One tough season.
It was a rough year that ended in a way that I didn’t think possible. There are so many memories from that indoor and outdoor season that I think about every year. It was the first meet at the bubble on December 18th when my wife called my cell phone. This never happens unless something is wrong. Now we had known since September that something was not right with my dad and he had been undergoing tests, but this was not what I was expecting to hear. He had stage 4 lung cancer and things did not look good. The one thing I can say about track is that it took my mind away from dealing with a lot of uncertainties. For the most part he still seemed like his old self to me. That year we went down to Virginia for Christmas. I had helped him hang the Christmas lights up before I left. When we returned he wasn’t the same. The first time we went to my parents house, he was in his bed the entire time we were there. To make matters even worse, he struggled with getting healthy enough to undergo any treatment they could do for the cancer. Well it went downhill fast for my dad and he passed away early in the morning on February 2nd. My mother, sister, and myself were all there to comfort him and each other. My dad has had a tremendous impact on my life and on who I am today. A common statement by my kids when working on something is who taught you how to do that? Pop-pop? Of course they usually know the answer before they even ask the question.
Now how does this all tie into track? Well, Feb. 3rd was the Poreda Invitational at Lawrenceville. One of the main reasons the team was going was to qualify for Indoor Nationals at Boston. It touched my heart to hear that the girls ran that day to qualify for me. One of them even had a piece of paper in their spikes of a bible verse I sent them. I Corinthians 9:24. They were so excited when they ran 4:21.35 to qualify when the standard was 4:22. During one of the most difficult times of my life, my track girls were there to cheer me up. What a role reversal. Normally it would be me as a coach to lift their spirits after a bad race or practice, but now it was their turn.
The trip to Boston that year for indoor Nationals was definitely something that I needed. The 4x400m relay team had run 4:04.77 at the Meet of Champions to qualify and the Sprint Medley which had already qualified were going. The SMR team consisted of Erin Mason,
Emily Kulcyk, Alexa Chiarelli, and Ally Masoero. The 4x400m team was Erin Mason, Emily Kulcyk, Marissa DeCesaris, and Ally Masoero. Jamie DeMarco also came along as an Alternate. The performances that the girls put together made that trip even more special. Despite one of our legs getting tripped up during the hand off, the Sprint Medley Relay team managed to shatter the school record running 4:14.60, dropping nearly 7 seconds off of what they had already run that season. The 4x400m relay team came back and also ran a season best time of 4:02.96. A lot of great memories were made up in Boston as we got to do some sight seeing in the midst of the track meet.
Jump ahead a few months and that outdoor season was filled with some great memories as well. Emily Kulcyk continued her dominance in the 400m Intermediate Hurdles. Running them at Penn, then eventually all the way up through Meet of Champions. On paper, I knew the 4x400m relay team could break the school
record. Just to give you an idea of how the season went, they had run 4:04.56 at Penn Relays. They ran 4:00.70 to finish 3rd at Sectionals which was #2 all time in school history. They followed that up the next week at States running 4:00.48 (new school record) to finish 9th. This earned them one of the wild cards to advance to MOC’s. Now competing at the Meet of Champions was a pretty loaded slate. We had Megan Lacy (So.) in the 3200m, Jess Woodard (Fr.) in both the shot put and discus, Melissa Lake(Jr.) in the javelin, Tiffany Turner (Sr.) in the high jump, and Emily Kulcyk (Sr.) in the 400m intermediate hurdles and both the 4x800m relay team and the 4x400m relay team. Emily was actually on the 4x8, 4OOmIH and the 4x400, but needed to sit out of the 4x8 since it was so close to the 400m hurdles. To even make this meet more special, my old high school coach Joe Schramm (the acting athletic director) was retiring and this would be his last HS athletic event at Cherokee. The girls left with some hardware. Emily placed 5th in the 400m IH running 1:03.50 (her fastest time of the season). The 4x800m relay team of Megan Lacy, Megan Charbeneau, Ally Masoero, and Taylor Ahern finished 6th. The night ended with the 4x400m relay team running in the dusk at South Plainsfield’s Track
Now seeing the progression that the girls had made with the 4x4, we had a long running bet that I would get my picture taken next to Coach Moreland (North Brunswick head coach) The team referred to him as my doppelgänger. I had never met Coach Moreland before but told them if they broke 4:00 minutes I would go up to him and get a picture next to him. Well if I had told you that the girls finished 14th at MOC’s that might not seem like much, but considering that they were seeded 20th it was a huge improvement, but when they ran 3:56.68 it was a way for two seniors to leave their HS track careers in the best way possible. A new school record and the first time in school history that a relay team ran under 4:00. Emily Kulcyk 59.9 lead off, Erin Mason 58.7, Alexa Chiarelli 59.9, and Ally Masoero 58.1. Looks like it was picture time, and I still have the t-shirt they made me with the picture on it.
