshman, won the long jump in her first time competing in the event.

“She had done middle school track, so I knew who she was, but I didn’t expect her to come out with a win right away,” Cann said.

Hopkinton figures to have some versatility this spring, the coach added, with several athletes who can both hurdle and jump like Ellie Driscoll and Emma DeMichele. The Hillers jumpers are aided in the spring by having an extra event — the triple jump — as well as a dedicated jumping pit and assistant coach Martha Thompson, who is in her 36th season working on the Hopkinton staff.

“Having her there to work with the jumpers makes a big difference,” Cann said.

Cann and boys coach Brian Prescott also have Mike Donahue coaching the throwers, Mikayla Pucci working with javelin and other events, Dan Collins coaching middle distance, and newcomer Shaye Ellard helping out with the sprinters.

“They are all fabulous coaches and even better people,” Cann said. “I am lucky to work with them.”

Most of the early season will be spent filling out the lineup and figuring out the right combination for dual meets. After that, Cann is hoping the depth and talent will have the Hillers competing deep into the spring.

“We will see what we can do at the state level,” Cann said. “We want to get as many people as we can to the Meet of Champions.”