After finishing first at the Class LL state meet and second at the State Open, members of the Staples girls indoor track team will compete at the regional stage this weekend in Boston, Mass. at the New England championships.
Sophomore Hannah DeBalsi's seasonal attack on the record books will continue at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and other Wreckers will look to lower their times against some of the best high school runners New England has to offer.
"We just want to improve on what we did in the State Open as far as performance goes," Staples coach Jesse McCray said. "We have some girls that we believe are All-New England candidates; we just want to do our best when we get up there."
The top six runners from each event will earn All-New England honors. A virtual guarantee for that achievement is DeBalsi, who will run the 2 mile.
DeBalsi, the defending champion of the 2-mile, will attempt to record a personal indoor best -- which currently sits at 10:19.26 -- in preparation for nationals, which are scheduled for March 12-14 in New York.
"It's exciting when you have someone as special as (DeBalsi)," McCray said. "It's exciting to see what she does on the track each week; sometimes it feels a little surreal. You can't believe what you are seeing; it's a thrill."
DeBalsi is also seeded second for the 1-mile, but will not participate in an attempt to stay fresh for the 2-mile. The two events are too close to one another in the schedule, according to McCray.
DeBalsi isn't the only Staples runner looking to make an impact at New Englands.
Senior Tyler Scanlin is seeded sixth in the 600, an event she won at FCIACs, Class LL and the State Open. Scanlin finished 14th in New Englands a year ago and is looking for an improvement on that finish.
"I know that Tyler has always been really talented and this has been her big year," junior teammate Erica Hefnawy said. "She won everything and it's a really big deal for her. The team thrives off of each other's success."
Hefnawy is seeded 10th in the 1000, an event she placed fourth (3:00:00) at the State Open. Hefnawy is competing in her first New England meet after narrowly missing out last season and hopes to break three minutes.
"My goal coming into the season was making sure I was really healthy and doing my best to get into New Englands," Hefnawy said. "Coming so close to it making last year makes this more exciting."
Bridget van Dorsten will compete in the high jump and the Wreckers 4x400 relay team of Olivia Wiener, Brynly Marsh, Hefnawy and Scanlin is seeded 15th for the meet.
The boys will also send athletes to compete in Boston.