How To Succeed As A 7th Grade Standout?

States Outdoor 7th Grade Participants - 2007-2018

Thanks to the wonderfully formatted results on Leone Timing, we were able to search way way back for evidence of 7th graders at outdoor States, and a dozen years of results are displayed here. It's a ladies' club only of exactly 50 members, no guys allowed, although a search was made even further back to 2004 for any 7th grade boy. Nada.

The names here include many of the most storied track and field athletes among the NY girls in recent years. The majority were members of relay squads, but there were still 14 that went to States as individuals or for both. One got DQed (7th grade inexperience) and one lost a shoe (that's you Ms. Cain), but they all had fun. Together the club members picked up at least one of the medals in the three classes (D1-D2-Federation) in an event in 20 instances.

And can a 7th grader reach the top spot on the States podium? Sure, just ask Mary Hennelly, Mikaila Ford, and Emma Gallagher about how their relay teams took 1st in at least one of the three (Fed-D1-D2) classes.

Megan McLaughlin (612) completes the lead-off leg of the East Aurora 4x800 relay as a 7th grader
last year to repeat a family activity begun by sister Marta in 2009.

The road to States even for the most precocious athletes involves a lot of hard work and often the help of some strong older teammates (Hennelly certainly enjoyed having as the Suffern anchor Kam McIntosh, another club member who had been inducted three years earlier into the States 7th grade all-stars). Maybe coming from a rambunctiously track-mad family like the East Aurora McLaughlin clan helps (Marta McLaughlin and Megan McLaughlin), enlisting as one of the unnamed ones on Carlo's Holy Names teams (isabel Vogel, Mikaila Ford, Kaitlin Close), and being part of the graduation class of 2016 certainly was key for the 12 athletes who swelled the States ranks in 2011. A year later, 7th grader Sammy Watson had the chance to run with her freshman big sister Ceara at States on the Rush-Henrietta 4x400 squad, and sisterhood there has had a long tradition as with the joining of the 7th grader Megan with Molly and Maggie McLaughlin on that 4x800 team in 2017 (and 2018).

One thing that is very clear from the list is that you better focus on running if you want to make it to States as a 7th grader, even if it's only for the few dozen meters that Warsaw's Karmen Auble ran while pole vaulting back in 2009. Auble is the only athlete from a field event who earned a spot (and a medal) at States as a 7th grader during the period, and there are no relays at the June meet for field athletes.

A note on the States places noted below. I have given D1 and D2 placements based just on school size and  have not attempted to weed out teams and athletes based on a CHSAA-PSAL-AIS association as is done in the official States records. Others can delve into that matter if they have the time.

Emily O'Neill of Garden City and Sage Hurta of Hamilton sped the same 800 heat as 7th graders in 2011.

One shoe on (unseen on left foot) and one shoe off, 7th grader Mary Cain socked her way to 6th
place among the D2 athletes in the 3000 at States in 2009 for Bronxville.