Rachel Fagan; On The Fast Track

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
June, 2018
Article Body: 

Playing on the Norwood soccer team, Rachel Fagan always held the thought of trying out for the track and field team secured in the back of her mind. She never had the courage to actually go for it on her own, however, even though her friends kept telling her to try it.
“Playing soccer, I really didn’t think about it all that much and when I did I figured that I wouldn’t really be any good so I never perused it,” Fagan said. “It was Coach Booth who basically cornered me and got me to give it a chance. I did it and found that I really enjoyed it.”
Once she got onto the team, it was then girls Coach Jess Long that decided that Fagan’s forte’ would be the sprints, and between winter and spring track, the Norwood senior has run just about every sprinting race as well as the 4x2 and 4x4 relays. It depends on who Norwood happens to be competing against which event she would take part in.
In her first year as a runner for the Mustangs, Fagan quickly became accustomed with the sport after her first meet.
“During my freshman year at the beginning, I was so unaware of what was actually going on and I was very nervous," Fagan admitted. "The Reggie Lewis Center was a very hectic place to run and drove me crazy. Following my first race, I felt accomplished and realized that I could do this. I really don’t know why I was so worried.”
According to now track Coach Matt Curran, as a four year runner, Fagan has gone through some rough times.
“Rachel is a dedicated athlete, but unfortunately has been through two rebuilding processes here at Norwood via two coaches,” Curran said. “At this point in her career, a lot of her friends have either dropped out of track all together or gone onto lacrosse.”
While her times have definitely been getting better through the years and her confidence has risen, Fagan became anxious before her races. Coach Long not only helped her with her confidence, she had to learn to relax and just go out and run with the flow.
Curran has decided to switch it up with her races to improve her running, especially in the 200.
“I trust Coach Curran and he has definitely helped me out of my comfort zone by putting me in other events,” Fagan said. “All in all it has helped me with the 200, my primary race.
Fagan has personal best times in the 100 (12.4), the 200 (27.0) and the 400 (62.07). Seeing that she has been able to post decent times in her sprint events, Curran decided to venture into the field events with Fagan with the long jump.
“He told me to try it and if I didn’t like it that would be it and he’d never bring it up again,” Fagan said. “I found it fun and enjoyable. Originally I was jumping 13 feet, with 15’ 10” my best jump to date. I'm hoping to eclipse 16 ‘before the end of the year.”
Curran believes that she will eventually top the 16 foot mark.
“I think she is starting to surprise herself this year,” the Coach said. “Last year, she found herself fouling here and there and although it should have discouraged her, she put it behind her and is now jumping consistently. As she continues to improve, she should hit 16 feet, something Norwood hasn’t seen in seven years.”
Heading off to the University of New Hampshire this upcoming fall, Fagan would love to continue her running with the track team, but it’s something that she’s going to put on hold for a while.
“I would love to run track, but my main goal is to get accustomed to college life and my classes," Fagan said. "I’m not really sure how busy I’m going to be. I would eventually like to branch out and run college track as it is something that helps me get through my day, but UNH is a Division 1 school and it will be tough.”
For Fagan, tough is good. The prospect of running for as Division 1 college will only motivate her to succeed.