McNamara on the run

first_img“That’s one of the great things about her She’s got her individual goals she’s focused on, but she would do anything to help the team win. She recognizes the team aspect of track.” McNamara regularly competes in the pole vault, long jump, triple jump, high jump and 100-meter hurdles throughout the regular season. She can often be seen smiling and bouncing from event to event during a meet, according to Starkey. “Everybody on the team respects her a ton because she does so many events,” Starkey said. “She can be seen at track meets running from here to there. She just handles it really well.” And the two-time team MVP has proved that with her performance. McNamara placed first in one of the high jump flights at the Arcadia Invitational last season and is already off to an impressive start in 2007. At last week’s Foothill Invitational at Citrus College, McNamara’s efforts in her four field events resulted in 28.5 of Covina’s 58.5 points, good enough for a third-place finish behind DivisionI schools Rancho Cucamonga and Arcadia. “I will basically do whatever it takes to help the team,” McNamara said. “That’s the main (thing). I’ve always wanted to be part of a team. COVINA – In a sport known for its individual achievements, it’s refreshing to see Covina High School track and field standout Mishelle McNamara maintain a team-first attitude. The 5-foot-6 senior is an accomplished athlete in five events and is hoping to guide the Colts to a third straight Valle Vista League title, which has never been done at Covina. center_img “The harder you work as an individual in track the better it reflects on your team. (Track) is so much more a team sport than people realize.” Starkey acknowledged her selfless efforts to help out her team during any meet, regular or postseason. “The great thing about Mishelle is that she will come to me and say, `If you need me to run the hurdles for us to win a meet, I’ll do it,’ ” Starkey said. While McNamara is always focused on helping her team stay competitive, she still holds some lofty goals for herself this season. She has a personal best of 5 feet, 2 inches in the high jump, and one of her top goals this season is to set the school record by going at least 5-6. As far as the postseason goes, there is nowhere to go but up after the disappointment she faced in 2006. McNamara finished tied for the last qualifying spot in the CIF Finals, but was outvaulted in a tiebreaker and was left out just one season after making the postseason as a sophomore. She and her coach are focused on not letting that happen again. “We’ve kind of told each other that we’re both going to make sure that we get her far in CIF this season,” Starkey said. And if there is anyone who can rise to the occasion, it’s McNamara. When she came in as a freshman, she started pole vaulting around 9 feet. She is now up to 10-6, and Starkey believes she could possibly reach 11 feet by the end of this season. “She’s improved in all of her events, every event that she does she’s gotten better and faster,” Starkey said. And the numerous events she competes in shouldn’t have a negative effect on her progression on the field. She is quite used to having a busy schedule. Besides being a co-captain of her track team, McNamara ran cross country this past year and has played soccer all four seasons at Covina. She also has been a cheerleader, played club soccer and even fit summer basketball in to her schedule this past year. “If you ever see me on a track meet day, it just reflects the way my whole life is,” McNamara said. “It’s almost like she’s at her best when she’s got four events to do because she’s gotta run from here to there and there’s nothing else to think about,” Starkey said. “Sometimes you can psyche yourself out as an athlete. She doesn’t have any time to do that.” All that hard work has culminated into a scholarship to run track at Wagner College in New York. ,” third-year coach Erik Starkey said. ” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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