Now of those 4 girls, they all went off in different directions.
Emily Kulcyk - The College of New Jersey
Erin Mason - Millersville University
Ally Masoero - Virginia Tech University
Alexa Chiarelli - College of Charleston
They all have different stories to tell athletically after high school and they all have different stories to tell about where they are now in life. Almost a year ago I texted all four of them and told them to save the date. I was giving them a year's notice that I wanted them to speak at this year's track banquet since it was the 10 year reunion of that special night. Now due to the current circumstances that everyone is going through that will not be happening, but it seems fitting for the group of girls that helped me through one of my toughest seasons of life help me again through a tough season. I asked them all to write what High School track meant to them and taught them. There were bumps along the way I am sure. Some of them were caused by me and some by choices they made, but they each traveled different roads in regards to track after high school. To the senior class graduating that have words of wisdom for the underclassmen, I wanted to take this opportunity to have some past lady chiefs share their wisdom with you.
Emily Kulcyk- Ran track for 4 years, 4 outdoor seasons, 2 indoor seasons, and 1 cross country season(senior year), 3 seasons in college at TCNJ
Oh, how do I even sum up how it all started. For one thing, I wasn’t big on following many professional track athletes before or during my track career at Cherokee. I guess I could say I knew of the accomplishments of Lolo Jones(eh) but when I really think back to what really drew me to track, it really was my team, my coaches, and my drive. I mostly looked up to the upperclassmen on the team to understand how they succeeded in the sport, however, there was one unique individual that transformed my entire hurdling career, Yvette Murray. After having somewhat of a successful freshman year and my first year of track all together, I found my niche within the mid distance and hurdling events. While still new to me, I knew I wanted to master the 400 IH event and I knew at that point I had one person and one person only to chase. Yvette Murray held most, if not all hurdling records for Cherokee including the school record for IH and all class records. My hope (and somewhat realistic goal) was to beat all of her records. She was an upperclassmen that I not only had never met but never raced against but I knew she was good and I knew I needed to be as talented as she was to leave my mark at Cherokee. While I was figuratively chasing this random athlete whom I had never met, this was not the only person that shaped my track career!
I also looked up to and learned most of the tricks of the trade through my actual upperclassmen such as Rachel Montague, Kelly Clyde, Cait Lowe, Jess Lowinger, and Maggie Kearns to name a few. Jess and Maggie really opened my eyes to the mentality and the preparation needed for the 800M. They pushed me in ways I don’t think I would have ever reached when it comes to running a distance race. The 800M is a hard race mentally to overcome and while it is by no means fun at all, it helps to have teammates there to get you through it and know what the pain feels like. Kelly and Cait were my captains that knew how to lead a group of scared and nervous young athletes. I learned a lot from them on how to help underclassmen through the nuance that is track: the struggles of a hard practice, the importance of a good warm up, or the nerves of the relay waiting area. They shaped how I led the team as an upperclassman and helped me know what to say to calm the nervous newbies. When it came to my hurdling career, Rachel Montague influenced me the most when I look back on my first steps (HA). She helped me master hurdling techniques from my start all the way down to the last hurdle finishing my race. Not only did I look up to her but I so desperately wanted to beat her in the IH races. I think I learned from her frustrations and struggles from the race more than anything. While it was all in good fun and the IH wasn't her favorite race, it helped me learn that hurdling is one of the most difficult races to run in track and with patience and growth you can run right past your teammate/friend in a race and achieve what you were hoping for ️:)! And finally, I can’t sum up my career without a shout out to the teammates from my graduating year that were there for me along the way during the good and the bad. To Erin Mason, Sydney Bromfield, Shana Mullen, Marissa Decesaris, Kristen Kearns, Bri Vollmer, and Tara Capelli, you all helped me understand the team aspect of track and really made it feel like a family. I looked up to each and every one of you and was proud to have practiced, trained, and raced alongside you!
