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ST Awards '05

Updated 6/21

Zeus – God of Gods

Greg Clayman

You don't have to be the most powerful, just the one who's in charge. Greg fits the bill. In his own words, "Who else could it be?" His ego reaches beyond Mount Olympus. He has every one of the Hockomock League gods and goddesses on speed dial. Now if only the goddesses would call him back!

Goddess of the Gods

Holly Heinricker

Holly deserves this by virtue of her outstanding heptathlon performance. She isn't willing to walk among the clouds as a peer to the other Hockomock icons. She continues to stretch for more. She could have sat comfortably in the 200M – an event where she has been established as a star on the New England level. But she pushed the envelope by switching to the 300MH. To top it off she then explored the multi and placed 2 nd to record-setting Jen Lin. Holly comes back as the heir apparent in that event next year. If she wins it, the throne will definitely be hers.

Goddess of Humor

Meaghan Crowley and Brittany Bourchard

Meaghan can bring a smile to my face – and you all know how hard that is. It's a good thing she wasn't at NA because we probably wouldn't have gotten anything serious done. Word is that she and Brit make a dynamic duo. They are the track world's answer to the Smother's Brothers. Maybe you don't know them, but Meaghan is Tommy and Brit is Dick. Picture them singing 'Boil that Cabbage Down'. "Take it".

God of Entertainment

Nate Sharpe

His juggling at the league meet was the performance of the year. Does anyone remember if he ran?

Hermes - Goddess of Land Travel

Kailin Collins

How many pairs of running shoes does it take to get that good? She has ruled the distance events the last few years. Her solo performance at state finals was impressive! Now she travels all the way to Washington D.C. to run for distance power Georgetown University. Maybe she'll get appointed as Secretary of Travel.

God of Strategy

Mike Darling

It never fails. The last few days before a meet against Oliver Ames I have to worry about what this coach might do that our team can't answer. I'm serious – this guy knows how to construct an offense. No matter how remote or convoluted the alignment might have to be, he figures it out. So if I wake up the night before meeting OA with cold sweats, it is just a cameo of how bad the meet is going to be.  

Atlas Award – holds the world on her shoulders

Caitlin Lamothe

This year King Philip had to look to their top point-getter to provide some success. Caitlin came through with flying colors, scoring the lion's share of her team's points all season. She could win four events and often did. As she graduates the weight of the world is off of her shoulders and she can finally relax. Who will be the next one to hoist the team onto her back.

Pan – Goddess of the Fields

Ty Lynn Graham

I would love to see a competition that offered just the six field events. All six in one day! On the girls' side my money would be on TyLynn. Start with 37' in triple and 5'5 in high jump. Next year she'll show the A-10 the 17'+ long jump just waiting to come out. What about throws you say? I'd say shot put = 29', javelin = 85' and discus - well you can't have everthing!

Pan - God of the Fields

Shawn Leonard

What better way to pick the top field performer than to follow some of the Hockomock stars to the decathlon. Who had the best total when adding three throwing events and three jumping events. Shawn Leonard clearly was the winner – despite getting stuck with low javelin points. His form must have been the sticking point.

Name                            Jumping Points            Throwing Points                            Total


Shawn Leonard               1831                                1513                                  3344

Brian McDermott            1524                                 1491                                  3015

Robby Vaughn               1655                                  1316                                  2971

Justin Benjaminson         1624                                  1267                                  2891

Conor Richardson           1548                                  1123                                  2671

Jupiter – God of the Sky

Shawn Leonard

Shawn Leonard clearly ruled the skies. All season he gathered frequent flier miles. Most impressive was his new meet record at the Hocks. On a cold and rainy day (on a slippery surface) when most high jumpers were grounded or flew under the clouds – Shawn plugged in his radar and reached new heights.   No one soared higher – no one dared. They could get nosebleeds up there.

Mars – God of War

Emily Tran

Another impressive performance at the Hocks. She may not have beaten Kailin Collins but then again nobody in Massachusetts did! All Emily did at Hocks was decimate the rest of the field. She's tough when it comes to the big meets. Emily picks her battles, puts on her game face and gets it done.

Goddess of Endurance

Kate Rizzolo and Jenna Banks

One is finishing her career and the other has barely started. It seems like Kate has been the endurance poster child for ages. She has one speed and no expiration date. She must be solar powered because if she ran on batteries they'd be drained by now – even rechargeable.

Jenna Banks is just a second year junior but is the new kid in town. It seems like everyone is looking over their shoulder to see if she's coming. Except half the time she's already passed them. With such a large graduating class of distance runners – Jenna looks poised to be the one most will be chasing next year.

Hebes – God of Youth

Powell Simpson

This freshman from Mansfield has the credentials to be in the God of Youth Hall of Fame. Look through the boys' entries to the state finals and you will no more than a handful of athletes spread throughout all the events. Powell not only made the finals, he placed 6 th and made the trip to Saco, Maine. There he placed 10 th . He has made jumping 21' commonplace. Where is he headed from here? Mt. Olympus maybe.

Apollo – God of Truth and Integrity

Coach Estey

Coach Estey illustrates a point - just surround yourself with quality people. Here he is with Beth Pfefferle (NA Capt. '86 - Harvard Capt. '90) and daughter Emily (NA Capt. '97 - Yale Capt. '01)

Please don't think that I'm using my bully pulpit to sing my own praises – because there are so many other athletes and coaches I could (should?) have chosen. But I'm going to give this one to myself because it allows me an opportunity. Let me take a moment to speak the truth.


As Colonel Nathan Jessep said in "A Few Good Men".

