By ANDREW COGLIANO AND CARMELLITE J. CHAMBLIN
The Malden High School’s girls track season was very eventful this spring. The team saw new members come, old members go, and left an impressive record of 3-1 in their wake. Coach David Londino agrees that “the season was highly successful, [and they] only had one loss to Cambridge.”
The girls have definitely come a long way thanks to the arrival of some new underclassmen, such as freshmen Alex Lombardi and Kiley Ruelle, that have helped propel the team forward. Londino says that “this is [his] eighth year coaching and the girls team has never had this much depth. [The team has] a lot of freshmen and sophomores that are contributing in the scoring already, so this year is very different in that way.” With a team that will be losing some of its star seniors next year, the high-scoring underclassmen will be great applicants to fill the future void.
According to senior Kelsey Conti, one of their treasured moments was when the team defeated Somerville, their long time rival. Conti recalls that “it came down to the 4x400 relay; that was the event that would decide the whole meet,” also reflecting that “when [the team] won, all the girls ran onto the field.” Londino also says that it was a big win, calling it an “exciting moment.”
At the “Last Chance to Qualify” meet at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, MA, the girls 4x800 team displayed their talents by running a 9:44.8 which was significant for the team as they broke the previous National qualifying time of 9:48.0, and therefore qualified for Nationals themselves. This team included senior Blue and Gold members Haley Dowdie and Lauren Benoit, as well as Lombardi and Junior Jacqueline Bouley. Londino says that “for the first time in school history our girls team qualified for states in all three relays,” and that “this achievement indicates an unprecedented talent and depth, and the fact that only three of the twelve relay girls were seniors means the future is bright for the girls.”
Kristina Thorne, one of the three seniors in addition to Benoit and Dowdie, was also active in helping the team qualify for states. Londino adds that “without them [the team] couldn’t have had the great outdoor victories over Somerville or the relay successes,” and he bids farewell to the girls by saying “their talents will be missed but their impact on younger runners will help the girls team move forward.” Londino also expresses that “it was an honor to coach such amazing people and athletes.” With the broken record under their belts, the team could add it to the number of victories they achieved this season.
Senior captains Benoit and Dowdie have also left a lasting impression on the track team. They brought with them an energy that allowed the team to become a single cohesive unit, and the dynamic duo will certainly be missed. “They’ve done a really good job; what’s going to be missed most besides their talent is their ability to make everybody else feel welcome on the team,” adds Londino.Even with the seniors leaving, MHS girls track shows no sign of halting their progress. With a slew of new freshman this year and eager juniors and sophomores, the team will have a new flair and style next year, but will stay true to its values of hard work with clear results.