While I want to say track taught me patience, diligence, and maturity, that’s boring and only the top layer. I played other sports at Cherokee (field hockey during the fall) and Rec Soccer on occasion (oops) and the approach/mindset a Track athlete is very different from other athletes. Blah blah blah so our sport is other sports' punishments - who cares. Not only does a track athlete have to be strong mentally, but they really have to have faith in themselves and love themselves to succeed in track. The only measurement of success is a ticking clock. Sure there are lane assignments, other athletes in the heat, warm up routines, or state of the art running shoes that impact results but all and all the only way to beat whatever time or place is to put all the stakes on yourself. You are literally pushing your body to its highest athletic ability in order to race well. No one is there to catch your pass, no one is there to blow the whistle, and no defense is there to stop a goal - it is just you and your skill. While things haven’t always gone my way and results were frustrating, I was never upset with myself to the point of no return. Sure, I was disappointed in final times or places and sure, I replayed every step in my head to figure what I could do to fix it, but not once did I doubt my ability to continue. Track taught me to never sell myself short, and that you really are your own biggest fan. No one should be more proud or more enthusiastic about the things you have accomplished than yourself. Sometimes it is hard for athletes to take a step back and appreciate how far they had come. Even in life, we all need to take a step back and appreciate how far, whether it be good or bad, we have come!
Looking back on it, I would not have gotten anywhere near the success I reach without my coaches Jarvis and Tier. God bless you two for leading a bunch of bratty, teenage high school girls. I'll admit, we were not always angels but the training and workouts we ran definitely disciplined and prepared us to succeed in the sport. I appreciate both of you believing in me after I was out and injured for a whole season (LITERALLY CRYING). Both of you kept my spirits up during my sophomore year and gave me my own "workouts" and icing routines needed for a speedy recovery. If it was not for you guys continuing to care about my recovery, I might have never returned the next year to have such a successful Junior and Senior year. You made me feel important even though I was not competing. That is the type of coach you want to run/compete for. A coach that cares about each and every one of their athletes no matter their caliber. That is what motivated me as an athlete - running for coaches that I respected and respected me.
To the up and comer’s after I graduated: Alexa Chiarelli and Ally Masoero, you continued to instill upon the team the drive and dedicated they needed. Ally Masoero, while she was nervous to see all her senior friends graduate, she was ready to lead and call the shots! Alexa Chiarelli, a born powerhouse, her persistence and dedication is hard to match. In the beginning, I thought she would be a nervous newbie, but boy did she sure prove me wrong. I was so proud of both of them after I graduated.
As I graduated and moved on to the next chapter in my life, I realized college was all about being responsible for yourself. Classes are hard and distractions are everywhere. While all of these things are great and a part of growing up, college is all about learning to juggle great experiences that are new and exciting. I had an amazing experience in college, but had a hard time transitioning freshmen year with classes, free time, and training as a collegiate athlete. Best advice I would give to new college students would be to be smart, experience the most you can, take classes seriously, and don't let your newfound freedom get too ahead of you! Competing against athletes in college that were top of the top in high school as well as juggling my own responsibilities was difficult. It was hard to find motivation as I sure did not feel the same way about my team in college as I did in high school. I ended up not continuing to compete after my junior year. The team was not that same as Cherokee and I realized that I had lost my drive to compete. While I hate that I quit, I really do not regret it because I was not putting my whole heart into it.
Now that I am old, out of shape, and working (ugh), I wish I could go back and relive all the amazing track memories in high school (maybe not the workouts). Track took 20hrs out of 24hrs of my day back then and I would not change it for the world. It shaped who I am as a person today and how I grow and change in life. I am a competitive person by nature (of course) but the drive, dedication, and passion I have for things going on in my life does not just come from any experience. It comes from learning how to deal with every high and low in life and coming out the other side proud of yourself and proud of the people who choose to be there and support you along the way. Every challenge is worth the chase!
Track and Cross Country camp - Almost getting run over by Jarvis and Tier on the banana boat water rapids, getting kicked out of the pool on our only day off because of a pool break, running through the woods on our "distance" run only because we were lost. every olive garden dinner EVER. Olive Garden is now my favorite restaurant EVERRRR!
Every long bus ride back from meets where we were the LAST team to leave.
This one tops it all - the excitement we all had on our ride home from Meet of Champs after we broke the school record! I don't think we all stopped smiling (or repeating our time for that matter)! It was a memory I will never forget <3
That one time Jarvis made me cry in Geometry.... NO ONE EVEN USES GEOMETRY. No, don't worry, I'm over it, kinda!
