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Monticello Games renamed to honor the memory of alumna Jessica Fingers

“Jessica Fingers Memorial Invitational” hosts 12 schools from around the state at annual track and field games

 

May 1, 2014...Athletes from Sullivan County and beyond converged on the Monticello High School track on Saturday, April 26, for the 26th-Annual Monticello Games, henceforth known as the Jessica Fingers Memorial Invitational.
The event and the track itself were renamed to honor the memory of alumna Jessica Fingers, a 2009 graduate and distance running star, who broke several cross-country and track and field school records and finished sixth in the state among female cross-country runners in her senior year.
Her tragic and untimely passing last spring at age 21 rocked the entire Monticello school community and left a void for many who knew and loved her. To honor her memory, a group of former teammates spearheaded the effort to change the name of the invitational to posthumously honor their friend, classmate and teammate.
Monticello Athletic Director Douglas Murphy and Jessica’s stepfather, Robert Bellamy, shepherded the idea from concept to reality, enlisting the approval of the Board of Education to rename the games and dedicate the track in her honor.
In tribute to the “embodiment of sportsmanship and teamwork” that Jessica brought to Monticello athletics, a noon-time ceremony was held at the school while the games continued in the background.
Her former track coach, Pete Wysochanski, has said that Jessica was more than raw talent, attributing her success to her hard work and dedication to reaching her full potential, both in the classroom and on the track.
According to Jessica’s parents, Bob and Athena Bellamy, the ceremony did more than honor Jessica – it allowed her spirit, her tenacity and her motivation to live on in the collective conscience of all Monticello Panthers.
As for the competition, the Panthers placed fourth overall in the men’s division and third overall in the women’s division. Star sprinter Terry Duncan had a tremendous day, taking first place in the 100, 200 and 400 meter races with respective times of 11.1, 22.4 and 51.8 seconds.
Lady Panthers Laura Doherty finished first in the 400 hurdles, and Camryn Johnson (3,000), Jillian McEneaney (steeplechase) and the 1600 relay team all took second-place honors in their respective events.