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Winter a Great ‘Starting Point’ for MHS Girls Track

The Milford High Girls track season provided the foundation for building the program in years to come, head coach Derek Rose said.
"This year has been a great staring point for our teams in the future because we had a really good senior class that showed the underclassmen what I expect in terms of commitment level," Rose said. "And, because we have a smaller team, the freshmen and sophomores really participated in the varsity meets."
With a small roster, Rose had no choice but to use some of his younger athletes in big spots. But the challenge proved to be more of an opportunity for growth.
"They got a chance to do the relays, they could basically do everything," he said, noting that nearly every athlete on the team had the chance to participate in varsity events.
The season came to a close last week with Gabby O'Neil, Jessica Palmer, and Jenise Madden participating in the pentathlon. The trio produced a number of strong performances, including personal bests in the high jump for both O'Neil and Palmer. 
Palmer also finished seventh in the 800 meters and Madden, the team's MVP, placed eighth. Rose said Madden was the kind of athlete who represents what he wants the program to look like in the future.
"Jenise was not a captain, technically, but she was a force on our 4x800 relay team and just a really, really determined runner," Rose said. "She finished third in the Hockomock League in the two-mile, the highest finish we had for any individual. It's just a testament to her hard work. Sometimes she was running against girls three, four, or five inches taller but her work ethic could overcome."
Among the younger athletes who scored big for MHS this year were freshman Hannah Martin and sophomore Christina Speliakos. Martin, a soccer and lacrosse player in the fall and spring, ended the year with the team's second fastest time in the 300 and second furthest heave in the shot put. Speliakos finished with the fourth fastest hurdle time in the Hockomock. She figures to be one of the league's top returning hurdlers and jumpers next winter.
"We had a chance to work on our depth this year," Rose said. "The majority of our team was freshmen and sophomores on the girls side and that's awesome. 
"Many of them are still going to be big factors next year and I know they will continue to be for a couple more years," the head coach continued. "We will have some growing pains, but overall it will be great as we build our program."




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