BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Bridgewater-Raritan High School girls track and field team placed third in its division and eighth at sectionals Nov. 14.
The highlight of the competition was senior Harrinee Senthilkumar, who placed sixth, running a personal best of 19:43, according to coach Adam Pyle.
“Last year running a best of 20:07, she really stepped up,” he said.
Pyle said the girls raised the bar this season.
“It certainly was not a normal season, but, as a team, the girls really raised the bar to help everyone improve, but also keep everyone safe,” he said. “As a coach, I try to help the athletes improve on their performance, but I also try to help them become better prepared for the world, and make good people great.”
Also highlighted during the sectionals, Pyle said, were freshman Riley Lewis, who ran a season best of 23:39; junior Molly Long, who ran a season best of 21:16; and junior Rachel Ou, who ran a season best of 24:31.
Seniors on the team, alongside Senthilkumar, were Jillian Young, Amanda Belmont, Emile Chan, Hannah Zhang, Rebecca Zhang and Helen Xie.
Pyle said it was a difficult season because they had some student athletes decide not to compete, but still train, so they had a smaller team than usual.
“It was difficult to get consistent training due to the delayed start and shutdowns, but the team really took their training seriously and would even run on those rainy days on their own,” he said.
Pyle said the team always remained positive and never wavered from the goal of obtaining a level of self-improvement.
“Every opportunity we had to practice was so special, for the season was so fragile,” he said. “The team understood that they represent more than just BRHS XC, and that their actions had ramifications beyond what they see. The team took this concept to heart, and when they go out into the community, they represent more than just our team.”
Moving forward, Pyle said, the team will be involved in community outreach, volunteering at local foundations and getting younger student athletes involved in cross country.
“This season, we focused on keeping our team and loved ones as safe as possible with our direct and indirect actions,” Pyle said.