Senior Williamson Warrior track and field athlete Charly Slusser capped off her career in 2021 with one of the most memorable seasons for any area athlete.
Slusser claimed a silver medal in States for high jump and set a school record for long jump and for her dominant season she has been named the Tioga Publishing Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“It feels really great,” Slusser said of receiving the award. “I put everything into this year and I really wanted to go out and get to states and beat my PR’s because I missed last season.”
Slusser more than made up for her missed 2020 season in her senior year, as she completely shattered expectations.
Slusser was one of the premier jumpers in not only the District, but the entire state, and despite not making the cut for states in long jump, had some impressive marks throughout the year, where she claimed a new school record with a jump of 16-feet and 11-inches at the Northern Tier League Meet.
“It was a bit heartbreaking because I wanted to go to States for long and high jump,” Slusser said. “It just didn’t turn out for me, everything was really rushed so my long jump didn’t go quite as well at Districts.”
Despite the disappointment in the long jump at Districts, she delivered in her best event, the high jump.
She jumped 5’4” in Districts and improved on that mark at States where she finished with a Silver Medal with a jump of 5’6” to put an exclamation point on one of the best careers in Williamson track and field history.
“For me, personally, in Williamson it was amazing to see,” Williamson Coach Jason Hungerford said. “We haven’t had a kid do that well since like the mid-90’s maybe, so it’s a huge deal.”
Hungerford also spoke of how the dedication in the offseason and during her free time as well as her being able to improve her mental standpoint when it came to competing was what put her over the top during her senior year.
The biggest catalyst to Slusser’s success was her willingness to put in the work when no one was looking.
With not having the facilities to practice her craft on their home track, she was willing to spend countless hours traveling to Mansfield, Ithaca or wherever she could to try and get reps in and improve.
“Charly has one of the most outstanding work-ethics of anyone i’ve ever coached,” Hungerford said. “Her dad would take her to Mansfield or Ithaca and jump or work out or do hill repeats and then still come to school and do the regular practices with everyone else. It really showed a lot of other athletes on the team what it takes to get to that level.”
With her career at Williamson at a close, the coaching staff hopes that her example and legacy she has left behind will be a turning point for the program moving forward.
Slusser also was very appreciative of all of the coaches and family members who put in the time to help her succeed.
“Coach Hungerford and Coach Dexter definitely did a lot for me,” Slusser said. “Hungerford has been there for me since freshman year and he was there for soccer and track but he’s been like my emotional support buddy because I get into my head a lot, he’s always been there to help me stay confident, Dexter is just very laid back but always has done whatever I needed.”
“Besides them, I would have to say my dad. My dad’s not an official coach, but he’s taken me to all of the tracks and he’s taken me to all the extra meets in the summer and winter and helped me get better,” Slusser said. “He helped me lift at home and run at home, so he has been a person who has helped me get where I am today.”