WESTERLY — Westerly High's Helena Hall-Thomsen didn't take the usual path to stardom for the girls track team.
She didn't run in middle school and she wasn't a regular in local road races as a youngster.
"She was playing tennis, and I think she might have done gymnastics," Westerly coach Dave Federico said. "I don't think she was ever exposed to it when she was little.
"She came out her freshman year and figured out that she was pretty good at. I'm glad she did. At first she really didn't like distance running at all. But as time went on, she did cross country as a junior and found her better races were the longer ones."
Hall-Thomsen, who will run for Johns Hopkins University next year, earned All-New England, All-State, All-Class B and All-Southern Division honors this spring.
She was the state champion in the 400 and finished second in the 200 at the state meet. She anchored the 4x400 winning relay team. She was a big cog for the Bulldogs as they earned their third straight state title.
"She meant everything to the team," Federico said. "She was able to win the big meets, at the state level."
Hall-Thomsen, the 600 New England indoor champion, finished third in the 400 at New Englands this spring. The top six are All-New England.
Hall-Thomsen was first-team Class B in the 100, 200, 400 and 4x400 relay. She was first-team Southern Division in the 800, 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Senior Caelan Holdredge was a state champion in the 300 hurdles, earning first-team All-State. She holds the school record in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.
"Our all-time best hurdler in Westerly history," Federico said. "She trained well and at the big meets she performed. She definitely has a great personality and keeps everything loose in practice."
Holdredge was first-team Class B in the 300 hurdles and first-team Southern Division in the 4x100 relay. She was second team in the 300 hurdles and third team in the 100 hurdles in the division.
Megan Albamonti was second-team All-State in the javelin. She was first-team Class B and Southern Division in the event. Albamonti will throw for the University of Delaware next season.
She first tried the event last year as a junior.
"I am happy she came out and gave it a try," Federico said. "Now, she is going to college to throw."
Junior Anna Cozzolino was third-team All-State in the javelin and first team in the 4x400.
"This was really her breakout year. We have just been trying to find a way to utilize her abilities," Federico said. "The good thing about her is that she will try anything."
Cozzolino was Class B second team in the javelin and first team in the 4x400 relay.
She was Southern Division second team in the 400 and javelin, and first team in the 4x400.
Junior Sydney Federico, coach Federico's niece, was first-team All-State and Class B in the 4x400. She was Class B second team in the 200 and third team in the 400. She was All-Southern Division first team in the 4x100.
"She was our second-best sprinter," coach Federico said. "Most years she would have been one of the top sprinters in the state."
Federico also won the state coach of the year award again. Federico's teams have won eight state championships during his 20-year tenure. That is the most state titles for any Westerly sport, including boys basketball, which has seven.
The RIIL only recognizes one state champion in each sport. Teams that win divisional titles are not state champions, according to the league's rules and regulations.
Federico's grandfather, Jim Federico, was a coach for many of those state boys basketball championship teams.
"I don't really put any thought into that," Federico said. "Completely different era, completely difference scenario. The coaches vote for it, but the kids win the awards for the coaches."
Nina Cillino was first-team All-State and first team All Southern Division in the 4x400. She was first-team All-Division in the 4x100.
Jenna Burke was first-team Class B and first-team Southern Division in the 4x400.
Seniors Hedy Goodman, Abbey Keegan, Madison Lorello and Kata Cummings earned third-team All-Southern Division in the 4x800.
In addition to winning the state title, Westerly was third at the Southern Division meet and fourth at the Class B meet.