NJ.com Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Week — Kaitlin Salisbury, Hawthorne, Week 2

Hawthorne’s Kaitlin Salisbury (center) is NJ.com’s Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Week for April 15. (Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

By Patrick Lanni | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
April 15, 2015


Junior jumper, sprinter & (occasional) hurdler

JUST THE FACTS: Salisbury, a self-proclaimed video game nerd, is an unsuspecting speedster, but her natural athleticism was on full display this Saturday at the Doc Boverini Passaic County Relays. The junior multi-event star won the long jump and triple jump and did her part on the track to secure her squad a pair of first-place finishes in the sprint medley and 4×200. In the long jump, Salisbury leaped to a state-leading 17-11. She also triple jumped 35-9 1/2 in an event she’s stilling honing her technique. On the track, however, Salisbury is a veteran and it showed on her anchor leg in the 4×200 as she closed a 15-meter gap to lift her team to the win. Her big day was also key in leading Hawthorne to the B Division team title

THEY SAID IT: “I don’t even know if we’ve touched the tip of the iceberg with her as far as figuring out what she’s really capable of. I think that her upside is so unbelievable, and she’s great already.” – Hawthorne coach Gus Schell

“The 4×200 has become one of my favorite events. I knew the Manchester girl that I was running against. I had run against her before and she had beaten me pretty much every time, but this time, I knew I could get her. I just kept telling myself that I could get her and that I could beat her and as soon as that 4×2 was over, I just kind of just collapsed on the ground. It was probably the hardest 200 I’ ever ran but the most satisfying feeling I’ve had this season.” — Salisbury on her come-from-behind win

OF NOTE: Salisbury isn’t a hurdler by trade, but when Schell needs some key points, his top performer delivers in the 100-meter hurdles. In a potential title-deciding tri-meet with Glen Rock and Rutherford, Salisbury topped a touted field of Glen Rock hurdlers to keep Hawthorne afloat. Here’s how she remembered that race: “Everybody was kind of telling me to watch out for this one Glen Rock girl. Everyone was saying she had fast times so I got nervous, but the thing is that I could already three step the hurdles and apparently she couldn’t so I went over two practice hurdles and I heard her say ‘did you see that?’ to her friend and I was ‘like oh no, she’s talking about me.’ I’ll be honest, it’s a cool thing to to have people be a little nervous around you because it takes the pressure off.”

Personal Bests

55-meter dash: 7.35 (9th at NJSIAA Meet of Champions)
100-meter dash: 12.36
200-meter dash: 25.08
Long jump: 18-0 1/2
Triple jump: 35-9 1/2