By Tommy Carrico, Executive Entertainment Editor
After qualifying all four relays for the second year in a row, the girls’ track team headed down to Charleston, Illinois on Thursday, May 16 feeling strong both in numbers and morale. However, no amount of optimism could’ve predicted that the 4x200m relay would edge out a twenty-year-old school record.
“It was a complete surprise,” junior Ellen Sherwood, the anchor of the relay, said. “At Sectionals, we didn’t even get the state time, but we got first [place], [and] that’s an automatic trip down to state.”
Head coach Pete Wintermute seemed a bit more expectant of the girls’ accomplishment.
“We knew that we could run in the [record time],” Wintermute said. “That popped up on the board, and right away as coaches we knew they’d done something special.”
What stands out about the 4×200 team, in particular, is that each member is a different year in school, causing an interesting dynamic amongst the four.
“[Senior Samantha Berman] and I have been on that same relay for three seasons now, so we were familiar with how to run the relay and help the two underclassmen [freshman Daria Tersina and sophomore Eileen Deines],” Sherwood, who also qualified in the long jump and the 4x400m, said. “It was interesting to see how we would combine together, but we’re all very close because we spend every day together.”
However, the 4x200m wasn’t the only relay to reach a significant goal over the weekend. After qualifying for the finals on Friday afternoon, the 4x800m relay was able to reach a fifth-place medal on the following Saturday.
“We had been training with each other for a long time,” said junior Lia Skoufos. “We developed a really close relationship with one another, so when it came down to it, we remembered to run for each other, so that made it a lot better.”
In running order, the 4x800m consisted of senior Marissa Valentini, senior Julia O’Grady, freshman Audrey Ginsberg, and Skoufos as the anchor.
According to Wintermute, Prospect’s exceptionally successful relays come as a result of an emphasis on the team aspect of track and field.
“We’re fortunate. We have some very talented, very good athletes in our program, and they really buy into the team philosophy,” Wintermute said. “We have 4, 5, 6 really talented individuals that are committed to team success, and I think that’s led to so many of the achievements we’ve had this year in the relays.”