SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

August 16, 2013

Willis takes first at Hamilton-Wenham Iron Woman competition

By Gianna Addario
Staff Writer

---- — HAMILTON — The Hamilton-Wenham girls basketball team put on their own version of an Iron Woman competition yesterday at the high school. With a combination of speed, agility and strength the girls went through six different events, which showcased what they’ve learned from their summer program.

The program workouts, started by head coach Jon DeMarco, were designed to help the girls build up their core strength and prepare for the winter season. Nearly 25 girls came out 2-3 times a week to participate in the workouts and this competition was a way to cap off the six-week program.

Soon-to-be senior Haley Willis took home the top prize in the first ever Iron Woman. Willis, who hopes to continue her basketball career in college, was first in the farmers walk (3.9 seconds) tied for first in the pro agility event (3.6 seconds) and was also first in the over head squats (27 reps).

“I wasn’t able to make it to all the workouts because I have work, but I was able to use what I learned from here and worked out on my own as well,” said Willis, who plays hoop year round. “I wasn’t sure how I’d do, but I was happy with the outcome. I’m hoping this helps us. We really want to make the tournament again and at least try to win the conference.”

It was a unique program that even incoming freshmen could take part in. Sophomore Molly Eagar was the second place finisher, taking first in the obstacle course (25.2 seconds) and tied Willis in the pro agility.

Leslie Bynum, who played center for the Generals last season, came in third and had an outstanding showing in the medicine ball toss with a throw of 22 feet. Bynum throws the shot put in the spring and was able to use great technique in the toss. Sophomore Cassidy Cring was the top finisher in the tire flip, coming in with of 11.5 seconds. Willis, Eagar and Bynum each received trophies for their performances.

“This has been really great for a team bonding experience,” said senior captain Sue Rose. “It’s also nice to work on our speed and agility as a group. I though it was a good experience for all of us. I’ve gotten a lot stronger over the past six weeks and it’s great to get a lot of the younger kids in the gym as well.”

Rose, who starts double sessions for soccer next week, has managed to split time between both sports this summer.

“It’s been fun bouncing between the two,” explained Rose. “A lot of the girls here actually play both, so it’s kind of fun to go back and forth between both groups. The stuff that we’ve learned here helps with soccer too.”

The girls trained in the weight room, the gym and on the track during the program, must the majority of yesterday’s circuit took place on the football field.

DeMarco was pleased with the way the girls performed and their overall growth over the past few weeks of workouts.

“More than anything it gave them an opportunity to show how much stronger they got from the beginning until now,” DeMarco said. “They carried two 50-pound dumbbells, a total of 100-pounds, in the farmers walk and some of them couldn’t even pick up one we started. It’s a huge improvement and it’s nice to see.”