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‘Future is bright’ for Coventry girls track program

5/22/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — Now in his second season as head coach of the Coventry High School girls track team, Ed Egan said he is pleased with the way the program is growing.

“The biggest thing when I took over last year is that I wanted to get the [roster] numbers up,” he said. “We ended the season with 24 last year and my biggest thing was to get more girls out so we can compete. This year, we are ending the season with 33, which is nine more than last year. That’s a huge deal, and three of the new girls are actually big-time point-scorers for us. We’re hoping to add nine or 10 more next year, and my biggest goal is to get volleyball girls and basketball girls and soccer girls — the varsity athletes at Coventry High School — out for track.”

According to Egan, adding more athletes to the team has helped the team to improve exponentially.

“Having more kids to choose from — to put in the events — is a huge progression,” he said. “I would describe our team as having young experience. Of the 33 kids, only two are seniors, and only one of those had varsity experience last year. Almost all of our points are coming from a handful of juniors and mostly sophomores and freshmen. Our future is bright.”

Two upperclassmen having a major impact on the team this season, Egan said, are junior Amanda Wightman and senior Julia McGonigal.

“Amanda is having a great year. She has placed in pretty much every meet, every invitational. She just tied our school record in the 200. She just keeps improving and she still has a few more chances this year to see if she [can] break the school record,” the coach said. “Julia is a combo of athletic-thrower. She can run and she can score points in the shot put and discus.”

No. 2 on the team in points behind Wightman is sophomore Tori Matson.

“She’s a hurdler and she’s on the 4x100 and the 4x200,” the coach said. “She’s having a good year and we’re really looking forward to seeing what she can do.”

In addition, Egan said, newcomers junior Chloe Baird and sophomores Caroline Bullock and Kia Greene have played key roles on this year’s squad.

“Chloe is a basketball and volleyball player who never did track before. She comes in and she’s been our No. 2 long-jumper and high-jumper, and she’s given us huge points in the 4x100 and the 4x200,” the coach said. “Caroline is our No. 1 distance runner and she did not do track last year. She’s doing a great job. And so is Kia, who also did not do track last year, but she came out and now she’s our No. 2 in the 100-meter dash, the long jump and the 100.”

Egan said his team has “really improved” throughout the year — especially during the past few weeks.

“We’ve really come together and we’re peaking at the right time,” he stated. “Hopefully, we can get some girls on the stand at the [Portage Trail Conference] meet. We’ll look to keep moving forward and keep improving our times and our distances.”

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