That one time Tier avoided the fact he should have run a marathon because I beat his pull up challenge...don't worry over that one too.
Jarvis's questionable driving skills for far away meets - to be honest, we would have never made it there or home if I wasn't the navigator.
Some not so great Memz
HILL WORKOUTS! While I know they really helped build my stamina and leg muscles, hearing those dreaded words before practice made my heart drop. It is like the gut check you never want.
Plank work outs on the GROSS GYM OR HALLWAY FLOOR. Please make everyone bring yoga mats or towels to practice when they planks.
I will never forget what my Cherokee High School Track experience taught me. Spoiler alert, it’s not about qualifying for meets, times shown on a clock, or even bringing home hardware. It is so much more. Having Coach Jarvis guide me through what I think we can all agree are life shaping years in high school, is something I will never take for granted. Coach Jarvis taught me that life is so much more than running; but boy does it help us get through.
I never ran track before high school. I was a field hockey player who just liked to condition during the off-season. It wasn’t until my sister said to me “hey, you are pretty fast, you are going to go out for track, right?” almost as if it was not even a question. She had a point. Why not put some of my talents into my drive for competition, all while staying in shape for my fall sport (now I know Coach Jarvis is cringing right now with those words “to stay in shape for my other sport,” but don’t worry, that is not what Track turned out to be).
I spent four years basically trying to find my sweet spot on the track. Starting with specializing as a 200/400 runner, to eventually proving Coach Jarvis right that I lost my turnover speed as I got older and had to give into my reality: the 800m. This was tough for me. I liked the short races, the quick speed, and not losing my breath because 800m was now considered a sprint. It was also tough for me because I wanted to force the 400m to be MY race. How could you not want this to be your race after breaking a school record and creating a concrete memory for life? How could you not want this to be your race when it was the 400m that showed you what victory and accomplishment looked like? And how could you not want this to be your race when that was (unknowingly at the time) going to be as good as it gets for you?
That’s right. Sophomore year. I peaked in SOPHOMORE year! The night of our 3:56.68 4x400m is one of my last memories of a peak performance in high school (aside from dominating some 200m and 400m hills during workouts). I still feel the heartbreak to this day. Naturally, I tried to find the cause. Was it because I lost my role model that year? Erin Mason was one of the best teammates I could have ever asked for. She pushed me to be my best, she showed me how to compete, and she was right by my side through everything on and off the track. When she graduated that year, I felt lost.
I could continue to dig and dig as to what caused my athletic achievements to dissolve, but at the end of the day, we grow older and our bodies change, and there is nothing we can do about that. Does that mean we give up? Absolutely not. We try harder. There was not one practice I showed up to give anything less than 100%. From start to finish. From the warm up to the cool down. Because that is what I was taught. I was taught to give my whole heart and to not give up. Coach Jarvis pushed me to keep fighting. He threw me into situations he knew would scare me, but would push me and make me better. And I will tell you right now, I am who I am because of those decisions. Life is not easy. We are thrown into situations left and right that scare us. But does that mean we give up? Walk away? Absolutely not.
After graduation, I decided to hang up my cleats and head to the College of Charleston. It only took one year of seeing other student-athletes to recognize the emptiness I felt from not being on a team. So there I went, knocking on the coach’s door. Now, I hate to let you down, but this isn’t a story about how I went to college and suddenly became this stellar athlete who dropped her times every meet. My times stayed the same. I was pretty much consistent and found myself asking the question: “Why did I even decide to run again? Why did I choose to tourture myself again with poor performances?” Because guess what, life is more than running.
Being a college athlete taught me SO many things; from time management, to goal setting, to endurance, to working with others...the list could go on and on. But are you seeing a trend? This sport taught me life lessons that I have taken with me every single day. To the classroom, to my relationships, to job interviews, and more. And THAT is why track called me back...to remind me that life is so much more.
I knew sports had made such an imprint on my life...and that it wasn’t going anywhere. After college I moved to New York City to begin my career in sports. I was working for the NBA in International Digital Products for 3 years, but my heart knew my work was not fulfilling my passions. That is why I set goals and endured until I landed a job in philanthropy. I now spend my days making the game of baseball and softball possible for underprivileged youth across the country with the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.
We are all running a race. We are all running to get that prize. But have you stopped to think about what your prize is? There have been so many times I have had to reset my blocks. To toe that line making sure that finish line was for a purpose. A purpose I believe in. A purpose that reminds me that life is so much more.
Ally Masoero -
“The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.” - Kate Lattey
If I could go back to my sixteen-year-old self and tell her one thing – I would read her this quote. These exact words hang in my office for me to read every day. When Jarvis asked us to reflect on our time as a Cherokee Chief, I actually looked at this quote and giggled. Kate’s words perfectly depict what I learned from running on that track and the years to follow.
I spent all four years of high school running. I was on the cross country team, the spring track team, and eventually joined the dark side of winter track. My identity revolved around my team, the coaches, and my performance in the sport. I have memories from day-long track meets at Rowan to rainy cross country practices where Jarvis would tell us to suck it up and run. The girls on the team were my best friends and Jarvis was my mentor. I absolutely loved the sport and I ate A LOT of pizza.
As my love for running grew, my abilities did as well. Junior year of high school I was at the very top of my game. We were setting records, I was winning races, and I was sharing goofy memories with my team. I still find myself scrolling through old pictures of our bus rides and adventures. Those people were my family and I loved every single moment I spent with them. I remember wishing to myself that my little bubble (pun intended) would never burst.
Senior year of high school that bubble burst. The pressure of being at the top of my game had created a sense of insecurity and fear inside of me. Younger girls were faster than me, I wasn’t getting any faster,
and I felt like I was letting everyone down. I finished high school in pursuit of a college running career at Virginia Tech and was invited to walk on as a D1 athlete. Unfortunately, those fears and insecurities were carried with me to my first day of practice at a new school. I ranked myself amongst my new teammates and constantly second guessed my abilities. It was after that first year I decided to part ways with the sport and start the next chapter of my life.
Jarvis and my teammates taught me a handful of lessons. They believed in me when I could hardly believe in myself. They taught me the importance of having a loving and inspiring community around you at all times. They helped me realize dreams and goals are achievable. They taught me how to laugh through the fear and the pain. And most importantly, they played a major part in creating the strong, resilient, and free-spirited young woman I am today.
I share my story in hopes of one thing – do not take your team and the experiences for granted. Do NOT give up on yourself. You will walk away from the team much stronger than the day you walked in. Learn from your experiences and do not let your disappointments tear you down. If I could go back to that senior year girl and shake her I would. She needed to open her eyes and realize the support system and love she had around her. If she realized that, my story may have had a much different ending…
Now that I have found my success in a career as a Financial Planner, I find myself hitting those moments of fear and insecurity. Instead of running away or giving up, I find myself leaning on my tribe and the people that support me. Cherokee Track & Field taught me what I was looking for in a support system. I now have teammates and coaches in my everyday life to help me get where I want to go.
Erin Mason -
Thinking about my track career brings back so many great memories. Not only for the lessons I’ve learned from this sport, but the amazing people I’ve met. I started my track career doing Marlton rec when I was in elementary school and I continued to compete in middle, high school and also college.
While playing many different sports I started to take track seriously in high school. I may have not thought it then but the Cherokee track coaches and my teammates have taught me so many things that made me who I am today. One really important aspect of life I’ve learned is to work hard when no one is watching and don't skimp on any practices. When I actually decided to work out during the off season I felt so much better coming into the season knowing I had a good foundation to build upon. If you dedicate yourself to the sport, listen to your coaches, (and not leave practices early for other sports 😐) you will have no regrets.
During my four years of Track and Field at Cherokee I’ve had amazing times while also having to make some tough decisions. I will never forget an argument I had with Jarvis where he told me that if I skipped the Eastern meet because of a soccer game that I would lose it for the team. I remember being so mad at him for making me feel guilty but I also didn’t want to let my team down. After that conversation I had to make a difficult decision to quit my travel soccer team and dedicate my whole self to track. In a way I thank Jarvis for this day because it helped me decide where I wanted to go with my future in athletics (Side note, I lost to English Gardner in every running event but we did win that meet).
From that day on I put in all that I had to every practice and meet. I even remember Jarvis and some of the other coaches tagged along on our Disney senior trip and made us wake up early to run. Even though we all dreaded waking up earlier then everyone else, we were prepping for Penn Relays, and in the end it was worth it.
My overall favorite moments of Cherokee track were the MOC 4x4 school record, Penn Relays, watching my team dance off at Rowan University meets, and running at the 2010 Boston Indoor Nationals. I also somehow loved cross country camp (except for the long distance running and being woken up by Jarvis’s daughter Kyra way too early every morning 🙂).
