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It may not have been the greatest regular season for the Indians' girls' outdoor track squad with a small roster of 19 athletes, but the Indians still had plenty of big feats to feel proud about this spring.
While Guilford finished the dual meet season at 2-10, it had more than half its team qualify for states with three girls reaching the State Open in senior Fiona Doolan (800), senior captain Carolyn Duman (3,200), and junior Sofia Moscovitz (pole vault).
"Our record was a disappointing 2-10 as we had one of our smallest squads that we have ever fielded," said Head Coach Jon Rivera. "Although we were able to cover all the events, ultimately, our lack of bodies led to an uphill battle during the regular season. I think the goal every year is to have people performing at their best at the end of the season and the vast majority of the team improved over the course of this season, which is what you want."
Boston University-bound Doolan took home SCC All-Sectional Team and team MVP accolades and additionally captured the 800 crown at the Eastern Sectional Championship with a near school-record time of 2:20.10. The Indians' lone captain in Duman, who was the school's salutatorian and will attend Johns Hopkins University, also made her mark with a 22nd-place showing at the State Open (12:11.85) for the 3,200 after finishing fifth in the event (11:58.10) at the Class MM State Championship.
"Fiona was very close to breaking the school record in the 800, coming up a little short, although breaking 2:20 was still an impressive feat for her," said Rivera on Doolan, who also finished eighth in the 2,000 (7:54.77) at the State Steeplechase Championship. "Fiona was dominant in events from the 800 up and scored lots of points for us in her four years in the program. Our captain Carolyn Duman did an excellent job of bringing the team together as one and fulfilling her role as the captain. Carolyn ran the race of her life at states to qualify for the State Open and go out on top."
Other departing seniors who will be leaving Guilford and, as Rivera states, "have been an important part to the program each in their own way," are Erin Strait (ready to attend Villanova), Anna Kwochka (staying in state at Quinnipiac University), and Ellen Page (who is headed to Columbia next year).
"Our biggest area of concern, along with replacing the seniors, which is always difficult, will be to increase our numbers through recruitment," said Rivera on his senior standouts.
As Rivera looks ahead to his sixth season in the girls' program with assistant coach and National Girls' Cross Country Coach of the Year Finalist Jim Ford, he has a strong underclass in juniors and co-Most Improved Award recipients Renee Russo and Katie Nolan, along with freshman Evelyn Ferrall (Best Freshman Award).
Russo saw a trifecta this year in terms of state event qualifications with the 100 (18th, 13.55), 200 (18th, 28.14) and long jump (21st, 14-0) and also participated in the State Heptathlon Championship-coming in 22nd for the 200 (28.21), 37th with the high jump (4-4¼), 62nd throwing the shot put (20-11¼), and 71st (20.29) in the 100 hurdles to come in 59th overall with 1,627 points. Nolan additionally reached the state championship for the 1,600 and 3,200 (18th, 13:06.97).
Heading into 2014, Coach Rivera eyes building bigger squad so his Indians can have a bright future.
"It is vital that we get more people out for our sport," said Rivera, who cites Katie Nolan and Evelyn Ferrall as building blocks for the program. "Our goals for next year are to improve our overall record, plus to get more people further and deeper into the season. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how lucky I am to have Jim Ford as an assistant. This is my 12th year with track and having Jim makes my life a lot easier."