Women’s track stars’ injuries impede seasons


Kishan Patel

Juniors Kristen Isoldi and Holly Driver (left to right) are two of the top sprinters in Maryland, with Isoldi winning the IAAM 300 meter hurdle championship and Driver placing second in the IAAM 100 meter hurdles.

Junior Kristen Isoldi sprints down the soccer field, racing an opposing player for the ball. The ball connects with Isoldi’s foot and in the same instant with the other player’s.  Their feet collide and fall onto the green turf.

With a thud, Isoldi lands on the ground and the other player lands on top of her. The weight of the player’s fall is concentrated on Isoldi’s right ankle. Immediately, there was a crack and it started to tingle. It continued to tingle for 15 minutes.

“It’s slightly cracked,” Isoldi said. “But [because of] where it is [located,] you treat it like a sprain.”

Isoldi received her injury during a game for the Pipeline Soccer Club team on March 15. Isoldi went to the doctor on April 6 and was told she could begin running, but is not able to jump yet.

“It’s awful. I haven’t run for three days, and I [usually] run every day,” Isoldi said. “I’ve always been running. It’s my way of feeling better.”

Isoldi’s injury prevents her from playing soccer, ultimately causing to her miss important college-recruiting showcases. Additionally, Isoldi cannot participate in varsity track. As a result, the JC track team loses one if its best players for the season.

Isoldi is the IAAM champion for the outdoor 300-meter hurdle, an event in which she finished second as a freshman. Additionally, she was one of the top hurdlers in the league for the indoor season.

“It’s painful to see Isoldi in a boot,” Torres said.

Both Torres and Isoldi’s teammates agree that this hurts the team.

“She’s one of the best and one of the fastest,” sophomore runner Stephanie Imbierowicz said. “No one is a fast as [she is.]”

“She is not only one of the best 300-meter hurdles in the entire state, but she’s only a hair behind [Driver] in the 100-meter hurdles, and she’s the fastest sprinter on the team,” Torres said.

Since the track championships are on May 9, Isoldi has to be ready to run before that date. She has to compete in at least one more meet before the championships to qualify for them.

“Hopefully [the injury] doesn’t affect the whole season,” Isoldi said. “I won’t have my time from last year, but if I run normally, I might still qualify.”

Torres thinks Isoldi will make a quick recovery.

“I think she has a decent shot at defending her title because she is very tough and an incredible athlete. She will put in the work to get back,” Torres said.

According to him, if Isoldi is unable to compete this season, the team will struggle but other girls will step up, which helps the future of the team.

While Isoldi loves track, she’s even more passionate about soccer and wants to play in college. However, with her injury, she’s missing important college showcases with the Pipeline team, including one on March 21.

“Obviously, I’m worried that I won’t be able to play,” Isoldi said. “I’m praying I’ll be back in three weeks.”

Unfortunately, Isoldi isn’t the only key JC runner who is missing out on a season.

On May 15, Holly Driver will undergo surgery to correct her bunions. While she will be able to finish the track and field season, Driver’s recovery will interfere with the 2015 fall cross country season.

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. This causes the joint to grow and stick out, ultimately causing pain while walking and running.

“May 15 [is] after the track championships, which is what I aimed for and what Torres asked me to do,” Driver said.

Driver is the IAAM champion in the high jump and the runner-up for the 55-meter hurdles in indoor track. For last year’s outdoor season, she was the runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles and fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.

Following her surgery, Driver will spend one month in a wheelchair, two weeks in a boot, and six months where she can only wear tennis shoes.

“I’ll be back to run when school starts, but [I won’t be] on varsity,” Driver said. “The doctor said I can only run a couple times a week, depending on how I feel.”

Cross country senior Erin Cadden understands the deficit that the team will face in Driver’s absence. “She’s definitely a valuable runner,” Cadden said. “I think the team will adapt, but she will be missed.”

Driver’s main goal is healing quickly so she that can train for track, which is the sport she prefers.

According to Torres, Driver is a better track athlete than a cross country one, but that doesn’t diminish her importance to the cross country team.

“She is a major reason we won the 2014 championship, and she’s been one of our top girls the past three years,” Torres said. “We have a bunch of good girls, but Holly is a leader and a good runner, so it hurts to lose her.”

Although the amount she will run in the season is currently unclear, Driver still plans on attending the team’s meets. “I love watching them run, [but I’ll] hate it the most. I’ll want to run with them.”

Angela DeCarlo is the Stories Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.