by Caleigh Farragher
On February 26th Rumson- Fair Haven Regional High School’s winter track 4×400 team competed in the Meet of Champions and earned their best time to date. This team consisted of lead off Rachel Christ (sophomore), Shannon McCarthy (junior), clutch leg Lizzy Bellin (junior), and anchor leg Emily Geiger (sophomore). They finished with a time of 4:14.
Heading into this race, the team had a lot on their shoulders; they were not the first to qualify for this event. In the winter of 2010 the girls’ 4×400 team also qualified, but the team had since lost an imperative part of their team, Melanie Ehrenberg. Despite this perceive setback, however, the team knew what they were up against, and gave everything they had.
The girls, and other members of the winter track team, give a lot during the season. This winter, there were feet upon feet of snow and it limited the team’s ability to practice. With only a week before the race, the team was finally able to access a clean track. During the final week before Meet of Champions these four girls and a few others worked hard every day bringing high spirits to the team.
With Harvard runner Tim McLoone as their coach, these girls knew that they needed to race hard and show that they deserved to be there. Everyone felt the pressure and nerves that this prestigious meet brings. Being on this team means something different to each member. Christ said, “it means a lot to me, because it’s the only special relay that you can participate at every meet. It was a big deal for me as a freshman last year to be on it, so I’m relieved I was able to help my team in any way.”
The start to this race was rough. Christ false started, an occurrence that often leaves runners gun shy and off of their rhythm. McCarthy said that during the race, she was just focusing on catching the girls in front of her, and making sure she was going to accelerate through the baton pass. The girls finished with a time of 4:12 and change, two seconds better than last year.
Reflecting on the performance of the 4×400 team between this year and last year, McCarthy said, “I was very happy about how our team did this year; even though we had lost one of our key members Emily was really able to exceed our expectations. Not only did we make it MOC for the second year in a row but we also ran our best time!”
With the success of these runners, they are looking forward to what is going to come this spring. Although the outcome of the next season is unknown, these four girls have high spirits to break records and personal records. With things are looking positive for all four of these runners; especially Shannon McCarthy who also ran in the Emerging Elite 800 meters in Indoor Track Nationals.