With favorite memories come least favorite memories. I reflect on how Jarvis made all of the sprinters do cross country my senior year....🥴. Besides the running miles part, it actually wasn't that bad. But in all seriousness, my senior banquet was really tough for me. I don’t think I ever stopped crying knowing my high school track career was ending and I was about to start something I had no experience in, college Track and Field.
Once I started college Track and Field, it was almost like a whole new sport. The practices were so different, I felt alone, and I didn’t feel the support like I had in High School. This led me to lose my passion for the sport, and unfortunately after my first year, I quit. During my fall semester of sophomore year, my grades suffered and I was not on a good path in general. One day while working out at the school gym I realized I needed Track and Field back into my life. It was like a restart button, and I began to get my passion for the sport back. I then returned to the track that next semester and competed for the rest of my college career. I learned how to manage my time and my grades improved. And through hard work I ended my senior year with my best grades and reaching all PR’s in all of my events.
After college and performing in Track and Field for almost my whole life, I have found a new passion in the field of Nursing. I have gained lessons in this sport like responsibility, honesty, and working hard that I put into my profession everyday. I want to tell student-athletes that after your schooling ends, you will find a new passion, even if it is not a sport. Try new things, be fearless, and if nothing else, you will have amazing lessons you’ve learned because of being a student-athlete.
It was funny for me to think of it, but those four have had a direct impact on you whether you know it or not. Just as this graduating class will add to the legacy of our program. The graduating seniors had girls that influenced them when they were freshmen who in turn were influenced by others, who influenced others, etc. It is safe to say that the first group of girls that I was fortunate to be a part of when I transferred to Cherokee HS have had a continual effect on the team. I recently reached out to a bunch of former athletes to see who influenced them, and these were the replies i got: It may seem like a long list and many of these names will mean nothing to a lot of people, but to me it is interesting to see how every class is connected. The graduating senior may have been robbed of one final season as a Cherokee athlete, but know that you will forever hold a place in our program. Your impact will be felt in the years to come. To quote Mrs. Charlesworth, once a chief always chief. You will always be a part of Lady Chiefs Tribe.
~ M. Jarvis
Jaden Sweely (2020) - I remember looking up to Bri King a lot.
Riley Gleason (2020) - I looked up to Shannon for running and she was a good leader too. Also, Taylor Kligerman and Jordan Konrad as leaders (they were a package deal).
Chloe Pasquarello (2020) - Abby Gilmore
Emma DellaFemina (2020) - That is a tough one to answer. My biggest influences were Julianne Gallagher and Maria Miller.
Casey Wrightson (2020) - Hayley Foglia, Shannon Young and Kayla Fericy
Kailyn Clark (2020) - Julianne Gallagher
Alyssa Blackmon (2020) - The two seniors that I looked up to the most were Hayley Foglia and Kayla Fericy
Katrina Forshay (2020) - Almost all of the upperclassmen, but specifically I remember looking up to Emily Kramer and Julianne Gallagher
Kate Rathman (2020) - Shannon Young
Bri King (2019) - Jess McAdams because she was so humble about her abilities. Her passion for running always inspired me! She never skipped a cool down at a meet and I feel like every time I saw her she was running, As a freshman I really admired that about her and looked up to the way she carried herself.
Emily Kramer (2019) - Julianne Gallagher for sure. She was so positive and worked her butt off everyday of practice. She was the reason I started hurdling. I knew that as soon as I became an upperclassman, I would try to emulate Julianne’s positivity so others could look up to me like I did to her.
Maddie McDaniel (2019) - Definitely Kayla Fericy and Carolyn Strauss. They always worked super hard and were really personable. They always made a point to talk to me as well as the other underclassmen and help me out when I needed it.
Gabby Moraschi (2019) - Carly LaRosa
Emma Gilmore (2018) - Probably Kaila Carter and Jess Strauss.
Anna Juszczyszyn (2018) - Rachel Patel
Sophie Eick (2018) - Taylor Kligerman, and Kassie Kromish
Shannon Young (2018) - Definitely Lexi Wilson and Kassie Kromish
Hayley Foglia (2018) - OoooOooo so exciting!! Especially my first year of XC, Nicole Florio, Sam Gardner, Bree Gleason, Peanut, Julianne Gallagher, Jess McAdams. Its really hard since everyone was. My first day of practice ever, I remember from the beginning Sam and Nicole picked me up and made me stay with them and kept me going the rest of the practice & the season.
