Big numbers lead to Newtown’s 8-0 start
The Newtown girls team typically gets off to strong starts, but depth and talent have combined for an exceptional 8-0 beginning this season.
“We had 30 freshmen come out for the team this year and they have been a true asset to the team,” Newtown first-year coach Becky Knapp said. “The enthusiasm and eagerness to learn has helped shape the season this year. With the combination of their new talent and the experience of the older girls, the team has developed depth. Sarah Tressler (captain), Amy Sapenter, and Juliette Cryder are high jumpers consistently jumping 4-8 or
4-10. Katie Ryan has consistently been a leader at the pole vault and taken on many new athletes to teach and support that event.
“Audrey Benson has been an inspiration and a point winner for us at the hurdles. Sarah Nowacki has thrown consistently at meets, but had an amazing
107-foot javelin throw at our second meet. With more competition in the throwing events within the SWC (South-West Conference), she is even more driven to work hard and win us points. (Captain) Carly Swierbut has won each event we have put her in
(100, 200, 400).” Sweirbut recently started doing the long jump. In her second meet with the event she jumped 16-2.
Among the top newcomers is freshman Ally McCarthy. She has contributed points in distance events, including the 800,
1,600 and 3,200. Freshman sprinter Elise Barricelli has been placing second to Sweirbut in the 100, 200 and
400 and also competes in the high jump.
“Going forward, we are looking to add more qualifiers for both the SWC tournament and state tournament (CIAC Class LL),” Knapp said. “I am hoping that the success and fun of the team inspires my freshmen to continue in the sport, as well as spread the word. We recently got a bunch of gymnasts on the team who have been huge in our jumping and sprinting events. The more fun and exciting track is, the more talent and athletes we can recruit.”
Newtown’s Audrey Benson competes in the 55-meter hurdles in the SWC indoor championship on Feb. 3, 2018, in New Haven.