On the heels of coaching the Girls' Varsity Lacrosse Team to their second consecutive state sectional title last spring—not to mention a #14 state ranking—Pingry's Director of Athletics is honored by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
By Meghan Durkin '21
Head Coach: Chris Shilts P '17, '19, '21, '24
Last seasons' highlights: Last season, led by captains Cathleen Parker '19 and Ally Lima '19, the team completed a successful season, taking third at both the Non-Public A Championships and the Prep A Championships, and earning a second-place finish at the Skyland Conference Championships. At the Meet of Champions, pole vaulter Caroline Dannenbaum '20 won gold, clearing 12'6" to equal the school record set by her sister two years earlier. Nicole Vanasse '20 finished second in the 3200 meters in 10:39.93. (Both athletes took first in their respective events at the state championship two weeks earlier, and qualified to compete at the prestigious New Balance Nationals Indoor.)
What to watch for this season:
This year, led by captains Kierstyn Brown '20 and Dylan Anidjar '20, the team hopes to continue last year's success.
They're off to a strong start! At their first major meet, the Bishop Laughlin Games on Staten Island before Winter Break, Caroline took second in the pole vault and Nicole took first in the two-mile, running 10:44, a qualifying time for Nationals. What's more, at the Lavino Relays on January 11, Ashleigh Provoost '22 broke the indoor school record for shot put (30'7") and, with their combined vaults, Caroline (first, 11'6") and Allie De Asla '22 (fifth, 9'6") won the pole vault relay.
According to Coach Shilts, the main goal is to keep the girls healthy and give them a good base leading into the spring track season, while exposing them to tough competition.
This year's team features many strong returning members, including school record-holders Lauren Taylor '20 (sprints), Nicole (1600 and 3200), and Caroline (pole vault) as well as other talented vaulters Carol Ann Perry '20 and Barlow Clark-Shoeb '22. Also watch for Ryan Davi '21, a member of the 4x800-meter relay team that qualified for Nationals two years ago.
Along with senior leadership, the team looks for younger athletes to make an impact, including Carson Shilts '21 and thrower Ashleigh Provoost '22. Coach Shilts hopes new members, including Stephaine Ticas '23 and Camden McPherson '23, will help continue the success of the team in the seasons to come.
At the Lavino Relays on Saturday, Ashley Provoost broke the indoor school record for shot put (30'7") and, with their combined vaults, Caroline Dannenbaum (first, 11'6") and Allie De Asla (fifth, 9'6") won the pole vault relay.
"We're working hard in the winter weather. We go out in the rain and we get through the day without complaints. We face intense competition along the way at big meets, but the girls are always ready to help out and run something if we need them."—Head Coach Shilts
Contact: Andrea Dawson Senior Writer, adawson@pingry,org