Sarah Weiner (2018) - My sister hannah, Jess Strauss, and Jordan Horsley
Rachel Kodluk (2018) - Jess McAdams
Jordan Konrad (2017) - Easy! Sam Gardner, Nicole Florio, and Lexi Wilson
Taylor Kligerman (2017) - I’d say it was a mix of Sam Gardner, Megan Gernhardt and Nicole Florio
Brooke Dunn (2017) - Jess Strauss
Tricia Donahue (2017) - Hmm, probably Kaila Carter. She always worked hard and was positive.
Julianne Gallagher (2017) - Megan Gernhardt and Lexi Wilson
Joelle Wash (2017) - The 2 upperclassmen I remember having the biggest impact on me were Tiff Bonner and Hannah Weiner
Bree Gleason (2017) - The upperclassmen that I looked up to was 100% Megan Gernhardt & Morgan Shea.
Ally Vassalotti (2017) - I would definitely say Megan Lacy, I think she graduated the year before I was in high school, but I always admired how well rounded she was. Super fast but also made sure she was doing well academically.
Abby Gilmore (2017) - I definitely looked up to Liz Montague and Jess McAdams. Oh yeah and Morgan Clark also.
Maya Foster (2017) - Lexie Knittel and Kristen Visconti
Gabby Ciotti (2017) - Jess McADams and Nicole Florio
Nicole Florio (2016) - Mine would be Ally Moraschi
Lua Fernandez (2016) - It was Gianna. We did the same events same everything and I felt like I thrive off of her.
Hailey Bookwalter (2016) - I’d say Gabby Vassalotti, Lexi Wilson and Morgan Shea
Jess McAdams (2016) - Kristen Visconti was a great inspiration. Everything she did she was good at and didn’t have a big head. She was also very nice. Mel Arnold, Jess Chimielinski and Mel Sands were also so kind and took the freshman under their wings and made a huge difference in my continuing career. I didn’t talk to her too much personally but I also idolized Liz Monatgue a bit. Her father was supportive as well.
Izzi Moraschi (2016) - Mel Sands comes to mind when I think of my freshman year. And my sister of course.
Kaila Carter (2016) - I would say my classmates Hannah Weiner and Kassie Kromish definitely helped show me the ropes of the team since I feel like I really started to get into running my senior year.
Amanda Hyde (2016) - Lexi Wilson and Liz Popov
Kassie Kromish (2016) - I’d say Melanie Sands
Samantha Gardner (2016) - Kelly Mulvaney
Carly LaRosa (2016) - Goodness, that’s a good question. Probably Melanie Sands.
Kaela Schrier (2016) - Sara Bowers, Jess Woodard, and Lexie Knittel.
Hannah Weiner (2016) - I definitely looked up to Lexie Knittel
Megan Gernhardt (2015) - That’s a great question. I think when I first started running Megan Lacy was who I looked up to. Being a freshman she acknowledged us and was kind yet motivated us to work harder.
Gigi Thornton (2015) - Courtney Foster
Jess Strauss (2015) - Do you even have to ask? Alicia Green! And if I am allowed to pick more than one then also Alexa Chiarelli.
Madison Foglia (2015) - Alexa CHiarelli, Lexi Knittel, Sarah Robbie and Kristen VIsconti.
Ally Moraschi (2014) - Megan Lacy for sure
Clarice Metzger (2014) - Jess Woodard
Lexi Wilson (2014) - I looked up to Liz Montague, Morgan Shea and Jess Woodard. Just the way they held themselves and how they acted stood out to me.
Morgan Shea (2014) - Tough question. I would Alexa Chiarelli, Alyssa LIttle and Melissa Kulcyk
Liz Montague (2014) - Courtney Foster, Sarah Robbie and Jess Woodard
Liz Popov (2014) - I really had to think and reflect back to when it all started for me and when I actually felt like I had someone to look up to. I’d say Kristen Visconti. While I didn’t know her personally or talk to her much, I could tell she was a leader and would get things done when it came down to it. I never heard her complain. I could tell she took her sport seriously when it came to indoor/outdoor T&F. I also admired how a pole vaulter/Sprinter went out for XC when it was probably out of her comfort zone. XC was a difficult sport for me to get accustomed to, and it was reassuring to see someone else going through the same thing with such a strong attitude.
Jess Woodard (2013) - Erin Mason
Courtney Foster (2013) - Rachel Montague, Alexa Chiarelli, and Sarah Robbie. Robbie was a good teammate that always pushed us.
