She is just a sophomore, but she already owns five school records. She was given the Hannah Jackson Award for the MVP at last month's Western Maine Conference Class B meet. She is a two-time conference All-Star, current state champion in the 100-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash, competed at the New England Championships and was recently named co-MVP of her team.
However, Chelsea Tewell was sitting in her algebra class last Thursday when her track coach, Matt Convery, came in, said a few words to her teacher and then walked over to Tewell to tell her about her latest track and field accomplishment. Some may call it her best accomplishment in her two years at York High School.
Tewell was selected as the Gatorade Maine Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. The Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes one winner in all 50 states in football, volleyball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field. The award is based on athletic accomplishment, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character on an off the track.
I couldn't believe it when he told me, said Tewell, who maintains an A average and volunteers with the York Parks & Recreation Department. I am pretty excited. I had no idea I was getting it. It was news to me. I didn't even know I was being considered for it.
Convery believes Tewell is the first York track athlete to achieve such a prestigious award.
It's a pretty big honor, Convery said. This is a pretty big deal. Gatorade does a fair amount of research.
Tewell holds the York High School spring records in the 100 (12.3 seconds), 100 hurdles (15.16) and the 4x100 (51.91). She holds the school's winter track records in the 55 (7.31) and 55 hurdles (8.56). She also held the spring record in the 200 (27.5), but Lacey Cartier, who shared team MVP honors with Tewell this past spring season, broke it with a time of 26.9.
I hope to get that one back, Tewell laughed.
Tewell competed at last month's New England Championships, placing seventh in the 100 hurdles (15.6) and 13th in the 100.
I was disappointed in the races themselves, Tewell said. My times were not as fast as they were in the state meet. There were a lot of great athletes down there. If I ran like I did at states, I think I would've placed third. Maybe next year.
Convery knows Tewell will only improve in her final two years, and her potential is limitless.
When she came in as a freshman, it was obvious she was a talented kid, Convery said. She went undefeated most of the season and I made a point at our awards ceremony this year that she, who shared MVP honors with Lacey (Cartier), could've won any of the other awards, including most improved. She was very good last year, but she now has figured out the sport and rises to the occasion. She really dominated spring track this year.
Convery said Tewell, also a conference All-Star soccer player, can no doubt compete at the Division I collegiate level in track.
If she continues to progress, like we think she can, I see a number of (Division I) schools looking at her and giving her incentives to go there, Convery said. She already has received a lot of letters. She would be very competitive in America East if she decided to stay in the area, but she has the potential to compete at any Division I university.
Tewell is not one to rest on her laurels.
I definitely think I can keep getting better, she said. I am not easily satisfied. I am new to the hurdles, so there is a lot of room for improvement there. I just have to keep working as hard as I can and hopefully keep getting better. I can't say 'I won these races, got to state' and be content. I am competitive and like to better myself.