READING — With a large group of experienced athletes led by a dozen seniors, the Reading High girls outdoor track team made a strong bid for the Liberty Division title last year. However, the Lady Rockets couldn’t defeat defending champion Woburn, and had to settle for a second-place finish with a 4-1 record.
Now the Lady Rockets are back with a new attitude, a new head coach, and loaded with another large group to make another bid for the division crown.
Reading returns 48 tracksters from last year’s squad, and with 81 out for the team, the Lady Rockets appear to have enough depth and experience to give Woburn a more serious challenge for the Liberty Division title.
“I’m excited to see what our team will accomplish this year,” said new Reading girls track coach Meaghan Scearbo. “We had a great start to the season with some strong times and throws in our time trials this past week. We have may experienced and talented upperclassmen, and we are counting on them to lead our hard working and enthusiastic underclassmen.
“Our strengths will be in the long jump, the high jump, and the pole vault, the latter led by senior captain Haley Lightbody,” continued Scearbo. “We will also be strong in the javelin, led by senior captain Alyssa Pryputniewicz. We are hoping for a winning season that will be full of many personal bests.”
The other captains are Audrey Durso, who will compete in middle distance events, while Julia Hagan is a distance runner. Also, Yolanda Jarrin vies in the hurdles and jumps.
Lightbody is All-Scholastic-caliber in the pole vault, when that even competes. The Stonehill College-bound senior also will shine in the hurdles, and jumps. Pryputniewicz, besides the javelin, also is a sprinter.
Other looming point-producers are expected to be seniors Elizabeth Lemone in the throws, Devyn Neary in middle distance events and throws, and Alex Wheeler in distance events.
Returning athletes: Seniors: Audrey Durso (captain, middle distance), Julia Hagan (captain, distance), Yolanda Jarrin (captain, hurdles, jumps), Haley Lightbody (captain, pole vault, hurdles, jumps), Alyssa Pryputniewicz (captain, sprints, javelin), Elizabeth Lemone (throws), Devyn Neary (middle distance, throws), Alex Wheeler (distance). Juniors – Celia Capone (throws), Kaytlin Encarnacao (sprints), Cathrine Gauthier (throws), Bridgett Hackett (distance), Bailey Hoyt (middle distance). Sophomores – Erin Mulvey (distance), Maddie Lemone (throws), Hannah Whitney (hurdles), Gianna Zagami (sprints).
Promising newcomers: Freshman – Elizabeth Donahue (distance), Abigail Henneberry (sprints), Alex Johnston-Lynch (sprints), Sophie Shanley (distance).