The Hopkinton High School girls indoor track and field team received some surprise additions this year, and the influx of new talent has made an immediate impact for the Tri-Valley-leading squad.
“We have some new younger athletes as well as two seniors and a junior who are doing track for the first time,” coach Jean Cann said following the Hillers’ strong start to the season, which included wins over Holliston, Norwood and Westwood in dual meet competition.
Senior Caroline DeSimone, a softball standout in the spring, joined the Hillers for the first time after typically competing in gymnastics during the winter months.
“She has played softball with my daughter for years, so I knew how fast she is,” Cann said. “She decided to come out for track and she has placed in the 300 meters in every meet.”
Loryn Canty, a junior, is another new athlete. She played basketball last season but has traded that in for the much heavier shot put. Canty won the shot put in each of the first three meets and won the dash twice. Another new senior, Marissa Smith, has also been placing in the shot put regularly.
“It’s good to have some new people,” Cann said. “Even if we don’t get them for long.”
The Hillers are a strong mix of youth and experience this winter.
Sophomore Josephine Hopkins has stood out in the jumps and also is a strong hurdler, so Cann sees a solid multi-event athlete in the youngster. Elyse Srodawa is an experienced distance runner, as is Autumn Tumbleton, and both have stood out in the mile and 2-mile races.
Tumbleton is one of the Hillers’ captains this winter, along with Ellie Driscoll, Sinead Herr, Bridget O’Connor and Shelby Jones. O’Connor has been a standout high jumper and Driscoll has teamed up with Emma DeMichele and Kylie Locke to form a strong hurdling contingent.
Cann noted that the hurdles have become a particularly strong event for the Hillers in recent seasons. Assistant coach Michael Webb has been working with that group over the past couple of seasons, and the depth that Hopkinton has in that event has made the team tough to beat in the league.
Hopkinton is looking to capture the Tri-Valley League Large School Division title, which it can do by winning out in the dual meet campaign. Cann also has her sights set on placing well in the state relays and the divisional meet as well, thanks in large part to her team’s depth in numerous events. The Hillers have more than 200 athletes taking part in winter track between the girls and boys teams.
Hopkinton also figures to be a contender for the top spot at the TVL Showcase, although Cann noted that Norton, an unbeaten team from the small school side of the league, will be tough to beat.
“They have a lot of talent,” Cann said, “but I think we can give them a good run.”