Written by Ed Rotondo, email@example.com Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
When you think of Garden City sports programs it is usually lacrosse or football that come to mind. But there has been one program that has been at the top of their class for the past seven years and that’s the girls varsity track team. Over the past seven years the team has produced County Championships in both the indoor and outdoor seasons, as well as maintaining an undefeated streak in dual/tri meets over that time period.
This year’s indoor squad put up that seventh consecutive County Championship on the strength of a very strong underclass group led by sophomore Emma Gallagher. With Gallagher competing at the top of her game throughout the season, the Lady Trojans have been able to produce terrific results all season, capped by the Nassau County Class A Championship.
The strength of this year’s squad continued to be the middle distance capabilities of the core team and some surprising strong sprint and distance results. Along with Gallagher it’s been two pairs of sisters, the O’Neills and the Gerlands, who have helped keep the winning tradition going throughout the 2012-13 season. Junior Katie O’Neill typically finishing in the top three in the 300–600 range, while sister Emily was a constant in the 600-1,000 meter range. Pushing the distance out a little more but maintaining top finishes for Garden City were junior Jennifer Gerland in the 1,500 and 2,000 steeplechase and her sister Stephanie in the 3,000 and 2-mile. On the sprint side it’s been the continued success of junior Laura Jaeger in the 100-400 meter range that has produced solid results for the Trojans.
Gallagher has quickly taken on the leadership role and led the team by example with some fantastic race results – many of which have not only set new Garden City High School records but also have pushed the limits of New York State and national times for her age group. Probably the most amazing number is the 1:30.35 that Emma ran at the Collegiate New Balance Games that put her less than a second away from an all-time National record and led to her being invited to run against Olympians and other professional runners at the Millrose Games, usually an honor given to upperclassmen.
But you can’t win a County Championship unless you have more depth than just five runners. Coaches Erica Fregosi and Tom Skrivanek have worked on developing the team as a whole by adding runners like Emily Cafaro, Kelly Punturo, Laurel Fisher, Alyssa Yeboah-Kodie and Kelly Lawkins to produce the overall team results.
The depth of the team typically shines in the relays and Garden City once again has been able to dominate meets because of the strength of their relays. At the Millrose Games the Trojans once again were honored to enter both a 4x400 and 4x800 relay team, a meet some schools would like to send one foursome, never mind two relays plus an individual runner.
The girls are looking ahead to the NY State Championships and the New Balance Nationals in early March.