by Rebecca Stotsky, Sports Editor
photo contributed by Amelia Everett
31 years ago, when girls cross country and track and field head coach Steven McChesney arrived at South, there were not enough members on the girls and boys teams to even compete. Today, the number is over 100.
McChesney started coaching in Eugene, Oregon, first for two years at Churchill High School and then for six years at South Eugene High School, his alma mater. He then came to South, where he coached both the girls and boys teams for 20 years, 14 with his wife, Marianne McChesney, a chemistry teacher at South.
He then switched over to coaching just the girls cross country and track teams, which he has done for the past 11 years. Over his career, McChesney has led his teams to eight All-State titles, three at South Eugene and five at South, and had 64 student-athletes receive All-American honors.
This past outdoor track season, the girls team qualified for the Division 1 South Sectional Championship in several events, and junior Amelia Everett and her 4 by 800 relay team qualified for the Massachusetts All-State Championship. Everett placed first in the mile at both.
“I executed my race plan exactly like I wanted to. Placing first in the mile was a surreal feeling, especially because we didn’t even know we would have a states meet this year,” she said.
Weeks earlier, Everett secured herself a place at the Outdoor Nationals, which took place at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Hayward Field, located at the University of Oregon, is an iconic field in the track and field community and hosts elite runners from across the United States and around the world.
“Competing at Nationals was a really fun experience,” Everett said. “Hayward Field is such a historic and well-known track, and the facility is unreal.”
Sophomore Alexandra Martin, a member of Everett’s 4 by 800 relay, cheered Everett on with the rest of the team back in Newton, where they live-streamed the meet together.
“It was really cool because I watched her race at Nationals, and to see someone who I run with at home was inspirational,” Martin said. “It was really motivating to watch her run.”
Track and field captain senior Sofia Arboleda said that Everett is a supportive teammate to many.
“She’s really inspiring and she’s a role model for a lot of people on the team. She sets a really good example, both on the track and off the track,” she said.
McChesney was also in Eugene to cheer on Everett at Nationals.
“It was really nice for me to have such a familiar face there and was very comforting because it was overwhelming at times,” Everett said.
While in Eugene, McChesney was named the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation Coach of the Year. McChesney grew up in Eugene, making receiving the award there even more special. McChesney accredits his award to the countless people who have helped and supported him throughout his career. The award has allowed McChesney to reconnect with many people from throughout the years.
“I’ve gotten so many correspondences from so many kids of the past,” he said. “It’s been a blessing just for all these people that I think about … to come back into my life, from the 1980s on, coaching friends and everything,” he said.
McChesney said that he is grateful for all of the people, experiences and opportunities he has had throughout his career.
“I’ve lived a blessed life. I’ve been in the right places at the right time in terms of family, athletic directors who hired me, kids I’ve gotten to work with, parents, certainly with my colleagues on my Newton South, Churchill and South Eugene teams and my colleagues that I’ve gotten to compete against,” he said.
Everett said that the community of the track and field team has helped her grow as an athlete.
“Everyone is happy to be there and supports everyone, and being in such a supportive environment really helps athletes to thrive,” she said.