Jess Chmielinski (2013) - I’d say Megan Lacy and Alexa Chiarelli
Mel Sands (2013) - I would say Alexa Chiarelli
Julia Werth (2013) - I would say Megan Lacy and Kristen Kearns
Kelsey Capelli (2013) - Bri Cotton
Dani Iannone (2013) - Erin( I forget her maiden name) now its Wexler and she also sprinted with me. & Shelby Schneeweis
Sarah Robbie (2013) - Alyssa Little and Jess Wright
Megan Charbeneau (2013) - Jamie Kehoe of course
Courtney Stone (2013) - Definitely Erin Mason. I still remember the first day I met her during the summer at a morning cross country practice!
Jamie Kehoe (2012) - I’d say Kristen Kearns
Jess Wright (2012) - That was so long ago! When I first started I was doing pole vault with LT and she was a good role model bc of how passionate she was. I think Erin Mason and Em Kulcyk too because I always saw them as really hard workers.
Lisa Holman (2012) - Megan Lacy
Alicia Green (2012) - Erin Mason!
Mel Arnold (2012) - Emily Kulcyk, Alexa Chiarelli, Megan Lacy
Megan Lacy (2012) - Hey Jar, off the top of my head, the person I looked up most to was Lisa Burkholder. Since I ran rec track with Steve(Burkholder) since I was 8, even though she was older than me and I never ran with her, I’ve known the Burkholders for a while and remember following her results while she was in high school and I was in Elementary/Middle school. I know that seeing her win the freshman mile at outdoor nationals made me realize maybe I could do that too. Also my dream school was always Princeton growing up so seeing her go there also affirmed what I wanted to do in the sport.
Erin O’Leary (2012) - my sisters!
Alyssa Litty (2011) - Kristen Kearns
Jamie DeMarco (2011) - I have 3 that I really looked up to. Lauren Taylor, Rachel Montague, and Emily Speiker. I was always so inspired by how each of them had such unique events that they cared so much about and how they were versatile and hard working. I’ve always felt extra admiration for field event athletes, because they are often the forgotten-about events in a track meet. LT was an especially important role model to me because she showed me how in an event as specialized as pole vaulting, we had to help coach each other sometimes. She taught me everything she knew about pole vaulting, but also trusted me to help her out with things I had learned. I tried to emulate that once she graduated.
Shelby Schneeweis (2011) - That’s an easy question. Without a doubt I looked up to Erin Mason when I started running. She convinced me to run when we played soccer together.
Bridget Milorey (2011) - I really looked up to Rachel Montague when I was a little freshman and she was a senior. She was a lead by example type of person. She really gave me the impression that she wasn’t just a talented athlete, she also worked very hard to keep improving.
Colleen Brill (2011) - I looked up to Kristen Kearns and Erin Mason. Both were very kind and always very welcoming and fun but kept their eyes on the prize and put in the work.
Kristen Kearns (2010) - My sister(Maggie), I guess she was the reason I even joined in the first place.
Amy Stansbury (2008) - I’d say Megan O’Leary, Kaitlin O’Malley, and Lisa Burkholder
Maggie Kearns (2008) - Lisa Burkholder
Rachel Montague (2008) - I would say Lisa Burkholder
Kasey Makowski (2007) - Ahh, that’s so hard because I was much more close with the girls in my grade and the grade underneath me. So like Linda Sierra, Kelly Clyde, Kristen Lewis, Kristy McFAdden, Jess Lowinger etc. But as a freshman I looked up to Jess O’Rourk even though I wasn’t running track yet or I always thought the O’Leary girls were great.
Caitlin O’Leary (“Jr.”) (2007) - Megan O’Leary
Kelly Clyde (2007) - Allison Rubba, Lindsay Hearing and Lisa Burkholder come to mind first.
Cait McDonnell (2007) - Laura Daniels and Emily Keller. Emily is the one who got me hooked. She brought me on runs in between XC and winter track to get me ready freshman year.
Lisa Burkholder (2006) - Jenna Vigiano, Malia Lyles, Kystal Soo, Megan O’Leary and Cait O’Malley
Laura Daniels (2005) - Emily Keller
Caitlin O’Malley (2005) - hmmm, Jenna Viggiano, Malia Lyles and Krystal Soo.
Grace Pelerin (2005) - Jenna Viggiano
Allison Rubba (2004) - The Brockman sisters (Ariel and Brandi). My freshman year Brandi, Ariel and Emily Keller were on relays together, One from each grade which I thought was so cool.