http://www.masslive.com/sports/index.ss ... a_bea.html
Pole vault champion Brenna Bean looking to clear biggest challenge of young life
Published: Friday, September 17, 2010, 11:26 AM Updated: Friday, September 17, 2010, 11:39 AM
Russ Held, The Republican
Brenna Bean has never been afraid of a challenge.
And good thing. She now faces the toughest of her life.
The 18-year-old Whately resident is recovering from serious injuries following an automobile accident late last month. The two-time sectional pole vault champion and June graduate of Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield sustained serious internal injuries and a spinal cord injury that has affected feeling in her legs.
“She is a fierce competitor ... she has always been willing to put the time in, the commitment to get better at what she’s doing,” Frontier’s athletic director Marty Sanderson said.
“She is very spirited, a real pleasant kid off the field but very, very determined when she is competing.” Sanderson said.
Bean was a two-time first-team All-Scholastic choice of The Republican, honoring her as one of the region’s top track and field athletes.
She won back-to-back titles in the pole vault at the All-Western Massachusetts Championships, and she finished in 10th place at the All-State Championships in June.
“She is exactly the type of person you want to compete against,” said Ludlow’s Taylor Robitaille, who finished second to Bean at All-Western Mass. “She’d congratulate you every time, even if she wasn’t having a good day. Her parents were always there supporting her. It was fun to be around her.”
All three of Bean’s top finishes took place at Westfield State College, where she is enrolled for the first semester of her freshman year.
Bean was transferred Monday from Baystate Medical Center in Springfield to the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. The rehabilitation process is expected to be extensive and lengthy.
“Her spirits have been great, she’s making us laugh,” family friend Chris White of South Deerfield said.
A fund has been established to help cover medical expenses during her rehabilitation. Donations to the Brenna Bean Fund can be made at any branch of People’s United Bank, in care of Kathy Guy.
Scheduled fund-raisers include a benefit concert/dance, scheduled for Oct. 16 at the Yankee Candle fitness center, and a spaghetti supper on Nov. 6 at the Polish American Citizens Club in South Deerfield.