The DSHA Varsity Track & Field Team seemed to be on fire this season, clinching titles and having success beyond what any DSHA track team has seen before.
But a fire doesn’t start without a spark.
This fire had two sparks: Jadin O’Brien, DSHA ‘20, and Kiley Robbins, DSHA ‘20.
“Jadin and Kiley not only bring great leadership on the track physically, but their approach to preparation and competition is so good, it rubs off on their younger teammates,” said Track & Field Head Coach Jack LoPresti. “Their confidence is contagious, and it’s one of the reasons for our success this season.”
A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
The team experienced much success, including many firsts this season: the first time in school history to win the Greater Metro Conference Outdoor Championship, first place finishes in both the WIAA Regionals and the WIAA Sectionals, and the first time in school history to bring home a trophy from the WIAA State competition.
The only time they had to settle was at state, in which they placed second. And they were just two points away from placing first.
THE DYNAMIC DUO
Robbins experienced a first of her own this season: she qualified for state. Not only did she qualify, she placed second in the 100M dash.
“I worked hard last summer to qualify for state,” she said. “When I got up there and performed well and placed second, it felt like my hard work finally paid off.”
O’Brien also had hard work on the brain. She had quite a performance both at the GMC Outdoor Championship and the state competition. At the GMC meet, she placed first in the long jump, 100M high hurdles and the 300M low hurdles, setting the school record for the long jump and the meet records for both hurdles events. At State, she took two individual championships in both hurdles events.
“I take my role as a captain on the track team very seriously, and I knew that in order to help my team get to where we wanted to be this season, I needed to be at my best,” O’Brien said.
A DREAM TEAM
LoPresti saw this hard work, not only from O’Brien and Robbins, but from the whole team during each and every meet and event.
“They gave it their all, were in the right frame of mind, were confident and performed well,” he said. “This is the most proud I’ve ever been of a track team, and I’ve coached track teams for over 20 years.”
Not only was the runner-up victory a win for the team, it was a win for DSHA.
“We really put our name out there,” Robbins said. “People don’t know a lot about our track team, and they saw we could run fast and place at state.”
Both Robbins and O’Brien have a higher goal next season: to win the state title for DSHA.
“It still stings to think about (losing state by two points), but now we have the drive to win,” said O’Brien.
While LoPresti would love to see a state championship, for him it’s about growing as a group.
“If we work hard, be confident, and have fun, everything will take care of itself,” he said. “The winning will come.”
WIAA Track & Field State Meet Results:
Jadin O’Brien, DSHA ‘20
1st Place │ 100 M Hurdles, 13.92 seconds
1st Place │ 300 M Hurdles, 42.34 seconds
Kiley Robbins, DSHA ‘20
2nd Place │ 100 M Dash, 11.95 seconds
Makayla Hughes, DSHA ’21; Michalene McQuide, DSHA ’22; Jadin O’Brien, DSHA ’20; Kiley Robbins, DSHA ’20
2nd Place │ 4X100 Relay, 48.23 seconds
Laetitia Faye, DSHA ’21; Makayla Hughes, DSHA ’21; Michalene McQuide, DSHA ’22; Reegan Schmidt, DSHA ’19
2nd Place │ 4X200 Relay, 1 minute and 42:53 seconds
1st Team All-Conference: Bonnie Raechal Beres, DSHA ’19; Ximena Cardenas, DSHA ’22; Laetitia Faye, DSHA ’21; Addie Grogan, DSHA ’22; Gracie Hecht, DSHA ’21; Makayla Hughes, DSHA ’21; Mary McDevitt, DSHA ’22; Michalene McQuide, DSHA ’22; Caitlyn O’Brien, DSHA ’22; Jadin O’Brien, DSHA ’20; Hazel Pate, DSHA ’22; Kiley Robbins, DSHA ’20; Reegan Schmidt, DSHA ’19; Sophie Scopp, DSHA ’21
2nd Team All-Conference: Kierra Pruitt, DSHA ’20; Hailey Quinette, DSHA ’20
3rd Team All-Conference: Mary Margaret Brennan, DSHA ’21; Kalli Jaeger, DSHA ’21; Oriana Ognar, DSHA ’22; Maura Reardon, DSHA ’20; Natalie Stamper, DSHA ’20
Note: Highest honors of each student are mentioned