J essep: You want answers?

Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I'm entitled to them.

Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee: I want the truth!

Jessep: You can't handle the truth!


The truth is that without the horses Apollo doesn't cross the sky! Once the team is hitched up, he sits back and enjoys the ride. I know how he feels.


I'll use the 4X100 as an example because Apollo hitched up four horses and streaked across the sky. Each year I get a stable of thoroughbreds from which to choose. They are not only talented but also have the right temperament. They take instructions well, don't buck at the reins and their greatest pleasure is to fly in perfect harmony.


Each year they find a way to fly higher – not because they are more naturally gifted than past teams, but because they work harder each year to master the nuances of the task. Most of all they have faith in the ability of their team, none feeling that they are better individually than as a group.


The 4X100 is merely a microcosim of this entire team. My job is merely to choose from the stable and encourage their best team instincts to come out.


Apollo also is known for integrity. I would only hope that is the case. Long ago I realized that it would be impossible to convince others of that which they choose not to believe. Everyone's perspective is different. My greatest role model was always my dad. If there was one quality he held most dearly, it was that his word was good.


Probably twenty years ago I was asked what I wanted as an epitath on my tombstone. Without hesitation I replied, "He always did what he thought was right." Despite some opinions to the contrary, I'll stick with that one.

Ares – God of Battle

Fjodor Melnikov

I wish I watched Fjodor more often. By the number of people that mentioned him, they   must have seen a special quality. Of all the great, highly competitive athletes, he apparently stands out in the minds of his peers. Lets see if he really has what it takes. I hereby challenge Fjodor to battle, in a game of badminton. Bring it on!

Ares – Goddess of Battle

Kristy Fuller

Noone prepares for battle like Kristy. She is ritualistic in her approach, using time-honored methods. It isn't just what she does but also the way she does it. I doubt there is anyone who enjoys the preparation for war as much as Kristy. If she was allowed to put on Warrior war paint, well lets just say the competition would turn tail and run.  

Artemis – Goddess of the Hunt

Caitlin Lawrence

The most dramatic quality of Artimis is that she respects – even reveres - her opponent. Caitlin is honored to be part of the hunt, always understanding that her prey is an equal partner in the challenge. Each year she has sent me STAward nominations. The majority of her recommendations have been for her rivals. Talk about respect!

Athena – God of Wisdom and Understanding

Dave Robbins

Some of the most knowing people who write to me nominated Dave Robbins. He is lauded for understanding of the sport, most considering him wise beyond his years. From what I hear, he could take over as head coach right now. He not only is a technical student of the sport, but grasps the understanding of sport psychology so necessary to deal with the diversity of athletes that comprise a track team.

Athena – Goddess of Wisdom and Understanding

Amanda Walkins

I had pegged Leah Seward for this one, then switched my mind at the last minute. She will be getting the one I had earmarked for Amanda. In a nutshell, "Wally gets it!" She knows her role, but steps it up and beyond when she senses that the team needs more from her. She has been a valued confidant, source of wisdom, and a sounding board when this coach had to consider alterations to team dynamics. It didn't hurt that she could read my mind.

Diana – Goddess of strength, athletic grace, and skill

TyLynn Graham

Why did I think this would be a contest? Even before she learned how to hurdle, TyLynn would catch people from behind just because she had the strength to pick up speed in the middle of a race. Not only a naturally gifted athlete, Tye is able to make technical changes with a short learning curve, thus honing her skills quickly. Don't forget that her three best events; high jump, triple jump and hurdles, are three of the most technically demanding events in the sport. Who else can bring the grace of Miss Teenage Massachusetts to a sport and become a double winner at the State Coaches Invitations (triple-winner at Hocks).

Mercury – Goddess of Winged Sandals

Shanika Pitts

I concur with most of the nominations. I can picture Shanika with winged feet. Maybe that's why she can fly. One of these days I'm going to replay her race in slow-motion to see if her feet ever touch the ground!

Mercury – God of Winged Sandals

Dave Lint

There's got to be some reason why he's so freakin fast! He has the Foxboro 4X400 relay speed-suit. Why not give him the winged shoes.

Goddess of Humility

Leah Seward

Why would Leah Seward be humble? She is class valedictorian, has a boxful of academic, scholar-athlete and athletic awards, and is a talented musician. Not only that but the boys from Lowell Tech think she's hot. If you met her for the first time and spent an hour with her you wouldn't know any of that. She has never been impressed by her own accomplishments. Instead, she would rather praise the successes of her teammates – and rivals. If I scored over 540 points in my career, I'd probably think I was pretty good. But I didn't. Leah did!

Minerva – Goddess of Accomplishments

Leah Seward

The above list is just the tip of the iceberg to what this goddess can do. What synched the deal on this one was the night of the banquet. After nearly everyone went home Leah finally played piano for me, something I had been hoping for since I heard she was OK. She played the theme from Titanic and I suddenly realized just how fortunate we were that she ever did track. She could easily have been just as successful in music. Now – can she draw?

Goddess of Leadership

North Attleboro Captains.

  I was blessed with three great captains this year. Each played a different role. Amanda was the leader under pressure. The tougher the competition the cooler she got. JMac was the leader in determination. The way she plugs away at hurdles inspires. Her love of the sport and especially her favorite event infuses others with determination to get better. Leah is the Michael Jordan of the team. "Everyone wants to be like Leah." So every day when she is pounding out repeats there is a string of underclassmen trying to keep up. Add in more inspiring seniors such as Tiffany Badger, Abbie Frederick and Nikki Lambert and you know why this team surpassed predictions.