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Strength in Numbers for MHS Girls Track

A larger and more committed roster has Milford High girls track coach Melissa Manning expecting more from her team in 2016.
"I think we are going to do pretty well this year," she said. "We have 72 girls, so it's a lot bigger than last year and we have a large senior class so we will be very competitive."
Manning said she hopes to win all three home dual meets on the schedule this spring, and thinks the Hawks have a chance to win at Sharon as well. She touted the depth of her jumpers and distance runners, and said the large roster will allow the team to be more versatile than in previous seasons.
"This is something we have really not seen in awhile," Manning said of her squad's depth. "I have people I can put in the 800, the 400, we can definitely move people around as needed. And with more depth in our distance runners we may be able to have a 4x800 relay team that could make it to states."
Senior Jessica Palmer is a well-rounded athlete who Manning is counting on to score in the 800, the long jump, the javelin, and as a member of the 4x400 relay team. Palmer will be making the transition to the longer 800, rather than the 400 she has run in previous seasons, the coach said.
Gabby O'Neil is another member of the 4x400 team and will see time as both a sprinter and mid-distance runner. She will also compete in the long jump and Manning said O'Neil may try the javelin this year. Fellow senior Jenise Madden is one of the Hawks' top distance runners, and will compete in the two-mile, the mile, and may be used in the 800 as needed.
Manning called Christina Speliakos one of the team's top hurdlers, and "probably" the top triple jumper. The sophomore will run the 200 and may be a part of the 4x400 quartet. Junior Christina Capone will run in the 4x400, as well as competing in the 200, 400, and long jump as an individual. 
Seniors Aleye Momodu and Natalie Applebee, and sophomore Ida Perez, also drew praise from Manning. 
"Aleye is going to be our top shot putter and I think she might be the best thrower we have seen in a long time," the coach said, adding Applebee will throw the javelin and Perez will be a sprinter and long jumper for Milford this spring.
In addition to the depth the Scarlet Hawks will feature, Manning also said her team's chances to win meets will be buoyed by the commitment level of her senior class.
"Last year some of the seniors went on vacations or had other commitments during the season, and that hurt us when we lost meets by a point or two," she said. "This year's group of seniors is very




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