Brookfield East girls track and field coach has a lot to be proud of this year.
From the team point of view, the Spartans won the Greater Metro Conference Triple Crown (Indoor, Relays, Outdoor), breaking the indoor record for most points scored. They were also regional and sectional champions and state team runners-up. The JV also was indoor conference champions.
The Spartans had four team awards, all four voted on by teammates.
Alisha Harper earned the Most Valuable Award for the third time. She has been team captain for the last two seasons. She averaged 39 points at the conference meets this season, which is just one point away from the maximum amount that an athlete can score.
She is leaving East having set four school records, all of which she has broken multiple times. Her school record long jump of 19-feet, 3 ¼ inches is currently tied for the fifth-longest long jump in state history.
She was the only Division 1 athlete to compete and score in four events at the state meet and she scored the most points of any individual athlete at the state meet with 32 points from her four events.
"Alisha is the most hardworking and dedicated athlete," coach Lisa Foss said. "She is by far one of the most talented athletes to come through Brookfield East."
Julia Jacob won the Newcomer of the Year Award, which is for an athlete who is new to the team and makes an impressive start, earning the team points and constantly improving.
"She joined the team after playing soccer the last two years and feels it is one of the best decisions she could've made," Foss said. "She very quickly assimilated with the team and was one of our top varsity hurdlers this year. We are lucky to have her back for one more season."
Junior Tiffany Bianco earned the Most Spirited Award.
"She is full of energy and goofy and it is contagious," Foss said. "It is obvious that she has spirit and passion for our team on a daily basis as she cheers for all of her teammates and wants all of us to succeed and do our best. She had a successful season leading off the mile relay at the state meet and running her personal best. She is going to have a very successful senior season."
Brianna Mathison, who has been a team captain for two seasons, earned the Character Matters Award.
"As we started a new initiative as a coaching staff this year to make it a priority to teach, model and build character in our athletes, it is only fitting that the girls voted and recognized one of their teammates who has demonstrated the standard and all the characteristics that go within it," Foss said. "Brianna is the individual who demonstrates strong character as a student athlete, is someone who is tenacious, enthusiastic, disciplined, attentive, dependable, truthful, selfless, has a good attitude and is hard-working."
Five school records were broken or tied this season, including the 4x200-meter relay (1:41.97) behind Khadiya Hollingsworth, Sierra Fischer, Allie Bullen and Harper. They broke it four times together this season
Leading the way was Harper in the long jump (19-3¼), the triple jump (37-10) and the 300 low hurdles (44.12).
The latter was a 28-year-old record that she broke three times this season.
Other record-breakers were Hollingsworth in the high jump (5-8) and Anatalia Ashcroft in the pole vault (tying a record at 10-6).
Foss will lose 13 seniors to graduation — Harper, Mathison, Therese Gaines, Adriana Gibbs, Miranda Glembin, Katie Krugel, Allyx Kvasnicka, Maggie Lingle, Kelsey Linsmeier, Emma Lynch, Natalie Mussatto, Maddie Schlei, and Khailah Wells.
"This season we set the bar high as we knocked off one goal after the other," Foss said. "I can say with confidence that I have never been so proud. The girls admirable work ethic, drive to succeed and lovable personalities are what make being their coach so much fun. We had a very enjoyable season together on and off the track.
"It is also sad to see it all end and say goodbye to such a lovely, talented senior group. Regardless, we will always be a Lady Spartan track and field family."
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