Salem News Girls Track Athlete of the Year
Kristen O’Connor did it all for the Panthers this season. The Beverly captain and team MVP two years in a row set a new school record in the 50 yard hurdles with a time of 7.2 and clocked 8.88 in the 55 yard hurdles. She was also undefeated in the high jump with a personal best 5-foot-1-inch leap and won the Coaches Invitational Meet (5-feet). She was also on the winning Pentathlon team and set a school record for taking third place individually with 3,022 points.
O’Connor was quite versatile and averaged 11.5 points per meet. Her best long jump was 16-4-1/4 and she ran a 59 second split on the 400 meter sprint medley team that was second at the Division 2 state meet. She was a member of the 7th place sprint medley team at the New Balance Nationals, running a 58.5 split. She also played a big role in helping the Panthers win the state relays, competing in the sprint medley, third place high jump relay, and fourth place 4x200. O’Connor ran the 50 yard dash in 6.3, did 300 meters in 43 seconds, and clocked the second fastest 800 meters of the day, a 2:27 at the heptathlon.
“Kristen is very talented and helped our team by doing so many different things, and doing them all very well,” said Beverly coach Dave Jellerson.”
An NEC all-star, she won the hurdles championship and was fourth at the Division 2 state meet and fifth in the high jump. Next year she will attend Bryant University and play soccer.
“My Mom is my biggest supporter, especially in sports,” said O’Connor. “She never misses a game or a meet.”
Won CAL Open championship … Undefeated in league … Personal best was 3:05.57 … Runner up at Division 5 states and at the state Freshman-Sophomore (D-2) … Best individual performance came at states … 17th at All-State meet … Carries 3.75 GPA and wants to run at a Division 1 college … Says parents support her 100 percent, and they are the reason she got into running.