There is more to see in the dynasty that Coach Dan Doherty has built with his Pearl River girls track and field teams is, but those numbers are impressive.
The Pirates are aiming for their 27th consecutive outdoor league title after taking a 27th straight indoor league crown. They have also claimed 24 class B titles in the last 28 years along with seven Rockland County championships.
But there is more to the story -- specifically, how Pearl River does it.
“We work hard, I have a great group of girls and it always helps to have a little luck,” Doherty said
But he also points out that there is a well defined strategy behind the program’s success.
"Our program is traditionally strong in the distance events, while the other events go in cycles," Doherty said. "We also make sure that we try to fill all the events in any meet. But it is in the discus, 400 meter hurdles and the steeplechase that we really pay special attention. Those events call for technique, talent and hard work. It is there that we spend a little extra time with our girls.”
As in the past, this year’s Lady Pirates have the luxury of great depth throughout their roster as well as strong individual talent.
Senior Margaret Moore set a school long jump record of 18 feet 21/2 inches and also came in seventh in the pentathlon at the state meet.
Juniors Molly Shine and Maria Kohlbrenner are outstanding distance runners. Shine finished seventh in the nation in the indoor two mile and won the 3000 meter indoor event in Class B and the Rockland County Championships. Kohlbrenner also appears to be set for another outstanding season.
Doherty also pointed to other team members that he expects to perform well this year, including seniors Katelyn Garvey and Kerry Guerin in the distance events, senior Brianne Lynn in the weights, junior distance runners Caitlin Lardaro and Ceili McMorrow and freshmen Kayla Clohessy and Amanda Moroney in the sprints, hurdles and jumping events.
Another aspect of the long-term success of the Lady Pirates is a feeder system that allows Doherty to find strong replacements each year as the team loses top performers. Hurdler and pole vaulter Christina Ruane, Chelsea Zeig in the weight events and middle distance runner Keeley Bateman are gone from last year's team. Two freshmen who could step up in their place are distance runner Kelly Hayes and Kristin Hanson in the high jump and pole vault.
Pearl River competes in a league that includes Albertus Magnus, Nanuet, Nyack, Spring Valley and Tappan Zee. Doherty sees strong competition again this season.
“Last year Tappan Zee had a strong team and we expect them to be just as tough this year," Doherty said. "I also see Nanuet as a contender.”
Doherty will get a good look at that Nanuet team as they come to Pearl River 3:45 p.m. today.
Doherty also looks to several key meets on the Lady Pirates schedule -- the Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, PA on April 29 and 30, where his team usually competes every year, the Rockland County Meet at Clarkstown North on May 19 and 20, and the Sectionals May 27 at Pearl River.
For Doherty the final part of the winning equation is, “For all the individuals on the team to improve their performances. We are a young team and need to develop and get better as the season goes on. When that happens the overall team performance will fall into place.”
2011 PEARL RIVER GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD ROSTER
2011 PEARL RIVER TRACK AND FIELD SCHEDULE
NANUET - SPRING VALLEY
RED RAIDER RELAYS
RED RAIDER RELAYS
NIGHT OF 3200'S
COUNTY F/S CHAMPS
EAST COAST RELAYS
FAST TIMES RELAYS
WHITE PLAINS HS