By Mike Rubin
After three successful seasons as a member of the Somerville girls indoor track team, Sasha Garczynski has rewritten the school record books in the middle distance events.
Now Garczynski will have the opportunity to continue her athletic career at the collegiate level as a member of the Merrimack College track and field team, where she’ll compete in the Northeastern Conference. Garczynski, who recently narrowed her choices between Ithaca College and other local schools, chose the North Andover College.
Presently a club sport, the sport will turn into a varsity sport in the 2011-12 season, just in time for Garczynski’s arrival.
Highly recruited by coach Matt Pimental, Garczynski was deemed as the top recruit in the area. Following a meeting with future teammates as well as the coaching staff, Garczynski was convinced that Merrimack was the college for her.
“I’m very excited,” said Garczynski. “It’s pretty close to home, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. The facilities are great, and I can’t wait to get things started. It’s going to be a new challenge for me, but I’m ready for it.”
Following her decision to attend Merrimack, coach Charles O’Rourke was more than pleased with Garczynski’s final decision.
“I feel that Merrimac is a good fit for Sasha, they are an up and coming program with plans of adding a brand new stadium with an eight lane track which will make them even more competitive in the Northeast Conference,” said O’Rourke. “She will be an impact runner for their team right away. Its a win win situation for the athlete and the school. Sasha holds numerous SHS school records and will graduate as the fastest middle distance runner ever at Somerville High. Coach Pimental was very excited when Sasha decided to commit to Merrimac College.”
Currently, Garczynski holds the indoor 600 yard, 600 meter and 100 meter school records and also serves on the 4×800 relay team. In her junior and senior years, Garczynski qualified for nationals.
Raised in various towns throughout Massachusetts, Garczynski and her family moved into the Somerville area nearly six years ago. After several years participating in neighboring youth soccer and girls lacrosse programs, Garczynski was convinced to join the indoor track team after many persistent requests from coach Charles O’Rourke.
“I didn’t really have any desire to do track,” said Garczynski. “They (coach and teammates) wanted me to go out for indoor track as a freshman, but I didn’t want to do it at first. I didn’t go to the tryouts, and then a couple of my friends literally carried me over to the (Field House) when I finally decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad they convinced me to do it (track), and it’s something that I’ve really fallen in love with.”
In her freshman year, Garczynski decided to try middle distance events such as the 600 meters and 600 yard races while developing into a solid teammate at the 4×200 relay.
In her sophomore season, Garczynski continued to shatter the school record, finishing under 1:45 in the 600, while posting an undefeated season. Despite finishing the season undefeated in the 600 meters (6-0), Garczynski qualified for states, but failed to advance to all-states.
As a junior, Garczynski continued to tear up the field in the 600 meters, finishing under 1:40, en route to a time of 1:37 while finishing 1:40 in the 600 yard event. Once again, Garczynski cruised to a 6-0 Greater Boston League mark while shattering her own school record.
“Sasha is maybe the best middle distance runner ever at Somerville High School,” said O’Rourke. “She has run some remarkable races in the 600m and 800m. If she had not been hurt at the end of the season, she just may have qualified for the state finals. She qualified for the nationals and will run the 800 meters. She has worked hard this year to improve and the combination of talent and hard work this year has made sasha a great middle distance runner. Her range is impressive and she can run a great 400 meter right up to the 2 mile. Not many girls can do that. She is definitely a college prospect in track.”
In her senior season, Garczynski continued to add to her record in the 600 meters and will serve on the 4×800 relay team come Division 1 state meet in March.