GMUHS Girls Varsity Track Team triumph as D4 State Champions

Back row from left to right: Cole Wilhem (Assistant Coach), Caroline Donovan-Atwood, Olivia Bernier, Deirdre Moore, Abigail Williams, Kyleigh Moses, Lily Jones, Taylor Gregory, Rileigh Thomas, Grace Tyrrell, Eva Svec, Zoe Svec, Jon Rice (Head Coach). Front row: Jordan Harper, Jackie Parker-Jenings, Alyssa Ripley, Brigid Karl, Laurel King, Paige Karl, Sarah Warnecke, and Anika Reitmeyer-Lankone. Photo provided

CHESTER, Vt. – The Green Mountain Union High School Girl’s Varsity Track Team are the new Division 4 State Champions for 2019. The State D4 Track Meet was held at Windsor High School Saturday, June 1 with 13 schools competing in the division but with the GMUHS girls focused squarely on their chief rival, Northfield.

According to head coach Dr. Jonathan Rice, “It was touch and go all the way along. Towards the end of the meet, we had a really good showing in the 200-meter event. I think that’s what kind of pushed us over the top.” After the girls also won the 4×400-meter relay event, “that for sure clinched it,” Rice said.


Grace Tyrrell, winning the 300-meter hurdles. Photo provided

Freshman Grace Tyrrell was a key competitor, winning all four of her races and becoming the state champion in the 400-meter, 200-meter, and 300-meter hurdles. She was also part of the 4×4 relay team. According to Rice, “She was getting personal best in all of her events. She was just amazing.”

Other standouts were junior Rileigh Thomas who catapulted to state champion status in the pole vault event; freshman Eva Svec, who dashed to the state champion title in the 100-meter event and came in second in the 200-meter; junior Abigail Williams, who took second place in the shot put event and placed fourth in discus and javelin; and freshman Sarah Warnecke who did well in 300-meter hurdles and in the long jump.

The seniors also had strong showings with Alyssa Ripley, twins Brigid and Paige Karl, Grace Johnson, and Deirdre Moore all placing at least as well or better than expected. Rice admitted it will be tough losing the group because they were such solid contributors throughout the season.

Assistant Coach Cole Wilhelm acknowledged that having a large group of talented freshmen come into their ranks was a big factor this year, combined with their veteran athletes who have been working hard for the last few years. “This has been a great experience and a lot of fun coaching this group,” he said.

This is the second state championship in three years for the GMUHS girls.

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