By Jim Sullivan
---- — When the Newburyport boys indoor track team completed its undefeated regular season Tuesday, it overshadowed the fact that its female counterparts finished their best season in program history on the same day.
With a victory over Amesbury, the girls team finished 6-3.
“I told them last year at the end of outdoor season that I could see things changing,” said indoor track coach Tim Foley. “At the beginning of the season, I told the kids I really see a big change. They came around. It was so nice to see.”
The girls needed a change, going 2-7 last year and 2-8 the year before. According to Foley, it was the guidance of co-captains Liz Fiascone and Katie Gorenflo that played a big part in the program’s best performance since it began in 1995.
“Our captains did a great job recruiting this year,” said Foley. “We had the best recruitment we ever had. We were able to fill a lot of holes. A lot of good soccer athletes came out and helped us out. These kids really stepped up.”
Gorenflo takes personal satisfaction in the team’s success.
“Knowing that you’re a captain on the team that did the best is a really good feeling,” said Gorenflo. “You feel like you’ve succeeded.”
A member of the girls soccer team, Gorenflo (55-meter dash and 4x400 relay) has been running indoor track since she was a sophomore and had high hopes going into this season.
“I had a feeling we would also be doing well this season,” said Gorenflo. “Because (the underclassmen) would be helping us out with distance and stuff.
“We lead by example and they just kind of follow,” Gorenflo said of the younger runners. “We work out hard and it just makes everyone stronger.”
“I read a quote some years ago that said, ‘We had a lot of hungry juniors this year and some senior leadership,’ so I think it worked out,” said Foley.
A year-round runner, Fiascone (hurdler) has been running track since seventh grade and believes that Foley as well as his assistant coaches, Don Hennigar and Mike McCormick, have given them the unique tools to succeed.
“They are a big aspect of this team,” Fiascone said of her coaches. “They have us run the exact same workouts that the boys do. And a lot of the other Cape Ann League teams are treated differently. They really give us the opportunities we need to improve. The boys have been so good for so long and the girls team has been building, and they could simply have focused only on the boys.”
One of the things the boys are known for, league-wide, is its extroverted sense of humor. While the girls have their moments, the captains say they are a little more reserved.
“We’re more normal (than the boys),” said Gorenflo. “We don’t do all the bizarre things they do, but we all get along and talk to each other. It’s like a family.”
“We’re really close on the track team,” said Fiascone. “I think it’s the amount of time that we all spend together. We’ve really gotten to know each other and gotten to like each other.”
Next up for these ladies is the CAL championships Tuesday night at the Reggie Lewis Center.
“I think we’re going to do really well at the CALs,” said Gorenflo. “Because we’ve got a lot of people going into it. So we should do a lot better than previous years.”
“There’s a lot of great hurdlers, but I’m looking forward to being pretty high up there,” said Fiascone. “So I’m just going to try to run the best I can.”
Whatever happens in the near future, these captains know they have made a difference.
“I’m really excited about it,” Fiascone said of her team’s future without her. “I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next year because we’ve got a lot of young kids on the team. I can’t see how they wouldn’t be able to beat our record next year.”