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Meet the seven Pingry seniors—equally committed in the classroom as they are in their sport—who earned this year's conference, county, Prep, and state honors. 

Big Blue Beat: Girls' and Boys' Varsity Track & Field

By Sarah Kloss '22


Head Coaches: Head Coach Boys, Chris Shilts; Head Coach Girls' Distance, Tim Grant

Last season's highlights: 
At the Non-Public A Track & Field Championships last spring, Big Blue girls placed fifth overall, dominating the pole vault. Caroline Dannenbaum '20 took first clearing 12', while Carol Ann Perry '20 and Barlow Clark-Schoeb '22 placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Grace O'Mara '19, who is now competing in the event for Lafayette College, won the discus (114'01"). An impressive seven girls qualified to compete at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor, including Caroline, who placed 16th in the nation in the pole vault. The girls also took fourth at the Somerset County Championships, breaking several school records. 

The boys' team also had some strong individual finishers, with Henry Wood '21 placing sixth in the 1600 meter run (4:27) and Joe Shilts '19 taking second in the 400-meter hurdles at the Non-Public A Championships. 

What to watch for this season:

  • Led by captains Lauren Taylor '20, Caroline Dannenbaum '20, and Nicole Vannesse '20, the girls' team looks forward to another competitive season, having just come off a fourth-place finish at the Non-Public A Indoor Championships. In sprints and middle distance events, Lauren, Ryan Davi '21, and Lauren Taylor '20 will lead a strong cohort, while Nicole, who won the 3200 meters at the indoor state championship, will lead the distance team. After losing Grace O'Mara '19 and Oluwasolape Fakorede '19 to graduation, Coach Grant is looking to younger throwers to take their place, like Ashleigh Provoost '22, who set the indoor record in shot put. 

  • The team hopes to improve on last year's successes by winning the Skyland Conference Championship and advancing an equal number of athletes to Nationals again this season. 

  • The boys' team will be led by Amir Arnold '20 and Henry Wood '21. Despite losing a core group of seniors to graduation, 12 ninth-graders are looking to join a healthy roster of around 30 athletes, making for a young but potentially deep team. 

  • Goals include improving upon their finish at the Skyland Conference Championship, finishing in the top five at major meets, and qualifying several athletes for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. 

  • The teams' first meet this year will be a tri-meet at home on Tuesday, April 7 against Manville, Watchung Hills, and Mount Saint Mary.


Full-court press:
"We want to work in a positive atmosphere. The kids have the work ethic to get better, and the returning student-athletes will pave the way for success. We are in the position to zero-in on personal improvement."—Head Coach Christopher Shilts

"This should be one of the best teams Pingry has had in recent years, and I am looking forward to a great season."—Head Coach, girls' distance, Tim Grant

Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer,