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Women’s track and field sprints to success

A silhouette of a woman running.
Emily Monaco / THE GATEPOST

By Riley Crowell

Asst. Sports Editor

The Framingham State Rams placed fourth at the Regis Spring Classic at Regis College April 8.

This fourth-place finish marked the highest placement for the Rams this season, following a tenth-place finish at the Corsair Classic March 30, and a ninth-place finish at the Springfield College Classic April 6.

Framingham’s women’s track and field team has a new look this season, returning only eight members from the 2023 roster and promoting former Assistant Coach Mark Johnson to head coach.

Johnson said, “We’ve made a number of adjustments to our day-to-day training - everything from our dynamic warm-up routine when we start practice, to the depth of workouts we’re doing throughout the week.”

Johnson noted this year, he’s aiming to take a more individualized approach to training.

“Not all runners, jumpers, and throwers are the same, so making things more tailored to each athlete has been a main focus,” he said.

Junior Alyssa Caputo, who has been with the team since her freshman year, detailed the impact Johnson has had on her and the rest of the team. 

Caputo said, “I’ve had a great connection with Mark, and if you meet him, you can tell how much he cares about his athletes. He has brought the girls on the team closer together and prioritizes each athlete's mental health.

“I think having Mark as our head coach has instilled more confidence in the girls on the team. Because of his support and hard work, the athletes on our team keep getting better and better as the season progresses,” she added.

Caputo qualified for the MASCAC championship in four different events - shot put, javelin, discus throw, and hammer throw.

Caputo has succeeded in her events this season despite injury troubles getting in the way. “In the offseason, I have been lifting to get stronger coming into the new season. My big focus right now is keeping my body in the best shape I can, and taking care of my injuries.”

She credited Assistant Athletic Trainer Kristine Brown for keeping her healthy and able to compete.

Caputo said, “I have the best trainer in the world, Kristine, who has been working with me every day to improve my strength and keep my pain to as minimal as possible. I personally love Kristine and I admire the way she cares about her athletes.

“I would say my focus leading up to the championship would be to continue doing treatment with Kristine to make sure my body is prepared to perform my best,” she added.

The Rams have been shining this track and field season, with a large number of athletes turning in impressive performances.

“Through three meets, we’ve had 13 athletes qualify for the MASCAC championship, 17 athletes perform career personal bests in an event, and have seen 4 of our school records fall,” Johnson said.

Freshman Jamie Moniz has broken FSU records in high jump, triple jump, and the 400-meter run. 

Her recent success earned her MASCAC Rookie of the Week April 8.

Moniz said she was surprised to earn this honor. “Coming into freshman year has been an adjustment, especially playing two sports. I think upping my training and lifting has gotten me to where I'm at!”

Junior Megan McAuliffe, a newcomer to FSU track and field, has made an immediate impact on the team, becoming the first high jumper in school history and qualifying for the MASCAC championship in high jump.

McAuliffe, a track and field athlete in high school, described her mixed emotions about deciding to start competing in track and field again. “I was super nervous about making friends and not being as fast or jumping as high as I used to, but I’ve learned to not be so hard on myself and just enjoy the sport that I missed. 

“That’s been so much easier being surrounded by such great, supportive teammates,” she added.

Framingham, underrated by their peers, has used that as motivation to improve and succeed this season.

Johnson said, “Looking at the MASCAC coming into this season, the preseason poll had our team ranked fifth out of six, so all season, we’ve had that on our whiteboard.”

Among the personal achievements and consistently improving team placements, the track and field team is feeling confident going into the rest of the season.

“I have a good feeling about the championship this year and with all the talent we have on the team, I think we can do very well,” Caputo said.

Johnson said, “We have a strong and dedicated core, so we’re looking forward to the opportunity to turn some heads on the 26th at the conference championship, and show everyone who the FSU Rams are!”

McAuliffe said, “The FSU community should be on the lookout for lots of energy coming from the women’s track and field team. Every meet, we come home with more and more records broken. 

“Any one of these girls is willing to give it their all and I think big things are coming with that energy,” she added.



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