It was a special occasion for Oxford’s track team on Tuesday this week, but these are special times for a unique quartet of young ladies who are in pursuit of a Division II state title at this weekend’s New York State Track and Field championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Oxford does not have its own track on which to practice, so on Tuesday this week, Emily and Katie Woodford, Amanda Brown, Amanda Marks – components of the Section IV Division II 400-meter championship relay – worked out on the Norwich High School all-weather surface. That opposed to the grassy fields at Oxford Academy where head coach Irene DeJager typically conducts practice.
From the start of the season, Oxford’s relay quartet has broken one record after another. The Woodford sisters have consistently lowered school records in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dashes, and Brown, a two-time MAC sprinting champion, has broken her own school record in the long jump multiple times this season.
“I think everyone on the relay had already made a name for themselves individually,” DeJager said.
DeJager, who has never coached a varsity track team with its own track in 19 years of coaching track and field, has guided several athletes at Greene and Oxford to state place finishes. Mike Chrystie, less than a decade ago, won a state and federation sprinting title in the 100-meter dash for the Blackhawks.