Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Sports Person of the Week

Coady’s Ecstatic That She Signed Up for Track

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Senior captain Autumn Coady finished off her track career at Haddam-Killingworth in fine fashion this spring. Autumn turned in several quality performances for the Cougars during the postseason, garnering All-Shoreline Conference Second Team accolades in both the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. Photo courtesy of Autumn Coady

Senior captain Autumn Coady finished off her track career at Haddam-Killingworth in fine fashion this spring. Autumn turned in several quality performances for the Cougars during the postseason, garnering All-Shoreline Conference Second Team accolades in both the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. (Photo courtesy of Autumn Coady )

Autumn Coady has played soccer throughout her life, but she decided to try out track as a freshman at Haddam-Killingworth High School. It turned out to a sound decision for Autumn, who’s seen a great deal of success while competing in hurdles and running relays for the Cougars.

Autumn signed up for the girls’ indoor track team as a way to stay in shape and then joined the outdoor squad later in her freshman year. As a senior, Autumn served as a captain for H-K girls’ soccer, as well as both track teams.

Autumn capped off her track career by turning in a prolific performance during the postseason this spring. At the Shoreline Conference Championship, Autumn took second place in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles to earn All-Conference Second Team honors for each event. She also ran the lead leg of H-K’s runner-up 4x400 relay and 4x100 relay that came in third place. Autumn went on to finish sixth in both of her hurdling events at the Class M State Championship.

“Track has helped me with soccer through having endurance and then to be able to go right into a sprint. I learned to focus on myself and doing things to the best of my ability,” says Autumn. “With senior year, seniors have a lot going on elsewhere, so there’s that option of not trying as hard or showing up. But I stayed dedicated, because I wanted to finish my career satisfied.”

It’s imperative for any hurdler to find that delicate balance between speed and steadiness. Autumn looks for the ideal time to kick things into high gear when she’s trying to surpass her competitors.

“The 100 hurdles are a full-out sprint, but you have to keep a good pace because of the steps between each hurdle,” Autumn says. “I just tell myself to keep steady because, if you start too hard, then you’ll die in the end.”

Autumn experienced some setbacks on the big stage early during the early phases of her track career. However, those moments toughed her up mentally and taught Autumn about the importance of always bouncing back.

“I have had some bad situations where things didn’t turn out as I expected. I had a false start at indoor states one time where I would’ve finished fourth. I also had other races where I didn’t run my best,” says Autumn. “It was hard to deal with all of that at first, but I just had to tell myself that I had to keep going.”

While appreciating Autumn’s personal achievements, girls’ outdoor track Head Coach Matt Diglio praises his senior captain for always putting the team before herself.

“Autumn did an outstanding job as a leader and role model on the team. She was always supporting the other girls, especially the freshmen, and constantly sacrificed for the teammates,” Diglio says. “Autumn has a great work ethic and personality, and I have truly enjoyed working with her the past several years. She will be greatly missed for her contributions both on and off the track.”

Autumn appreciates the impact that running track has had on her life. Autumn says she’s learned a lot from her fellow members of the Haddam-Killingworth track family throughout the past four years.

“Track makes you a well-rounded person, because you have to stay focused and devote time to it,” says Autumn. “I’ve been the indoor and outdoor captain the past two seasons, and it’s been awesome to grow with this team and see the new students coming in. This team was a well-rounded group of people that are excited for everyone else’s accomplishments, and our coaches are amazing and supportive.”


John Lecardo covers sports for Guilford, Madison, and Haddam-Killingworth for Zip06. Email John at j.lecardo@shorepublishing.com.

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