MHS indoor track teams open season with convincing wins over rival

Joe McConnell | + posts

The Marblehead boys and girls indoor track team could not have asked for a better start to the season after beating rival Swampscott last week at the new Track at New Balance facility in Allston. The girls won going away, 75-11, while the boys took care of their Big Blue counterparts, 53-33.

“Zachariah Pike, David Alpert, Henrik Adams, Sienna Velandry, Emma St. George and Abbie Goodwin endured a tough day, when the JV 1,000-meter run was shifted twice with no guarantees to run, but Zach, David, Henrik, Sienna, Emma and Abbie volunteered to run the 4-by-400 relay, and they all put together solid races,” said coach Nolan Raimo. “It’s frustrating the timing of the meet worked out the way it did, but the character they displayed was phenomenal. There were no complaints, and there was a ton of effort among this group.”

From left, Marblehead High School girls indoor track senior captain Claire Davis, senior captain Cate Trautman, sophomore Ava Machado and senior captain Devin Whalen are all smiles after they and their teammates defeated rival Swampscott to open up the season last week at the new Track at New Balance facility in Allston. (Courtesy photo/Cat Piper)

Raimo added, “I also appreciated Le’Daisha Williams, Grace Mortenson and Maya Mahoney for stepping back from the relay race, so their teammates could run on very short notice. It’s stuff like this that makes us a special team, and although it may seem like a little gesture, it makes a big difference in the long run.”

55-meter girls hurdles 

Devin Whalen (9.48) is on a mission this season, according to Raimo, and it started in the opener with a first-place finish. Claire Davis (second, 10.21) and Ana Vina de Garnica (10.89) followed her across the finish line. 

“The hurdles take a month, if not more, to get back into the flow of the event,” Raimo said. “Ana is a foreign exchange student from Spain. She is an incredible athlete, and after sprints one day she came to do the hurdles, and was ripping through them like a seasoned veteran. This hurdling group, including Elise Burchfield, are undoubtedly the strongest in the conference.”

55-meter boys hurdles

Alex Hersey led the way for Marblehead with a .03 personal best over his time last year (8.78). He was followed by Errol Apostolopoulos (second, 9.09) and Marc Grazado (fifth, 10.02). 

“Marc (Grazado) posted a half-second personal best against Swampscott,” Raimo said. “It should be an exciting battle for best hurdler in the conference between Errol, Alex, Leo Sheriff (Beverly) and Patrick Senfuma (Peabody).”

Girls 55-meters 

Ava Machado (7.86) captured first, followed by Sadie Halpern (second, 8.07) and Gabby Hendy (third, 8.16). 

“Ava was the top 300 NEC freshman last year, but after a terrific spring campaign in the 100 she’s now focusing on the shorter sprints. Ava’s 7.87 places her seventh in the record books,” said Raimo. “Freshman Sadie Halpern also recorded a top-10 time for the record books. To have three of the top seven places in the dash occupied by freshmen and sophomores is unheard of in track.

“Rachel Delisle, who ran under the alias of Rachael Albert, finished third overall in the JV dash out of 67 competitors, while beating pretty much half the conference’s varsity runners,” added the veteran Marblehead mentor. 

Boys 55-meters 

Harrison Curtis finished second with a fast time of 7.03, followed by Thomas Carlson (third, 7.17) and Matt Mahan (fifth, 7.33). 

“Curtis has had an extraordinarily successful early start to the season from a both training and leadership perspective,” said Raimo. “He has worked with a lot of our newer sprinters by helping them understand the event and training methods. Tommy Carlson also ran the fastest sophomore time across the conference.”

Raimo added, “Jake Bobowski and Riley Schmitt ran quality first races with times of 7.62 and 7.64, respectively.” 

Girls 300

Cate Trautman decided to jump up to the 300 this indoor season, and she unsurprisingly found success, coming out on top with a time of 45.15. Le’Daisha Williams (second, 46.63) and Morgan Zion (third, 48.18) completed the sweep. 

“Cate finished second and Le’Daisha fourth overall across the entire conference,” said Raimo, “and the Marblehead JV 300-meter girls also had quite the showing, seizing first, fourth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 14th, 15th and 21st place out of 40 participants. Cora Gerson and Isabel Mortensen led the way with blazing fast sub-50 times of 48.22 and 49.71 in their first 300 ever.”

Marblehead High School girls indoor track senior captain Cate Trautman is shown running and winning the 300 against Swampscott last week at the new Track at New Balance facility in Allston. (Courtesy photo/Cat Piper)

Boys 300

Sebastian Pantzer ran away from the field with a first-place finish and a great opening time of 39.45. He was followed by Jack Burke (third, 42.86) and Slater Johnson (fourth, 43.67). 

“Sebby’s indoor season was cut short last year due to an injury, but now he came out ready to run without fear,” said Raimo. “Sebby is a bit of a track bookworm. He presents new ideas seemingly every week about how to drill or think about form, while Jack and Slater have diligently worked hard so far this season, and their efforts have paid off after running awesome races as first-time participants in this indoor event. 

“Graham Tips was fired out of a cannon to run an impressive 42.44 to take fourth overall in the JV race,” added Raimo. 

Girls 600 

Marblehead took first and second thanks to the efforts of Grace Mortenson (1:49.12) and Sofia Grubor (2:04.18). 

