Every time Chelsea High girls track coach Mark Martineau set a goal for Stephanie Simon this season, the 5-foot-4-inch sophomore eclipsed it.
“I think Stephanie exceeded our expectations to the point that we don’t know what the expectations should be for Stephanie,” said Martineau, who has piloted the CHS track program’s resurgence and helped Simon develop in to its marquee performer.
Simon just completed an outdoor track season that was unprecedented in school history. She was the Commonwealth Athletic Conference MVP in the track and field events at the CAC Meet and the season-long honoree. She set six school records and won every event in which she competed, with the exception of one. Her older sister, Martine, an All-State performer heading to Mass. College of Art, edged her out one time in the triple jump.
Stephanie qualified for the Division 1 State Meet in six events (high jump, triple jump, long jump, 100 meters, 200 meters, and 100-meter hurdles). She entered three events in the Division 1 Meet and finished second in the triple jump, third in the high jump, and third in the 100-meter dash.
Competing in the New Balance Nationals at North Carolina A & T State University against the trop track athletes in the country, Simon placed 15th in the high jump and 27th in the triple jump.
Martineau believes Simon’s improvement has been striking and that her future is exceedingly bright.
“Stephanie has improved a ton from freshman to sophomore year, which leads us to believe that there is more room to grow,” said Martineau. “It’s hard to predict what her ceiling is.”
So who is this emerging superstar that is already drawing comparisons to Autumn Lopez, Denise Chappell, Kristin Rosa, Tiffany Moore, Katrina Hill, Nancy Pilcher, Laurie Taraskiewicz, Minerva Cruz, and Loreen Bradley – some of the greatest female athletes to wear the CHS uniform?
Stephanie is the 16-year-old daughter of Hubert and Mathilde Simon, who are of Haitian descent. Both parents played soccer in Haiti. Stephanie attended the Early Childhood Learning Center, the Berkowitz School and the Clark Avenue Middle School. In addition to an older sister, Martine, she has an older brother, Norbert, a graduate of CHS and UMass/Boston and a former CHS track athlete, and a younger brother, Emmanuel, who will be a freshman at CHS.
What is Stephanie Simon’s best track event?
“The high jump is my favorite event, but my best event is the triple jump,” she said.
Simon is already raising the bar for next season.
“My goal for the high jump is to jump 5-6 by the end of indoor season and 5-8 in the outdoor season. For the triple jump, I want to be able to jump 38 feet consistently and in the 100 meters, I want to be in the high, 11-seconds. And we’re going to try out the 400 meters next year,” she said confidently.
She views her sister, Martine, as a role model and a motivating influence in her track career.
“Martine taught me in my freshman year the do’s and don’ts and I appreciate all that she has done for me,” said Stephanie.
The MVC (Most Valuable Coach) in her athletic career is Martineau, without a doubt. Martineau, however, is stepping down as coach to be the Grade 9 assistant principal at CHS.
“Coach Martineau has been an incredible mentor who has brought out all the excellence in me and I’m definitely going to miss him as my coach,” said Stephanie, with emotion in her voice. She added that she was also appreciative of CHS Athletic Director Amanda Alpert’s support and encouragement.
College coaches are becoming aware of Stephanie Simon’s record-breaking accomplishments. A good student, Simon is looking at such prestigious institutions as Amherst College, Smith College, and Tufts University.
“I’m only a sophomore and I believe I can get better,” said Stephanie.