Bishop Guertin of Nashua track star Betsy Garnick wins New England hurdle title
"I kept asking myself 'how bad do you want this?' and as it turned out, I really wanted it," said Garnick, who broke her own state record by winning the New England Indoor Track and Field Championship 55-meter girls' hurdles in 8.01 seconds Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston.
Garnick broke her own state record of 8.20 in the 55-meter girls' hurdles she accomplished last season as a junior in the NHIAA state indoor track and field meet at Dartmouth College.
Garnick was also a member of the 4 x 400 relay team that established another state record Saturday. The quartet of Garnick, Sarah Burke, Rachel Pelletier and Molly McCabe finished fifth overall in the New England meet but their time of 3:57.67 set a state record. The previous relay team state record of 3:59.45 was set by Manchester Central in 1999.
Garnick, who said she will be attending Northeastern University on a track and field scholarship this fall, had one goal in mind Saturday.
"Last year I won the state meet (in the 55-meter hurdles) but I didn't win the New England meet," she said. "My goal was to win the New England meet this year. I wasn't expecting to better my time (the 8.20 mark set last year), so I was surprised when I looked up (at the time board) and saw how I did. When I actually heard my coaches and dad screaming, I knew I broke my old (state) record."
Steve Hunt is the girls' head coach at Bishop Guertin, but Garnick also praised assistant coach Rob DeSisto.
"He (DeSisto) joined the team last year and has made a huge difference in helping me achieve these records. Our coaches do a great job of not overwhelming us with things to think about just before our event starts. Before I ran the 55-meters, coach DeSisto just reminded me to focus on my arm placement. He reminded me to keep my thumb down and I just took it from there."?Garnick said DeSisto accompanied her to Greensboro, N.C. last summer for the national heptathlon championships where she finished fifth overall.
"He's helped me a lot and through all the training I've had with him, my times continue to improve," said Garnick, who was the lead-off runner in the 4 x 400 relay event Saturday.
"The four of us entered the relays knowing what the state record was and we decided we wanted to break it," said Garnick. "We all ran well, especially Molly, who finished strong, She has the best kick I've ever seen. We worked hard in practice and it paid off."
Garnick said whenever an individual wins an event at a state or New England meet, Bishop Guertin rewards them by placing their name on a banner in the gymnasium.
"When I was a freshman, all I ever wanted to do was win one state title and get my banner," said Garnick. "I've accomplished all my goals and to be part of three state records is more than I could have ever imagined when I entered high school."