Under the dynamic coaching of Bob Lawson and Dan Challener, this small but multi-talented group of athletes embraced a diligent work ethic and met with exceptional success in track and field. Trailblazers, indeed, they blossomed into one of Peddie’s most storied teams and raised the bar for future accomplishments.
His sparkling roster included stars from both 1982’s championship girls cross country and girls swimming teams. They dominated track competition all spring en route to the Peddie girls’ third consecutive New Jersey state title, demonstrating their depth by capturing gold in virtually every event at the state meet along with an impressive collection of silver and bronze. Medallists included Tracy Winfree in the javelin, Joan Franz in the weight throws, Therese Delahunty and Sallie Cinco in the distance events, Amy Boor in the half-mile, Dina Holder in the hurdles and high Jump, Lynn Haggerty in the quarter-mile, and the mile relay team of Kris Evers, Gina Hepp, Winfree and Haggerty. This dream season established no fewer than nine school and track records, some of which stand to this day.
These talented young women trained and competed alongside a very strong 1982 boys track squad, and on at least two occasions literally went with them where no Peddie girls had ever gone before. This was the first and only year in his decades at Peddie that Hall of Fame Coach “Bullet” Lawson brought a girl’s mile relay team to the prestigious Penn Relays. And, in one of the most memorable races of the 1982 Peddie Relays, three of the four Peddie hurdlers on the “boys” shuttle relay team were Peddie girls: Gina Hepp, Dina Holder and Toni McDowell. Despite bounding over the higher boys’ hurdles in this grueling race, the troika of Gina, Dina and Toni carried the shuttle team to a silver medal, sending squads of opposing male hurdlers home shaking their heads in both frustration and admiration.
The 1982 Girls Track and Field Team is a special story of strength, grace and stunning achievement.