Glory on the Track

The girls’ varsity track team was out with a vengeance at the Founders League
championship. After a near perfect season, with defeats to only Hotchkiss, a member of the
Founders group of schools, and Andover, a powerhouse of track talent, every athlete on the
team was hoping to establish the dominance of Loomis Chaffee.

It is near impossible to win every track meet and championship. This year, the sole
defeat to a fellow Founders competitor can almost be excused. Rather than stay home to
compete against Hotchkiss and Deerfield, a few of the best runners on the team left for the
University of Pennsylvania, the famous Penn Relays, where they won both the 4×400 and
the 4×100 relay. The winning group included seniors Charlotte Gacek, Greer Davis, and
Denver Williams and junior Natasha Otton. A couple trophies from such a prestigious event
was, in most minds, well worth the loss to a rival back in New England. Having lost by only
three points to Hotchkiss, the one team that would pose a threat to the first place finish, the
girls stormed out of the gates ready to flip the defeat around.

Everyone knew going into the championships that it would be a tight race. Although
Loomis was predicted to win, the margin of error was small; the tiniest slip up could hand
the meet away to Hotchkiss. Avon hosted the event, so it was only a short drive away, but
the scorching heat made it difficult to accomplish anything. Thankfully, after a season of
preparing for the toughest possible weather, the team was more than prepared to do as
they always did.

One of the girls who did much more than was expected of her (not an uncommon
feat for the girls’ team) was Chynna Bailey. Having high jumped no more than 4’6” during
the season and seeded fifth, Chynna managed to overcome the odds and tie for first place,
nearly clearing 4’10”. The 4×100 repeated the success had at Pennsylvania, going so far as
to set a school record, though the 4×400 came in second. Greer Davis, a hurdler in both the
high and intermediate races, was barely expected to place; however, she and fellow
sophomore Skyler Dovi earned first and second place, respectively, in the intermediate
hurdle race (300m). Other laudable performances from Ciera Hunter, Kendra Offiaeli, who
set a school record in the shot put earlier in the year, and Denver Williams, who all won
their events, and many others who placed, albeit not in first, guaranteed a W. All in all, this
torrent of spectacular performances not only solidified the win, but also a complete rout of
all the other teams. At the end of the meet, the track team didn’t win by the ten or so points
they were expecting, but by nearly fifty. When asked what allowed her to perform so well,
Chynna said, “Honestly, I believe that all the credit goes to having such an amazing coaching
staff and extremely supportive teammates. Although I was very inexperienced in terms of
track, my teammates and coaches made me feel like I could do anything.” The bonds and
coaching that can be found with this team are truly remarkable.

With the Founders meet and one exceptional season behind them, the track team
has only one meet left: New Englands. As champions of the league, the team will have some
big expectations; although Andover could cause some trouble, there is no doubt in anyone’s
mind that it will be a close race. Since they’ve been tapering for close to two weeks, the girls
are more than ready to exert themselves, once again, to the best of their ability. Few other
track teams in the area have worked as hard, and as passionately, as our girls (except
maybe the Loomis Chaffee boys track team).

In the best case, the New England championship will be an opportunity to turn the
tide of defeat against Phillips Academy as well.