Running Comets remain spirited after big loss – Web Exclusive

Janie Simonton | Online Editor

April 8, 2011. The first time in nine years that the MHS girls’ track and field team didn’t win the prestigious Coaches’ Classic meet. After replacing what would have been a decade of wins with a second place to Withrow High School, head coach Tony Affatato said the team is not discouraged.

“I hope that as a coaching staff and as athletes, [the loss] will motivate us to work hard over the next few weeks and get better in the things we need to get better in,” Affatato said.

Affatato said that a number of factors could have contributed to the team’s unexpected performance.

“I think we could’ve won the meet if some things had [gone] our way,” Affatato said. “We had a couple kids who were under the weather; they were sick, so I think that played a role, [and] coming out of spring break played a role.”

Despite the circumstances, Affatato said that there were a handful of runners that really proved themselves to be serious athletes at the meet.

“[Senior] Sarah Hunter…broke the meet record in the long jump. She jumped…19’4”, which …is the furthest jump in the state right now…[juniors] Bridget McElhenny and Monica Lake were outstanding in both of their events; they both finished fourth in the two things that they did…[McElhenny] ran faster Friday night than she ever ran in her career in the mile, so that’s a good sign,” Affatato said.

Affatato also attributed some team success to juniors Taylor Reid and Ivy Beddow, who represent the team in hurdles and middle distance, respectively. Besides the individual successes of these athletes, Affatato said the results of the rest of the meet will hopefully serve as inspiration and motivation for the team.

“I think the bottom line is it’s not time to panic; it’s time to get to work and get things done and try to be ready to defend the GMC title,” Affatato said.