Shawn Laverty: Portland (Cross Country): Laverty just finished up an incredible season on the cross country trail. The senior placed second at the Shoreline Conference championships as the Highlanders placed 2nd overall as a team at the SLC finals on Oct. 23.
“It was a pretty unreal feeling. I went into the race knowing I could do well and be up in the front. I was only aiming for the top 10, so coming in second was pretty shocking. I definitely exceeded my own expectations, as did our team placing. I knew that our team was a strong competitor in the Shoreline this year. With Portland being one of the smallest schools in the conference, I'd say that being the runner-up team this year was one of our most impressive showings. I'm proud of my team for sticking through the toughness of the race and being able to show up with the same energy that has carried us to our other victories this season,” stated Laverty.
The senior went on to place 10th overall at the Class S championships at Wickham Park in Manchester, improving her time from the conference finals, running a 21:49. Laverty capped her high school cross country career by running a personal-best 21:04 at State Open at Wickham Park last Friday, Nov. 5.
“This season has been incredible. When I first started cross country, I would've never dreamed of being where I am with running today. My freshman year, I didn't make the varsity team that competed at states and even just last year, I narrowly missed making the All-Shoreline second team. Now, I'm an All-State athlete and was able to compete at the State Open with the best of the best,” stated Laverty, “My accomplishments surely haven't been handed to me, and there's been a lot of time, sweat, and tears that have gone into my training. But throughout the whole process, my team, family, and coaches always had my back. My junior and senior year, I began to realize the importance of the team aspect of cross country. I stopped counting the seconds on my time, and instead started counting the number of points I would score. Each race I went to the line knowing that I had a talented group of girls behind me, and I wasn't going to let them down. The bonds, memories, and experiences that cross country has brought me have been invaluable, and I'd say that being a part of such an amazing program has been more rewarding than anything I've done on my own.”
Kaylee Gravel: East Hampton (Cross Country): Gravel finished in second place at the Class S state championships, running a 20:22 at Wickham Park on Nov. 1. Gravel finished just moments behind winner Chloe Poulas of Woodland and led a group of Bellringers runners that placed second overall as a team. Kaitlyn Ireland (10th), Savannah Garcia (12th), Annin Daley (18th), Camryn Sprague (19th), Madison Gay (53rd) rounded out the East Hampton squad.
Lauren Feige: RHAM (Volleyball): Feige dished out 30 assists (averaging over 10 assists per set) in a sweep of New Britain in the opening round of the Central Connecticut Conference tournament last Monday, Nov. 1. The following day, the junior setter then had a season-high 46 assists in a five-set loss to Simsbury in the second round.
Skylar Gustavsen: Bacon Academy (Soccer): Gustavsen was named an Eastern Connecticut Conference all-star after wrapping up an incredible regular season. The senior was a main scoring threat for the Bobcats, registering multiple goals in several games this season, including a 5-goal explosion in an 8-0 win over New London last month.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin