Last season, Selena Thorne stepped in for the Franklin High School girls track team and made an impact as a freshman right away. As a high jumper, Thorne posted an outstanding mark of 5-6 and placed third at the Meet of Champions.
But, that wasn’t all.
In the triple jump and long jump, she put up marks of 17-9 and 36-0, respectively, making her the most versatile jumper in Somerset County and in the Skyland Conference.
Her true value to the squad may not necessarily show up on the stat sheet, however. When a rookie does something like that, you could imagine it would light a fire beneath the upperclassmen to do the same, giving them extra incentive to hold up their end of the bargain.
“(The upperclassmen) can see how hard she works,” Franklin coach Sean Thomas said. “She doesn’t take anything for granted and is not one of these kids that just rides it out on her talents. She works hard every day. I think the other kids can see that and has made them buy in.”
Sophomores rarely win a Meet of Champions title in any given event.
“That’s my main goal,” Thorne said. “I want to jump 5-6 this season. My coaches have been there for me, helping me and training me to get ready for this season.”
Not only does she plan on making headlines in the high jump, but she plans on contributing in the 55-meter hurdles and 4×100.
“We expect big things out of her this year,” Thomas said. “In team scoring meets, championship meets, we need her to do more so she’ll probably also run the hurdles and the 55 (dash). But once we get to the bigger stage, she’ll focus in on the high jump.”
The overall team outlook for Franklin, a squad which has dominated Somerset County and the Skyland Conference in recent years, is for another strong season. Along with Thorne, key returners such as Ashely Berry, Danielle Delgado, Morgan Dey and Christina Abiola will look to lead the Warriors this season.
“The whole team attitude has been outstanding,” Thomas said. “All the girls in every event have been working very hard. They understand to be a track athlete at Franklin means something. They’re committed to it and want to continue the tradition.”