Four Bedford High School student-athletes qualified for the State Divisional Track and Field Meet earlier in the month and performed at Meet of Champions at Fitchburg State University.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, this is the first time anyone from Bedford track has qualified for states. Coach Donnelly commented that “to have four athletes qualify, three of whom are juniors, is a good indication of the strength of the team.”
Senior Jessica Lin finished off her high school track and field career with a magnificent season, winning Foley Division Player of the Year and placed 10th in discus at States. She was the “triple threat” for the team all season, winning at regular season meets in discus, shotput, and javelin.
Speaking about being named DCL Foley Athlete of the Year, Lin is “proud and honored to hold such an amazing title” and is “so grateful for the support of coaches, family, and teammates throughout these four years.”
One of Jessica’s favorite memories from this season was the Division 4 Relays. This was the first year the BHS girls’ throwing squad was big enough to enter a team for each throwing event, discus, javelin, and shot put, which was very exciting and rewarding and shows the program’s growth.
Going into her senior season, it was Jessica’s goal to qualify for states. Not only did she achieve that goal, she qualified in her favorite and strongest event, discus, which was gratifying to her.
“It meant everything to me,” she said.
While States was filled with bittersweet moments as it marked the end of Jessica’s BHS track and field experience, she is very excited to start her college athletic career at Macalester College where she also plans on majoring in Data Science, and “can’t wait to see what the future holds!”
Junior Samantha Sheahan ran the two-mile at the State meet, placing 22nd. Coach Donnelly said she consistently improved, “setting many new personal records and turning in really strong performances in both the mile and the two-mile.”
Sheahan was awarded DCL All-Star honors and is primed for an even more impressive senior season. Regarding the experience of the outdoor season as a whole, Sam shared that her favorite memory was getting to know all the new runners and freshmen, and bonding with her 4X800-meter relay team, which also had great success.
Sheahan talked about the amazing and supportive team community where “one person’s success is everyone’s success and everyone is celebrated.” A pride-filled moment for Sam was medaling at Divisionals in the two-mile, racing a time that qualified her for the State competition. She described her experience at the State Meet as fun and she was very grateful for the opportunity. Going into the race, Sam channeled a confident and positive mindset “and was not too stressed, but went in with the goal to have fun.” She ended up “loving the entire two miles and finishing very happy and satisfied.”
Looking towards the future, Sheahan wants to keep setting goals and progress forward step by step, as well as finding a balance between hard work and also having fun with her running.
Junior Carter Rauch ran the 800-meter, placing 53rd at States and junior Jonny Garraway ran the two-mile, taking 41st. Both runners competed at states in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track this school year. This high-level competition sets them apart and prepares them for a strong senior year.
According to Donnelly, both Carter and Jonny “have become real team leaders who are helping build the future of the program.”
In terms of the season as a whole, the BHS track team had a good season, displaying a strong team effort with a lot of young potential, and is set up to have a stronger season next year.
The girls’ team especially found great success and placed second among the DCL small schools, one of the most competitive leagues in the state.
The boys’ team was less successful during the regular season but proved their talent and depth with a strong performance at the Division Four Championships, where they were matched against schools similar in size to Bedford. Competitions such as these display the BHS team’s strength in a much more important and measurable way. In addition, the team had many freshmen, sophomores, and juniors qualify for Divisionals.
Now that the outdoor track season and school year have come to a close, Coach Donnelly is happy and proud of the outcome of this season and is looking forward to next year.