The Milford girls have a new face on the track this season in the form of fourth-grade teacher Gabrielle Pedersen.
Pedersen, a teacher at MCS, takes over the girls program from Dave Prouty, who has coached both the boys and girls in the past. Prouty will continue coaching the boy’s team this season.
A graduate of Gilbertsville-Mount Upton, Pedersen ran track in high school and continued with cross-country and track throughout college.
“I still competitively race and I just love it,” said Pedersen.
With a young team that finished third in last year’s Tri-Valley League Championships, it should be a great first season for Pedersen.
“They had a great season last year, especially for being so young,” said Pedersen. “We lost a couple of seniors, but for the most part, everyone is returning, which is exciting.”
Leading the Wildcats this season will be freshmen Hannah Saggese, who won Tri-Valley titles in both the 400 and 800 last year.
“She had a phenomenal season (as an eighth-grader) last season,” said Pedersen. “She is very well-rounded.”
Senior Keira Higgins will be Pedersen’s top distance runner, competing in the 1500, 3000 and steeplechase.
Emily Mertz, a junior, will run sprints for the Wildcats and is an athlete Pedersen described as being very diverse.
In the throws, Pedersen will be looking to sophomore Hannah Baker to lead the way.
“She’s going to throw really well for us this season,” said Pedersen.
A newcomer to the team this year will be eighth-grader Grace Brennan, who’s primary event will be the 400.
“She ran really well on modified last year,” said Pedersen. “She has a great work ethic and I think she will do very well this year.”
One hole Pedersen will be looking to fill is the hurdling shoes of Sadie Hogan. Hogan suffered an injury last season and chose to only play basketball this season.