With a similar team to last year's, Big Blue has high expectations and will not only look to regain the #1 state ranking, but also win the county and state championships.
Ms. Julia Featherman, Physical Education Teacher, Assistant Coach for Pingry Girls Varsity Lacrosse and Soccer, and Pingry Summer Assistant Director of Health and Safety, is no stranger to fierce competition. After all, she has competed at some of the highest levels in sports — including as a professional lacrosse player for the Baltimore Ride in the United Women's Lacrosse League — for the vast majority of her life. However, as every competitive athlete knows, regardless of how much of a superstar you are, it's always possible to find yourself up against a challenge greater than you ever imagined.
Ms. Featherman is proof of just that.
In 2019, she began training for one of her greatest challenges, yet — the IRONMAN, or, to be exact, the IRONMAN LAKE PLACID. The IRONMAN is a triathlon of long-distance races, including (in order) a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22-mile run. Competitors have 17 hours to complete this incredibly difficult one-day sporting event in order to call themselves an "IRONMAN," or, as Ms. Featherman hopes to call herself, an "IRONWOMAN."
The opportunity to call oneself an "IRON" person of any sort is an incredible motivator, but for Ms. Featherman, there are additional factors that will have her racing to the finish line on July 25, 2021, and some of them can be attributed to Pingry.
In addition to claiming her IRONWOMAN title, Ms. Featherman is competing on Team IMF (IRONMAN Foundation) to raise money for local communities and small businesses in need of economic relief and assistance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. And if that, alone, isn't motivating enough, Ms. Featherman is also planning to push herself to the limit so that Pingry students and players, as well as her colleagues, know that their possibilities are endless.
"As a coach and as a teacher, it's been amazing to know that students see me as an example and know that they can do something tremendous outside of their sport; it's more than just lacrosse or soccer," Ms. Featherman said. "You can use anything you do as a platform to do good."
Ms. Featherman is excited for the IRONMAN to be over after this month, as she trains for at least 20 hours each week. However, her training has been made easier thanks to the support of her Pingry colleagues.
Pingry will root for Ms. Featherman as she seeks her IRONWOMAN title later this month, with many members of our internal team following the race live. And whether or not she finishes in 17 hours, Ms. Featherman will still be viewed as not just our "Ironwoman," but a dedicated community member with a heart of gold.
Contact: Destiny Esper, Communications Manager, PR@Pingry.org