Class of 1983
Margo Maytham Muttilainen, Class of 1983, was graced with superior athletic ability, leadership and fierce competitive will that she utilized to help Green Wave girls’ basketball and track & field to memorable successes.
Margo transferred to New Milford High School from Massachusetts for her sophomore year and soon became an integral player on the Green Wave sports scene.
She began her sophomore season of basketball with the junior varsity but quickly was promoted to a varsity in need of young talent.
That corps of talent matured during Margo’s junior season as the Green Wave built a 14-5 regular season. She averaged eight points per game and brought playmaking skills and strong defense to the team effort, qualities sufficient to earn Margo all-WCC honorable mention recognition. During the Green Wave’s first state tournament appearance in three seasons, Margo scored 14 points to key a 48-47 first-round victory over Newtown.
The 1982-83 basketball season proved to be an historic one for the Green Wave. Margo and her teammates again posted a 14-5 regular season. Her court sense, passing skills, tenacious defense and clutch scoring were integral ingredients as the NMHS girls then claimed an historic WCC hardcourt title. Margo’s defense on the Panthers’ superb Ann Odoy was crucial as the Green Wave stunned seven-time defending champion Masuk, 60-59, in the WCC championship game.
Her selection as all-WCC first team at season’s end was ample evidence of the respect Margo had gained for her many contributions to the Green Wave’s overall 16-6 season.
The athletic acumen Margo had demonstrated within the team structure on the basketball court truly blossomed during her three seasons of individual excellence in track & field.
No matter the event she entered, Margo was a standout. She rose to the occasion countless times to win big races, anchor meet-deciding relays and, of most import, soar to heights in high jump well above the previous school, league and state records.
En route to a share of the WCC team title in her sophomore year, Margo sparked a crucial 69-58 victory over arch-rival Newtown by winning the high jump and 800, placing second to fellow AHOF inductee Donna Maruszak Roberts in the 200, and running a clutch anchor leg for the victorious 4 x 400 relay.
She then won the high jump and 800 in the WCC meet and capped the Green Wave’s day by anchoring a WCC record 4:14.1 clocking by the 4 x 400 quartet.
Margo achieved her singularly historic moment at the state ‘M’ meet when she soared over the high jump bar at 5’ 9¾” at the end of a tense duel with East Catholic’s Ann Temple. The performance earned a state gold medal and established a new state record.
For her efforts in the high jump, Margo was designated as the Connecticut Interscholastic Track Coaches’ “Track Athlete of the Year” and later named an All-American track athlete.
Margo’s junior and senior track & field seasons were highlighted by two more league championship banners as she consistently delivered wins in the 400, 800, high jump and as anchor for Green Wave relays.
She collected gold medals in the WCC meet in the 400 and high jump as a junior, but was unable to compete in the league meet due to injury in her senior year.
Margo excelled both seasons with high finishes in the state ‘M’ meet. A third-place high jump performance at 5’5” closed her high school athletic career at the girls’ inaugural state open meet.
The NMHS Class of ‘83’s ‘Most Athletic’ girl also found time during her final year as a high school student-athlete to compete with success in such major meets as the Penn Relays, the United States Junior Olympics and the Hartford Invitational.
In retrospect, Margo’s consummate athletic talents were vital as the Green Wave won three straight WCC track championships and a WCC basketball championship, a healthy haul of four league titles in her six varsity sports seasons.