One word to describe todayâ€™s â€śAthletes of the Weekâ€ť picks is goal-orientated. Senior Meredith Forman of Bristol Eastern has worked hard with the goal of returning to the basketball court after an injury, while indoor track distance runner Chris Deforest of Terryville High, a junior, has set the bar high to run ahead of the pack.
Forman, the daughter of Sue Forman, is a captain on coach Tony Floydâ€™s girls basketball team. She has battled back from an ACL injury and is prepared to help the Lancers with their state tournament play coming up soon.
In her last two games, she averaged 9.5 points after recording 12 points in a 63-28 win over cross-town rival and visiting Bristol Central last Monday, while adding seven points in a 43-38 loss at East Catholic in first round of the CCC Tournament on Thursday. Floyd, whose team is currently 13-8 after a 7-14 season last winter, has been pleased with the progress of his senior forward.
â€śShe worked hard to get back after missing the whole (2017-2018) season,â€ť Floyd said. â€śShe focused on getting back to be 100 percent, where she was two years ago. Now sheâ€™s been a positive influence on the court and it has shown the last two weeks of the season.â€ť
For Forman, this season has been a testament to the team around her. The Lancers had a five-game winning streak prior to Thursdayâ€™s loss.
â€śIn four years of playing basketball, we havenâ€™t had a winning streak this long and Iâ€™m really proud of how far we have come from the start,â€ť Forman said. â€śI think weâ€™ve worked together harder than in past years. Our bond has been much stronger than it has been and that helps us on the court.â€ť
The state tournament rankings arenâ€™t available yet, but regardless of what Easternâ€™s will be, Forman is looking for she and her teammates to make their best run since she entered high school.
â€śWe want to go all the way,â€ť Forman said. â€śWe donâ€™t want to look back. Weâ€™re already this far, so weâ€™re excited to keep things going. This is our second best season since we went 15-5 my sophomore year.â€ť
Her plans for the fall are to attend St. Josephâ€™s University in New Hartford, where she says she will probably study child psychology. She added that playing basketball was a probability.
Deforest, the son of Jennifer and John Deforest of Plymouth, finished second in the 3,200-meters at the 2019 Indoor Track and Field Champions in New Haven on Feb. 7. Nonnewaug senior Eddie Nichols ran 9:53.09 with Deforest posting a 9:54.72.
â€śChris had a fantastic season,â€ť Terryville head coach Kevin Schumann said. â€śHe lowered his indoor [personal record] in the mile and 3,200, running under 10:00 for the first time indoors. Chris is dedicated to this sport, and his competitive nature is infectious among the members of our team. Weâ€™re looking forward to the outdoors season with Chris. Weâ€™re hoping to see him finish near the top in both our Berkshire League and state competitions.â€ť
Seeded No. 1 in going into the Class S competition, Deforest was hoping to cross the finish line first.
â€śI went out in first [place] and stayed there until the 13th or 14th lap,â€ť Deforest said. â€śStrategically, it was to keep only one guy in the race [close to me] to have a better chance of winning, but at the 13th or 14th lap [Nichols] went past me. He started to pass me and the logged-up traffic got in the way. I closed in at the last 50 meters and closed the gap to a second place.â€ť
Deforest is also a role model for his sister, Kaitlin, a freshman at the school.
â€śItâ€™s fun to watch her, because I never got to see her run in middle school,â€ť Deforest said. â€śI give her advice. Sheâ€™s really motivated, but sometimes sheâ€™ll need or take advice. Sheâ€™s improved a lot and is kind of getting into the flow in high school.â€ť
Next up for the siblings is outdoor track, where heâ€™ll compete in the mile, two-mile and 4x800 relay. His best times last year in that same order are 4:43, 9:49 and somewhere in the vicinity of 8:46. His goals for the season are to run 4:30 in the mile, somewhere in the 9:30s in the two mile and help get the relay team time down to an 8:30s timing.
â€śItâ€™s to just keep training and get the miles in,â€ť Deforest said.
And thatâ€™s generally running 50-55 miles a week for Deforest and his distance running teammates.