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Clocking in the Best

By Brianna Sinclair
On February 15, 2019

We’re back with the first issue in 2019 of Clocking in the Best, the spot light on athletes and their performances. Believe it or not, our winter sports are already starting to wrap up and we prepare for spring to take over in full force. Before March rolls around and bats start swinging, outdoor tracks brushed off and cleats hitting the grass, we visit indoor track and women’s ice hockey to meet Sam Brunnette and Caitlin Connor.


Sam Brunnette comes from Newport Center Vermont and is wrapping up his senior year at Plymouth State. Brunnette is an Environmental Science and Policy major but also juggles being a tri-athlete; Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track. You’ll find him beating his personal records at least twice a season and never ceases to amaze us. In the last three weeks alone, he’s made Little East Conference track athlete of the week after becoming the champion at NCAA division three for the 3000-meter run. He also holds the second fastest time in the 3000, set on February 9th, a time of 8:16:84. He’s made back to back trip to Nationals in Alabama and continues to set more records as a Panther. Get to know more about Sam Brunnette:

What made you get into track?

“One night during the summer between 8th and 9th grade my mom told me about a summer track program that was happening the next day. My good friend was part of it and his mom ran it, so I said yes and went there the next day. The rest is history.”

Why did you choose Plymouth State?

“I was badly undecided major wise, and I liked the undeclared program here as it gave me time to think about what I wanted to do with myself. Athletics-wise it wasana easy choice. Brand new track, great area to run in, and I could sense Coach Ostler had the best intentions with training me.”

How has running track in college been for you?

“It has done wonders for me. Practice is the highlight of my day usually and being there doing something I love while doing it with my teammates who are my closest friends is just a great time.”

What is your favorite thing about Plymouth?

“All the friends I have made here.”

What is your favorite thing about track?

“All the different events there are available to do. I've almost done everything between the 5k and the 400m hurdles.”

What is your favorite memory in your track career?

“Going to Indoor Nationals last year with my teammate Warren.”

What meet do you look forward to attending and why?

“I look forward in both Indoor and Outdoor Conference Championships because that is the meet where the whole team is looking forward to compete at and give it their all in their own events and also cheering on each other.”

Who is someone you admire/look up to?

“Finding one person I look up to is tough because I have more of a collection of people I look up to. But if I had to choose one it would be Ben True, a professional runner who grew up in Maine and lives in New Hampshire.”

What are three things you'd take on a desert island?

“Emergency Positioning Device, water and rations.”

What is your dream job?

“Head Coach at a College.”

Where do you think you'll be in 5 years?

“I don't even know where I'm going be after I graduated in May but if I have to guess either in New England somewhere that is not CT or RI, or I'd be out west in Utah.”



Caitlin Connor is a New Hampshire resident through and through, living in Bow when she isn’t as Plymouth. The junior majors in psychology but then hits the ice in her number 12 jersey to play front for our women’s ice hockey team. Connor has been playing for the Panthers heavily since her freshman year, coming out with two goals and ten assists in the 25 games she played. She notched another two goals under her belt and so far this season, has put one into the net. Her lone goal was scored just this past weekend against Suffolk, that they ended up winning 3-2. Get to know more about Caitlin Connor:

What made you get into hockey?

“When I was in Kindergarten, one of the kids in my class brought a trophy in for show and tell, and I really wanted a trophy too, so I told my parents I wanted to play hockey. They signed me up for a learn to skate program and I’ve been playing ever since.”

Why did you choose Plymouth State?

“When I first visited campus, it felt like I belonged here. I basically fell in love at first sight. The people, the location, and the tight-knit community made the decision to come here an easy one.”

How has playing hockey in college been for you?

“For the most part, it has been a great experience, but I also have faced some challenges. Over the past two seasons I have dealt with a couple of concussions which affected not only my ability to play hockey but also with academics. Besides the injuries, I have enjoyed playing the sport I love every day and being a part of an awesome group of girls.”

What is your favorite thing about Plymouth? 

“The friends I have made over the past few years and the tight-knit community.”

What is your favorite thing about hockey? 

“Being a part of a team. I love the camaraderie between all the girls on the team. We get to grow together, compete together, and have fun together all while playing the sport we love.”

What is your favorite memory in your hockey career?

“I would say last year when we beat UNE in overtime in the quarterfinals last year. It was the first time our program had home ice advantage for playoffs, so it was pretty special.”

What team do you look forward to play against and why?

“Either Castleton or Norwich. Castleton because we always match up pretty evenly with them, so each game is very competitive. Norwich because they are the defending national champs, so we always have to play our best hockey to try to beat them (hasn’t happened yet but it’s going to happen soon).”

Who is someone you admire/look up to?

“Both my parents, because they are such compassionate and hardworking people who have supported me and given me nothing but unconditional love over the years.”

What are three things you’d take on a desert island?

“Sunscreen, a gallon of water, and a friend.”

What is you dream job? 

“A child and adolescent psychiatric nurse.”

Where do you think you’ll be in 5 years?

“Working as a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse at a hospital somewhere in New England. Hopefully I will have my own place with someone I love. I will 100% have a dog in 5 years, and maybe a cat.”

Caitlin and her team will be travelling to Castleton University this Saturday for a quarterfinal game in NEHC. The game is set for 3 p.m.

Sam has a home meet this Saturday as well for the LEC Championships. Meets are set to start for 11 a.m.

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