Magicians’ track future looks bright after solid performances at NEC Meet 

“It was an extraordinary performance.”

That was coach Nolan Raimo’s assessment after Thomas Carlson claimed first place in both the 55-meter trials (7.19) and finals (6.99) at the annual NEC Freshman-Sophomore Meet on Dec. 30, while Jacob Bobowski ended up fifth in the finals with a time of 7.39.

“There was about a 45-minute gap between the start of the girls dash finals and the boys dash finals, and for Tommy and Jake to stay warm and still run quality finals is noteworthy,” Raimo added. 

Graydon Waller (7.66, 12th), Aidan Vizy (7.81, 17th) and Sam Fidler (7.96, 24th) also participated in the 55.

Ava Machado, whom Raimo said has already established a reputation as a top sprinter in the conference, ran a remarkable 7.89 to win the girls trial and then continued to the finals to run the third fastest time in school history (7.71), a mere .05 shy of the school record.

MHS freshman Graham Tips runs the 300 against Swampscott at the New Balance facility in Allston. COURTESY PHOTO/CAT PIPER

She was followed closely by Sadie Halpern (7.84, personal best), who took second in a photo finish that also tied her for sixth all-time as a Marblehead freshman. Liv Carlson ran a fine race in the trials to finish 11th overall with a time of 8.69.

In the boys 55-meter hurdles, Marc Grazado was second with a time of 9.90.

“Marc has made huge improvements over the past year in this event, and I’m confident that much more success lies ahead for him,” Raimo said. 

Quinn Scheib and Elian Colon competed in the hurdles with times of 11.54 and 12.37, respectively.

“Quinn and Elian are both freshmen with very limited experience on higher hurdles (6 inches higher than in middle school),” Raimo said. “Plus, there are only a handful of hurdle-specific practices. But nonetheless, they are doing very well,” Raimo said. 

In the girls 55-meter hurdles, Elise Burchfield was seeded as the favorite and lived up to expectations, winning the event going away. Her time of 10.19 was nearly a half-second faster than the runner-up.

“Surprisingly, it’s difficult to show up to a meet with everyone expecting you to win, but Elise showed no worries,” said Raimo. 

In the boys 300, Seamus Crowley, a veteran of the 55-meter dash, moved up to the longer distance with great success, finishing fourth overall with a time of 42.96.

MHS sophomore Sean Heenan runs the 600 against Swampscott. COURTESY PHOTO/CAT PIPER

“The 300 is an odd distance between the traditional 200 and 400, which often takes time to familiarize oneself to it, but yet Seamus was able to run a cool and composed race,” Raimo said.

He was followed by Claudio Gusmao-Gonzalez (44.92) and Sean O’Grady (50.02).

In the girls 300, there was a packed podium of Marblehead runners. Cora Gerson finished third with a time of 48.38; Charlie Roszell (48.64) was fourth; Morgan Zion (49.37) accounted for fifth; and Isabelle Mortenson (52.19) fell just shy of the podium with a ninth-place finish.

“All four of these girls put in tons and tons of effort at practice, and to see the results reflecting that is awesome,” said Raimo. 

In the girls 600, Juliet Burchfield (1:58.30, an 8-second personal best) ended up fifth in what may have been the most stacked event of the meet, according to Raimo, with all six scorers finishing under two minutes.

“She also had to dig deep to hold off a late challenge from a Beverly runner,” he added. 

In the boys 600, Henrik Adams (1:47.93) was sixth overall to account for one point that salvaged the event for his teammates.

“It was his first 600, and he ran it well,” Raimo said. 

In the boys 1,000, David Alpert scored two points for the team, while finishing fifth in 3:27.14. Zach Pike (3:31.77) had a solid finish to end up eighth. Colin Burke (3:36.51, a 10-second personal best) and Sam Tanger (3:57.08, a 6-second personal best) rounded out the Marblehead runners in this event, ending up 12th and 17th, respectively.

In the girls mile, Maren Potter (6:17.48, a 2.5-second personal best) and Angie Fischer (6:28.98) picked up 10 points for the team with third- and fourth-place finishes.

“Maren had an awesome duel with a Peabody runner throughout the entire second half of the race before getting edged out in the final straightaway by 0.21 seconds,” said Raimo. “Angie also had a strong closing lap, which ended up being the difference maker between fourth and fifth place, separated only by four seconds.” 

Abbie Goodwin (7:28.53) and Emma St. George (7:53.64) ran well, while making their mile debuts to finish 10th and 12th, respectively.

In the boys mile, Will Cruikshank (5:03.46, a 7.3 second personal best) stuck to the game plan during his race and got rewarded for it by finishing third overall while also getting so close to the 5-minute mark. Nate Assa (5:14, a 2-second personal best) also ran a fine race to come in fifth, as he continues to cut his time down.

In the boys 2-mile, Jonah Potach (11:54) crossed the finish line in fourth place.

“Despite being the only Marblehead runner in the 2-mile, Jonah approached the race with excitement and enthusiasm,” Raimo said. “He has been consistent this year at this distance, and I know he has a breakthrough race coming in the next couple of weeks.”

