Annabel Cloney sets example for girls track



Annabel Cloney prepared for her race on the starting line during a meet in the spring of 2021. Cloney is an inspiration to her teammates and supports them by helping them maintain a positve attitude.

When senior Annabel Cloney began running track at the high school, she couldn’t have imagined what an impact it would have on her life. From stepping onto the track for the first time, to deciding to run during college, Cloney has accomplished many feats while developing a deep bond with her teammates and coaches. Her team looks up to her skill, work ethic, and positivity.

Cloney runs for the high school’s girls varsity track and field team. She runs indoor track during the winter season and outdoor track during the spring season. She began participating on the track team when she was a freshman; however, she was no stranger to competitive sports when she began. She has been an athlete her whole life, previously playing both lacrosse and soccer.

Her achievements on the track team include qualifying for States as a freshman and getting second place in the 55 meter dash at the Massachusetts Division 1 indoor track championships during her sophomore year. Her successes have landed her a verbal commitment to the admissions process at Middlebury College, where she will run Division III indoor and outdoor track.

Senior Sydney Passley-Harris is one of Cloney’s teammates on the track team and has been running with Cloney since freshman year. She said she believes the team looks up to Cloney’s determination and uses her athletic ability as an example.

“She’s really good, so a lot of people definitely look up to that. And they just see the things that she does in order to get to where she is. If she wants to have a specific time in her 300 meter, then she’ll just work really hard towards that,” Passley-Harris said.

Lee Eddy began his career in 1977 and currently coaches the girls varsity track and field team. He has coached Cloney since she began her freshman year. He said that Cloney’s hard work and competitiveness are both components to her success.

“She’s hard working. She’ll work, she’ll do just about whatever you ask of her. She’s also very competitive, but in a quiet way. She’s not in-your-face competitive. She may say, oh you know I don’t know if I can do it, and then she’ll go out and she’ll do it,” Eddy said.

According to Eddy, both her athletic ability and her work-ethic are traits that are admirable in the eyes of her teammates. He said they are part of the reason why she is viewed as a leader on the team.
Eddy said her skill and achievements have made her a leader on the team, but he expects that role to grow this year.
“In terms of performance and ability she has become a leader. She’s a senior now so we’ll see in terms of the other leadership qualities. Usually the seniors are the ones that step up and step forward,” Eddy said.
Cloney said she helps the team by reminding them all why they’re there. She tries to help the team keep things in perspective and make sure that they are having a good time in what can be a stressful sport.

“I just try to lighten the atmosphere, make sure everyone’s having fun. Because at the end of the day, that’s why they do it,” Cloney said.

Cloney said her favorite aspect of track is the people she gets to interact with through the sport. She said her teammates are the reason track has been so enjoyable for her.

“My favorite part has definitely been the people. I think it’s a group of people that I wouldn’t necessarily have been friends with otherwise, just because we all come from very different groups. But the team has some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. They’re the most talented, smart and interesting people.” Cloney said. “I have the best time at practice, and it is a stressful sport, so I think if it wasn’t with people I loved, it wouldn’t be as fun.”

Eddy said that everyone on the team loves Cloney right back.

“She’s widely, wildly adored by the whole team,” Edday said. “She’s an integral part of the team, athletically, socially and emotionally.”