PEABODY — Outstanding students. Exceptional athletes. Unwavering family support. Owners of an abundance of leadership qualities.
Beverly High's Monica Adler, one of the school's greatest track and field athletes ever, and Chris Splinter of Masconomet, arguably the best male athlete in school history, possess all of those above-mentioned accolades and more. It should come as no surprise, then, that they were honored Tuesday afternoon at Salem Country Club as the 19th annual Moynihan Lumber Student-Athletes of the Year.
"To succeed, you need three things: talent, hard work and most of all, an opportunity," said the Dartmouth-bound Adler.
Her remarks were apropos on an afternoon where both she and Splinter were lauded for their four years of high school excellence, both in the classroom and in their respective athletic endeavors.
Adler and Splinter were chosen from among a group of 18 candidates for the award, based on the males and females who captured the monthly Moynihan Lumber student-athlete honors. The sports editors from the Gloucester Daily Times, The Daily News of Newburyport, The Lynn Item and The Salem News selected the two Student-Athletes of the Year.
Adler, who just this past weekend broke her own school record in the mile (4:56.09) to finish first at the All-State Meet, has re-written the BHS record books with all of her various accomplishments, including having the fastest time among high schoolers in the country at one point this past winter in the 1000 meter run.
A three-time Northeastern Conference MVP and nine-time league all-star, Adler has what her head coach, Dave Jellerson, described as a "work ethic that is incredible. Nothing will stop her from achieving her goals."
Not even serious injuries that could have derailed her track career altogether. Sickness during her junior year caused her lung capacity to drop below 60 percent, and just as she was recovering from that Adler suffered a stress fracture in her foot. But through hours of rehab and dedication, she not only came back to compete — she did so better than ever.