WEST NEWBURY — Typically, middle school students aren’t eligible to participate in high school athletics at Pentucket. But thanks to a transition that put Principal Jonathan Seymour in charge of both the middle school and the high school for the year, the district’s younger students had the opportunity to compete with the big kids if they could keep up.
As it turned out, one of the biggest beneficiaries of this change was Seymour’s own daughter, and not only could she keep up with the big kids, she left most of them in the dust.
Ellison Seymour was one of the top athletes in the Cape Ann League as an eighth-grader this past spring track season, finishing fourth on the team with 84 total points while helping lead Pentucket’s 4x400 relay team to a league championship. She also placed third in the 400-meter hurdles at the CAL Championships before going on to compete in the event at the Division III State Meet against some of the best high school athletes in Massachusetts.
After the season, Ellison was named a Daily News All-Star for spring track, and now with the start of her freshman year on the horizon, she is hoping to make the most of her head start with a strong showing this fall.
“I want to do a lot better at all my sports,” she said. “I want to set the bar higher and succeed more than I did this year.”
Ellison got her first high school experience last fall when she played on Pentucket’s freshman soccer team, and then in the winter she got her first varsity action on the indoor track team, where she competed primarily in the 600-meter run. This fall, Ellison’s goal is to join her older sister, Sterling, on the varsity soccer team, and after that to become a bigger part of the school’s indoor track team.