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  • Writer's pictureLJ VP LAFIURA & RACHEL SHEPARD

Legacy of a "coach-tain"

Senior captain Elise Stanbury poses during media day before the start of her season. Photo courtesy of Elise Stanbury

When senior captain Elise Stanbury joined the track and field team four years ago, there were only three other throwers. Now, the throwers have 10 members between the men’s and women’s teams thanks in part to her leadership.

“She’s a big reason why we have the culture we have today, and why there’s so many more athletes wanting to come to the team because of what she’s done for the program,” said interim head coach Ben Biello.

Stanbury’s career as a Laser began as one of two female throwers for coach Michael McGrane. She placed as high as seventh in the shot put at the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championships, preluding her being named captain in her sophomore season.

“I recognized her throwing potential and leadership early in her athletic career at Lasell,” said McGrane who coached the team from 2017 to 2021 before taking a head coaching job at Norwich University. “Elise always brings a smile and great attitude to every practice which is contagious among her throwing teammates.”

As a captain, Stanbury has excelled at building morale for her teammates. “She’s definitely that go-to person here on campus that you can vent to, she’ll listen and either give advice, or listen and not say a word. It’s just something we need,” said sophomore thrower Madison Nerich.

Stanbury will be remembered for the levity that she brought at the best moments. Biello will always remember when she tried to add a grunt to her throws as many throwers do.

“She goes to grunt and all that comes out. It’s just a mouse squeak,” said Biello. “It was just the funniest thing. We all die into laughter and it was just a wholesome moment.”

In the 2020 to 2021 season, former coach Sarah Thornton had limited availability for the team. This led Stanbury to further her responsibility toward her teammates. “She did help us grow with our training. I would call her “coach-tain”, coach and captain. She was that leading role for us and then again, especially this year,” said Nerich.

“She’s a good leader to have around because she’s willing to push you and she knows your limits,” said sophomore thrower Connor Parker. “If you’re not doing what you can do then she’s gonna try to light a fire under you to get it done.”

During her COVID-19 shortened junior season, she placed first in both the women’s shot put and discus at the Brandeis Tri-Meet and second in both events at the UMass Boston Dual Meet.

Stanbury followed this up with a number of impressive performances in her senior season, including a John Thomas Terrier Classic performance which earned her GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. At the April 23 Regis Pre-Conference Meet, Stanbury achieved 29.92 meters in discus; a career personal record, and 9.08 meters in the shotput throw which was a personal record for the season.

“I walked in knowing that at the end of the day, I was just competing against myself and trying to get some consistent marks,” said Stanbury.

She stated that she hoped her legacy will continue to build life into the track team, and keep the spirit of the track team alive.


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