Spring track and field teams look to build strong underclassmen foundation

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Spring track season has started and the Pelicans have been able to get out on the track as temperatures are rising and they have begun to prepare for this year’s competition.

Last year the team lost several talented seniors. Jumper Will Shelton was a big contributor to the team along with sprinter Harrison Harvey and jumper Lorenzo Bertuccioli. Bertuccioli moved on to jump for the University at Albany, while Harvey now sprints for Washington University in St. Louis.

Looking ahead into this season, the team’s main goal is to strengthen the underclassmen. They want to build a strong foundation for the team with a solid group of kids to continue moving forward as even more crucial members to the team graduate in the next few years. Freshmen sprinter Isabella Cipolla is already extremely talented, and has a lot of raw potential and talent to focus on moving forward. Cipolla returns from the winter season, where she had the best time among underclassmen sprinters in the 55 meter dash. Additionally, the Pelicans add female jump talent in junior Charlotte Howard and sophomore Emily Maher, who both switched from lacrosse to join the team for spring this year. The pair add to an already powerful spring jumping contingent which includes Stephanie Porfirio and Ella Stern. 

The team’s biggest rivals are Rye, Harrison, and Byram Hills, so looking ahead into the season, they’ll be highly valued targets to beat in meets. Last year the Pelicans had multiple athletes place first at their League Championships in their respective events, so the team is hoping to have even more successes once Leagues come around.

Leading the team are seniors Charlie Miske, distance runner who also competes in and holds the school record for pentathlon, Peyton Rees, a thrower who last year shattered the outdoor record, and Grace Miske, a long distance specialist looking to lower her personal best even further this season. Sophomore Zoe Winburn who made it to states for high jump during the winter season is looking forward to her progression during the spring as well. Another key player is Nora Tahbaz, who leads the way for the sprint core of the team. Tahbaz has won at least one event in each of the last three League Championships she contested, and has had podium finishes several times at the Westchester County and Section 1 Class B Championships. 

New winter and spring Coach Nicki Nesi is excited to have join the track team again for the spring season. Coach Nesi joined this past winter season and she is excited to continue her coaching career at Pelham for the spring season. “Nesi is motivating, fun to be around and adds a great sense of hard work and dedication to the team,” says Charlotte Howard, “For most of the athletes, we haven’t had a female coach but when she stepped in we were immediately able to make connections and her advice and knowledge of track and field is helping us build our program immensely!”

The Pelicans are looking forward to another successful season and are working diligently towards winning an outdoor league title and sending athletes to states.