High school track team members feeling confident ahead of state championships

By Lydia Goerner | Feb 24, 2018
Photo by: Lydia Goerner From front, Taylor Gerbig, Natalia Moulding and Jillian Rawding warm up before practice on Friday morning.

Members of the Wareham High School track team have advanced to the all-state championships, the culmination of a season of hard work and high jumps.

During the November to February season, there were 15 girls and 11 boys on the team this year, said coach Christopher Gardner. Two of them, seniors Taylor Gerbig and Bradley Harunkiewicz, are competing in the state championship. If they are in the top six on Feb. 24, they can advance to a regional meet.

The athletes practice six days a week, and even during February vacation they spent hours each day at the track.

“They’re a small group, but they’re committed,” Gardner said. “It would be a lot less fun if they were not into it, but they like being successful.”

Spending hours practicing is rewarding for the runners, Gerbig said.

“We’re doing what we do because it’s what we love,” she said.

Fellow track team member Jillian Rawding agreed: “The grind don’t stop!”

Gerbig and Harunkiewicz are feeling good about the state championships ahead.

“We had plenty of time to prepare,” said Harunkiewicz, who finished third in the shot put in Boston.

Gerbig won a Div. 5 state championship in the high jump on Feb. 15, the first time a female from Wareham High School has held the honor since 2003. Gerbig nailed the 5"4' jump at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. She was surprised and said she had just been aiming to place in the top three.

“My uncle died two years ago of pancreatic cancer, and everything I do, I do for him,” Gerbig said. “I said, ‘This jump I’m going to make for him.’”

She said she’s feeling a little more pressure ahead of the state championship since she is now the Div. 5 state champion. Gardner has always told her, “Don’t fall under pressure,” and she’s keeping that in mind.

“I’m confident, but not too confident,” Gerbig said. “With jumping, you never know who’s going to have a good day and who’s going to have a bad day.”

Update: At the championships on Saturday, Gerbig placed 20th out of 30 girls, clearing 5'2" and just missing 5'4". Harunkiewicz placed 12th out of 24 boys with a throw of 47 feet and 4.75 inches.

Bradley Harunkiewicz and Taylor Gerbig get a warmup in. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Natalia Moulding, left, and Jillian Rawding practice on the hurdles. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
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