“The 600 is a very challenging race to pace, so seeing these two compete so successfully in their first try is very encouraging,” said coach William Herlihy. “For perspective, Grace’s 1:49.12 would have put her in sixth place during the NEC Championship Meet last year.”

Boys 600

Ryan Thompson is a man on a mission, and he couldn’t ask for a better start,” said Herlihy. “He won the race in a very fast 1:27.87 time after battling a speedy Gloucester runner during the tri-meet. His time would have won the NEC championship last year. 

“Event newcomers Xavier Grazado (1:42.81) and Sean Heenan (1:52.43) finished third and fourth, respectively, and really stepped up when challenged while running this difficult race,” added Herlihy.

Marblehead High School boys indoor track senior captain Ryan Thompson is shown running and winning the 600 against Swampscott last week at the new Track at New Balance facility in Allston. (Courtesy photo/Cat Piper)

Girls 1,000

Veteran leaders Maya Mahoney (3:50.84) and Piper Morgan (3:54, a four-second personal best) topped the ticket, with Savannah Caruso (4:00.52) coming in fourth, just under two seconds behind the third-place finisher. 

“This is a tough event that has higher speed demands than one might think,” said Herlihy, “but expect those times to keep dropping throughout the season with this crew.”

Boys 1,000

Gabe Bayramian ran a solid race, winning it in 2:58.55. Nicholas Regnault (3:15.40, a two-second personal best) then ended up third, and Peter Sullivan (3:18.62, personal best) fourth to round out the top three Marblehead runners.

Girls mile

The Marblehead girls swept the mile with solid performances from Ada Merrigan (16:15.99, first), Cat Piper (6:23.97, second) and Maren Potter (6:31.04, third). “Cat was only three seconds shy of a personal best, which is a great sign for so early on in the season,” said Herlihy. 

Boys mile

“Ryan Blestowe got off to a fast start coming through with a win in 5:10.69, only five seconds short of his personal best, which is a sign of good things to come for him this season,” said Herlihy. 

Jonah Potach (5:44.11) was second to pick up three more points for his teammates.

Girls two-mile

Newcomer Angie Fischer finished second (14:30.36), which is a significant drop from her two-mile split of 16:00 in the Clipper Relays this past fall. Anne Simcoe took third (14:49.82), an 80-second drop from her Clipper time. Martha Heffernan (14:56.91) accounted for fourth place, a 20-seconds improvement also from that Clipper event.

Boys two-mile 

Isaac Gross took first, but more impressively for him he was able to drop 12 seconds off his previous best time, while also breaking the 10-minute mark with a jaw dropping 9:57.48, while running alone the whole race.

“Only a handful of Marblehead runners have ever reached this milestone,” said Herlihy.

Will Cruikshank picked up a third-place finish (11:24.62), while shaving 45 seconds off his cross-country 2-mile trial time. Will Cronin finished fourth in 12:21.20, a 30-second improvement from his cross-country trial time.

Marblehead High School boys indoor track junior Will Cronin, freshman Will Cruikshank and senior Isaac Gross, from left, are shown at the starting line to begin the two-mile event against Swampscott last week at the new Track at New Balance facility in Allston. Gross ended up winning the two-mile with a blazing fast time of under 10 minutes. (Courtesy photo/Cat Piper)

Girls high jump

Keira Sweetnam finished first after leaping 4-10, followed by Ava Machado (second, 4-8) and Campbell Crane (third, 4-6).

“In highly technical events such as the high jump, it takes a few weeks to get in the rhythm, and the success of these three this early is a great sign,” said Raimo. “Campbell had a 2-inch personal best jump that she established last year in her first competition.”

Boys high jump 

Errol Apostolopoulos led the way for Marblehead after clearing 5-6. He was followed by Graham Tips (second, 5-4).

“Errol had an awesome final attempt at 5-8, and I look forward to seeing him jump throughout the season,” Raimo said. “Graham cleared 5-6 a few times at practice last week, but attempting 5-6 after immediately running the 300 spelled doom.” 

Girls shot put 

Rachael Albert finished first with a throw of 26-4, and was followed by Lillian Reddy (third, 23-10) and Hannah O’Brien (sixth, 18-11). Lillian Reddy had the farthest throw in the conference last week for a freshman in her first meet. 

“This is coach Plunkett’s first season coaching indoors, and I look forward to seeing the progress of the whole throwing squad during the next three months,” said Raimo. 

Boys shot put 

Riley Schmitt finished third with a throw of 37-6, and was followed by Alex Hersey (fourth, 35-6), Anthony Vizy (28-0) and Matthew Mahan (25-11). “Throwers essentially live in the weightroom. They are always talking about and thinking of new ways to improve their power. I’ve learned quite a bit from them,” said Raimo. 

Girls long jump

This was not a scored event—essentially it was just for practice— but Whelan, Davis and Vina de Garnica still finished fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively across the conference with jumps of 13-11, 13-10 and 13-7.

“For not having any practice or any way to practice in our fieldhouse, this was a very successful day,” said Raimo. 

Boys long jump

Will Cruikshank finished eighth overall with a leap of 15-1, and Claduio Gusmao Gonzalez was 10th with a jump of 14-7.

“As mentioned previously for the girl jumpers, they had no way to really practice this event beforehand, and so to stick a few good jumps in is great preparation for later on in the indoor season and for the outdoor track season, as well,” said Raimo.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: