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Franklin’s Dumas: A Two-time All-American in Track

Sarah Dumas excelling in the hurdles at the New Balance Outdoor Championship at the University of Pennsylvania. She finished second in the pentathlon, becoming an All-American for the second time.Photo courtesy of Siddharth Chandra

By KEN HAMWEY, Staff Sports Writer

Sarah Dumas has been phenomenal in the three years she’s competed for Franklin High’s indoor and outdoor track teams, and there likely will be more championships, more records and added accolades when her interscholastic career concludes next June.

Sarah Dumas and her coach, Paul Trovato, who labels the track star as “the best competitor I’ve ever coached in the pentathlon and one of the best I’ve coached in the hurdles.’’


The 5-foot-8 Dumas has won 10 state titles, set six school records, has been named a high school All-American twice and was selected as a Hockomock League all-star (once indoors and twice outdoors). She also was the Hockomock League’s MVP as a junior.

“I can’t believe I’ve compiled all those achievements,’’ Dumas said. “It’s exciting, but also shocking to think about them. It’s important to be humble. I’m no better than anyone else. As for the year ahead, anything is possible. I achieved more than I thought I was capable of as a junior, so I’ll keep my hopes high as a senior.’’

The 17-year-old Dumas, who’s competed in nine indoor events and 11 outdoors, is no stranger to championships. 

As a freshman, she won the 100-meter hurdles in the Mass. State Track Coaches Association (MSTCA) freshman-sophomore outdoor meet. She amassed four state titles as a sophomore in MSTCA events — the 55-meter hurdles in the freshman-sophomore indoor meet; the 100-meter hurdles in the freshman-sophomore outdoor meet; the outdoor heptathlon and the outdoor 400-meter hurdles.

During her junior year, Dumas won two state championships indoors and three in the outdoor season. The indoor titles included the MIAA Division 1 55-meter hurdles and the MSTCA pentathlon in the Boston Holiday Challenge. Her outdoor state crowns are the MIAA Division 1 100-meter run, and at the Meet of Champions she won the 100-meter hurdles and the pentathlon.

The Franklin native earned All-American status in a meet she labels as her best. She finished fourth in the pentathlon at the New Balance National Championship in March.

“The best thing about that meet was that I had to overcome one of my worst long jumps,’’ Dumas said. “Assistant coach Brianna Cummings emphasized that I had three more chances to have a good day. Her words inspired me and I finished with two personal bests in the high jump and the 800-meter run.’’

When Dumas competed at the New Balance Outdoor Championship on June 17 at the University of Pennsylvania, she finished second in the pentathlon, enabling her to become an All-American for the second time. 

“I’m incredibly honored to be included in such a competitive field,’’ Dumas said. “I finished second to Tesaira Williams (Springfield Gardens High of New York), who is extremely talented.’’

The school records Dumas holds are the 55-meter indoor hurdles (8.43 seconds), the indoor pentathlon (3,275 points), the 400-meter outdoor hurdles (62.70 seconds), the outdoor pentathlon (3,518 points), the outdoor high jump (5-5), and the outdoor Heptathlon (3,879). 

“Sarah is the best competitor I’ve ever coached in the pentathlon and one of the best I’ve coached in the hurdles,’’ said coach Paul Trovato, who’s been at the helm of the girls’ indoor and outdoor track programs for 39 years. “Sarah’s strengths are a high track IQ and a strong work ethic,’’ said Trovato, “She’s also athletic, coachable and highly competitive. A student of the sport, she’s a fast learner and she holds herself to high standards. During the off-season, she works on her own strength and conditioning program. She does everything that’s needed to succeed.’’ 

Dumas’ two All-American designations are fabulous honors, but her top thrill in track happened at the Division 1 Championships in her junior year.

“I broke the school record in the 55-meter hurdles,’’ she noted. “The old record was 8.50 seconds, and I was timed in 8.48. Since then, I’ve run the event in 8.43 seconds. The original record was viewed as almost impossible to break, but I kept getting close.’’

Dumas believes that the winner in a track meet is who wants it the most. “I’ve explored why I want to win and it comes down to scoring points for my team, pleasing my parents and being eager to win for a coach who helps me to improve.’’ 

Dumas’ favorite event is the 400-meter hurdles, because she believes it offers an opportunity to improve and it tests her mental toughness.

“It sharpens your competitive edge, it’s a challenge, and it’s fun,’’ Dumas said. “Just finishing the event can make one proud. You can’t rely on stamina to win the 400 hurdles or the 800-meter run. You must be able to withstand the physical pain of competing. Mental toughness is the most important attribute for a track athlete.’’

Another key is preparation, and few can top Dumas’ readiness. “I always gather information on my opponents,’’ she said. “Knowing my opposition is a plus.’’

Dumas began her track career as a 13-year-old in Franklin’s youth program. “I loved it,’’ she said, “and I knew the hurdles would be my favorite event.’’ 

Goals are important for Dumas. She’s got three as she prepares for her senior year. “I want our team to win a Division 1 title,’’ she said. “And, I want to set a record in the 100-meter hurdles (her 14.37 time is .03 off the record) and I want to strive for improvement and success.’’

The personable Dumas is quick to credit teammate Rachel Leitch and Trovato. “Rachel is great promoting team spirit,’’ Dumas said. “She’s always helpful and she provides a tremendous emotional lift. Coach Trovato is an inspiring motivator. A good strategist, he gets us fully prepared to compete.’’

An honor-roll student, Dumas will run track in college, very likely on scholarship. Unsure of a venue, she plans on majoring in biological sciences. 

Dumas’ athletic philosophy focuses on “working hard, winning, reaching one’s potential and having fun.’’ And, valuable life lessons she’s learned from sports are “overcoming adversity, resiliency, leadership, teamwork, and how to set goals and build confidence.’’

Dumas, a triplet, whose sisters do not compete in sports, also developed confidence performing as fairy godmother in a school musical Cinderella. Franklin’s opponents have enough to worry about with this Dumas sister on the roster.  Sarah Dumas is  on her way to becoming a legendary competitor at Franklin High.