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MHS Relay Team Heading to National Meet in N.C.

The Milford High School Girls Track team members in alphabetical order–Bella Gonzalez, Sarah Flanagan, Emma Lawrence and Kerry O'Connor–will compete in the New Balance National Track and Field meet this weekend in North Carolina. MHS photo
The Milford High School girls' 4x400 relay team will compete in the emerging elite division of the New Balance National Track and Field meet this weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina, a significant accomplishment for the group and the program as a whole. "Getting to nationals definitely gets the kids and the team some of the spotlight that you don't get too often in track," said MHS head coach Derek Rose. "Outdoor nationals is quite a feat, because so many teams compete."
The quarter of sophomores Kerry O'Connor and Emma Lawrence, freshman Sarah Flanagan and junior Bella Gonzalez is primed to put together one of its best performances, Rose said. A number of factors impacted the group throughout the season, from having to run other events to build in rest days.
This relay grouping was able to run together at the Division 2 state meet and covered the distance in 3:58.35. The time was good enough for a program record by a full five seconds and was just 0.35 seconds away from qualifying for the championship, or top tier, division of the national meet. Milford figures to have one of the best times in the emerging elite category and could be among the favorites when the team competes Sunday at North Carolina A&T. Unlike other competitions, including the meet in which the relay team qualified for nationals, Milford should benefit from fresh legs. Lawrence ran a time of 59.4 seconds about 25 minutes after having competed in the open 400 meter run, Rose said. O'Connor was the fastest leg, a time of 57 seconds in the D2 meet. Flanagan ran a 58.2 and Gonzalez was around 62 seconds, the coach said. After a second place finish in the division, Milford finished 15th at the All-State meet. Flanagan was not available for that race, however, and Rose said Lawrence had even less time between her individual event at the relay. So all signs point towards an opportunity for a faster time and a stronger finish this Sunday. Rose is excited for the team to compete at the highest level this week, but also happy to have all four athletes back next season. "It's definitely setting up to be a really good season," he said. "We have a lot of girls who are dedicated, some strong freshmen and others who are going to be coming back to the team. We should have a chance to do something special, with these four girls leading the way."




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