In the boys long jump, Carlson was third with a leap of 17-8.5 in what Raimo believes was the most consistent performance he has ever seen by any jumper. “Out of six jumps, I believe five were within six inches of his best jump,” the veteran coach added. 

Elian Cole was fifth with a jump of 16-9.5. Claudio Gusmao-Gonzalez was right behind him in sixth place with a leap of 16-5.4. “With little to no practice, all the Marblehead boys jumpers put together high quality attempts,” Raimo said.  

In the girls long jump, Roszell flew to a second place finish with a leap of 15-8, which is a top three jump in Marblehead indoor track history. “The pit was a jumper’s pit, and Charlie took full advantage with a high-speed runway that resulted in a huge personal best,” said Raimo. 

In the girls high jump, Machado (4-10) and Burchfield (4-8) built upon already remarkably successful days with a second and third place finish. “Ava and Elise both joined the high jump squad this season because they are both exceptional athletes. And with the structure of one running event and one field event for all dual meets, both are thriving and aiding the team with this additional event,” said Raimo. 

In the boys shotput, Dylan Gilmore captured sixth place with a new personal best throw of 28-8, and he was followed closely by Vizy with a throw of 27-4. Graydon Waller was 10th with a throw of 25-3.75. “The foundation this throwing group is building is incredible, and I’m excited to see their continued progress,” said Raimo. 

“Lillian Reddy is progressing this season unlike no other thrower I’ve witnessed in my track or coaching career,” said Raimo after the girls shotput event. “She finished third in this meet with a personal best throw of 28-7, which I’ve heard from a few folks was undermeasured. This is a three-foot personal best for her. The shotput is a remarkably technical event, and Lillian’s ascent is almost unbelievable.” 

Hannah O’Brien was 11th overall with a throw of 21-6. 

In the 4 by 200 boys relay, Marblehead had two relay teams ready to go. The first team that won the event consisted of Crowley, Vizy, Bobowski and Carlson. “They fended off Peabody to win the event,” said Raimo. “Tommy split a 26 in the final leg to solidify the victory after quality legs by Seamus, Aidan and Jake. 

The second team consisted of Cole Goodwin, Elian Colon, Quinn Scheib and Ethan Horgan, and they put together a quality race without any training with handoffs,” added Raimo. 

Machado, Halpern, Liv Carlson, and Elise Burchfield won the girls 4 by 200 relay with a time of 2:01.15, which on a 155-meter flat track is blazing fast. A flat track without a bank running 40-meter sharp turns is incredibly difficult,” said the coach. 

In the 4 by 400, Waller, Gusmao-Gonzalez, Grazado and Cruikshank ran good legs to finish fourth overall with a time of 4:15.4. The team’s second quartet, consisting of O’Grady, Assa, Colin Burke and Henrik Adams, finished with a time of 4:45.

The girls 4 by 400 relay consisted of Morgan Zion, Roszell, Mortenson and Juliet Burchfield, and they were third overall with a great time of 4:45.42.

Magicians wipe out Winthrop 

The Marblehead High boys and girls indoor track teams ended the 2022 portion of their regular season with convincing wins over visiting Northeastern Conference rival Winthrop on Dec. 29 by scores of 50-6 and 66-5, respectively.

Keira Sweetnam (5-0), Ava Machado (4-6) and Elise Burchfield (4-6) swept the high jump competition. Rachael Albert (25-8.5), Lillian Reddy (25-6.75) and Hannah O’Brien (21-1) earned nine more points for their teammates in the shotput. 

Devin Whalen (9.60) and Elise Burchfield (10.2) topped the ticket in the 50-yard hurdles. Machado (7.7) and Sadie Halpern (7.8) did the same in the 50. Charlotte Platt-Miller (49.2) and Sweetnam (50.5) maintained the trend in the 300, as did Grace Mortensen (1:57) and Sofia Grubor (2:05.4) in the 600. Maya Mahoney (3:48.7) and Sienna Velandry (3:53.8) then continued to follow a similar script in the 1,000.

MHS senior Anne Simcoe competes in the 2-mile with classmate Martha Heffernan against Swampscott. COURTESY PHOTO/CAT PIPER

Kawinthida Merrigan (6:29.1) and Piper Morgan (6:36.6) were the top two milers against the Vikings. 

In the boys meet, Marblehead’s Rider Smith (5-8) went to the head of the class in the high jump versus Winthrop. 

In the shotput, the Magicians took both first and third place to account for six more points. Alexander Hersey (33-4.5) captured the top spot, while Dylan Gilmore (28-8.25) came in third. Anthony Vizy (28-5) was fourth.

Hersey (8.9) came right back to secure first in the 50-yard hurdles. Errol Apostolopoulos (9.4) then ended up second, and Marc Grazado (9.8) third to complete the sweep.

Thomas Carlson (7.2) bested the entire field in the 50. Jacob Bobowski (7.4) came in third to secure another point for his teammates. 

Jack Burke (42.8) and Aidan Vizy (43.1) finished first and second in the 300. Sebastian Pantzer (1:35.4) and Gabriel Bayramian (1:35.5) experienced similar results in the 600. Isaac Gross (5:08.7) and Ryan Blestowe (5:18) were the top two milers. 

Joe McConnell | + posts

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