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Norwalk Freshman Surprises With Track Milestone

Norwalk High girls track coach Pat Moffet thought freshman speedster Claire Turner might someday challenge the school record in the 600 meters. He was wrong. Turner not only challenged Lauren Ventrella's four-year old record, she also shattered it during Saturday's Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference meet at Staples High School.

Turner blazed around the oval in 1:44.8, wiping out Ventrella's time of 1:47. It was only the second time Turner had run the event. This is her first year running track.

"I didn't think I was going to be able to break it this year,'' says Claire, who also plays field hockey and runs outdoor track. "I wanted to qualify for States. I was really surprised when the coach told me I broke the record."

Moffet was surprised, too. "She asked me if I thought she was capable of running 1:46,'' Pat said. "I wasn't going to tell her she couldn't do it, but she had only run 1:50 before this. The biggest thing that surprised me was her response. Every time someone challenged her, she responded. She showed a lot of heart. She really likes the sport, which you don't always see. Whatever you ask her to do, she'll do it."

Claire said Moffet helped her with running technique, specifically with her arm carriage, and credited that with playing a large in her record run. "I think working my arms properly may have really helped,'' Turner said.

Moffet sees a bright future for Turner. Besides the 600, he believes Turner will also be a top-flight runner at 400 meters. Competing in those events will make her a versatile and valuable member of the Bears' lineup for years to come.

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