NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

February 11, 2014

Consistency and class

Derro keeps Pentucket girls track on winning path

There’s a lot to like about the Pentucket girls indoor track team.

The Sachems have enjoyed plenty of success over the years, and they’ve had some terrific individual performers, but there is something that really stands out — their consistency.

And we’re not just talking about wins and losses, although that’s high on the list. At a school with no indoor facility, Pentucket consistently has high numbers and it always performs with class. While there are certainly others, its program challenges as the No. 1 overlooked gem in the region.

And you’ve got to give head coach Steve Derro a great deal of the credit.

Derro, a Pentucket grad, is the only coach the program has ever had. He founded it in 1997-98, guiding it to 3-5-1 his first year, and has not had a losing season since.

Under Derro’s direction, Pentucket has an overall record of 124-41-3 since the program began and has won six league titles. From 1998-99 through 2002-03, the Sachems had a 38-meet unbeaten streak.

Impressive stats for sure, but the Sachems are also noteworthy because they always have high numbers, starting with 33 girls that first year to over 60 in recent years, thanks partly to having veterans recruit promising youngsters.

Among the standout individuals Derro has helped develop are sprinters Kristin Monaco and Ashley Moulton, who went on to run at William and Mary and UMass Lowell respectively, and middle/distance runners Amanda Schweizer (UNH), Alanna Poretta (Boston College), April O’Brien (Dartmouth), Paige Sutherland (Holy Cross) and Rebecca Morse (Quinnipiac).

But, says Derro, it’s always about the team as a whole, not the individuals.

“Track is always considered an individual sport, but it’s not that way for me,” said Derro. “For me, it’s the largest team sport. Everyone has their role to play, just like any other team sport.

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