Marblehead tracksters use state Small Schools Meet to prep for postseason

Joe McConnell | + posts

At the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Invitational Small Schools Meet at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Roxbury on Jan. 28, members of Marblehead coach Nolan Raimo’s boys and girls squads measured their individual skills against their Division 3-5 peers from across the state. 

“It was an awesome meet for so many,” Raimo said. “It was essentially an all-state championship meet against half of the state, which means many placings should be higher at the Division 3 state meet (on Feb. 19).”

Girls 55-meter hurdles

Devin Whalen finished fourth with a new season best time of 9.18 in the finals after a 9.29 preliminary time. Claire Davis was 10th with a time of 9.54. Elise Burchfield ended up 30th with a time of 10.15.

Girls 55-meter dash 

Cate Trautman broke the school record in the dash with a final time of 7.653. She ended up 10th overall. Ava Machado was close behind in 14th place with a time of 7.73, followed by Sadie Halpern (7.86) 32nd.

Marblehead girls indoor track sophomore sprinter Ava Machado participates in the 55-meter dash during a recent meet at the Track at New Balance facility in Brighton. COURTESY PHOTO / CAT PIPER

“It was a very fast field this year, with only .04 separating the fourth and 10th place finishers in the dash,” Raimo said. “It was unfortunate that Cate and Ava missed the finals with impressive times, but they’ll have another chance at the NEC Championship Meet.”

Boys 55-meter dash 

Harrison Curtis led the way in the dash for his Marblehead teammates with a 12th place finish after securing a new personal best time of 6.94 that officially qualified him for the state championship meet. He was followed by Thomas Carlson (29th, 7.03) and Jacob Bobowski (62nd, 7.23).

Girls shot put

Lillian Reddy continued her incredible rookie campaign with a throw of 29-10.25, finishing 19th overall.

“This throw positions Lillian fifth all-time in indoor shot put throws at MHS,” Raimo said. “The shot put and dash are often dominated by juniors and seniors due to their sheer power, but yet Lillian was still able to put together an awesome season as a freshman.” 

Rachael Albert continued to work on her spin, while being unable to throw the extraordinarily difficult minimum qualifying distance of 28 feet, according to Raimo.

Girls long jump

Claire Davis finished 22nd with a leap of 15-1.5.

“Claire’s consistency this season in this event is spectacular, considering we are not able to practice jumping at our track,” Raimo said. “Running 80-plus feet to jump off a 10-inch board at top end speed daily is simply unimaginable, but yet Claire continues to impress with 15-plus-foot jumps.” 

Boys long jump 

Errol Apostolopoulos finished 23rd with a leap of 17-7.25.

“Errol was alternating between the high jump and long jump in a very short time frame,” Raimo said. “It was a job well done, considering the circumstances.”

Girls high jump

Keira Sweetnam finished second with a clearance of 5-0.

“Keira had two well-executed jumps at 5-2 and narrowly missed first after the winning jumper cleared 5-2 on her final jump,” Raimo reported.

Boys high jump 

Apostolopoulos finished 18th with a leap of 5-6.

“Errol is a jack-of-all-trades, competing in three of the most technical events in track (hurdles, long jump and high jump), and his solid performances at the meet are testaments to his dedication to the sport and the team,” said the coach. 

Boys mile

Isaac Gross (4:35.75, seventh) switched from his usual two-mile to run the open mile. He set the pace early and ran a very impressive time. He had a terrific season and will now look to continue his unbeaten two-mile streak at the NEC Championship Meet, according to the coach. 

Girls 600

Grace Mortensen finished 29th in 1:49.18, which matches her best time of the season, said coach William Herlihy.

“Grace will now face a very competitive field at the NEC Championships,” the coach added.

Boys 1,000

Ryan Thompson had his best race of the season and one of the best of his career to come in third after leading throughout the race.

His time of 2:36.61 was a two-second personal best, which puts him third on the all-time MHS list.

“Ryan has had tremendous success in the 1,000 this season, but he will be switching back to the 600 for the remainder of the season as he looks to break the school record of 1:24.69,” Herlihy said. 

Girls 300

The momentum from this event started in the last meet at The Track at New Balance with huge personal bests from Cate Trautman, Le’Daisha Williams and Cora Gerson, and last weekend it was Trautman, Williams and Sadie Halpern doing the honors.

Trautman finished 11th with a time of 42.90 (1.1-second personal best), Williams ended up 21st with a time of 44.23 (0.4 second personal best) and Halpern came in 25th with a time of 44.45 in her first official 300.

Boys 300

Curtis just missed the podium with a time of 37.34 to finish eighth (.66 personal best). Sebastian Pantzer had a tough second lane assignment, but he still finished with a personal best time of 37.70 to account for 16th place.

“Harrison and Sebby are the favorites in the conference championship meet,” Raimo said.

Girls 4 by 200

Cate Trautman, Ava Machado, Devin Whalen and Claire Davis finished second with a school-record-breaking time of 1:48.43, which surpassed the previous best by .07.

“They have been battling for this record for over a year now and have now taken it,” Raimo said. “This relay team is poised for a late postseason run after already qualifying for nationals, and this time will also be competitive in the New England Regional Meet as well.”

Boys 4 by 200

Curtis, Pantzer, Thomas Carlson and Thompson teamed up to win with a time of 1:34.17, which is 16 seconds away from the school record and 17 away from the qualifier for nationals.

“It was an exciting race right to the finish, but Ryan was able to hold off the surge to secure the victory,” Raimo said.

Girls 4 by 800 

The Marblehead girls finished ninth with a time of 11:10.16. Ada Merrigan ran the leadoff leg in 2:47. Maya Mahoney was then able to match her efforts as the second runner. Sofia Grubor split a 2:53 while running her first 800. Juliet Burchfield then anchored the group by running a 2:43.

“This group was running all alone throughout the race but still raced hard to finish with quality times,” Herlihy said.

Boys 4 by 800 

Gabe Bayramian ran a perfect opening leg, splitting a 2:06, which was an eight-second jump from his best 800 time. He handed the baton off to Ryan Blestowe, who finished his leg in 2:17. Nate Assa split a 2:16, and Will Cruikshank ran a 2:14 as the anchor.

“This was a great race from this group. They finished sixth in 8:53.21, which qualifies them for the Division 3 Championship Meet in a couple of weeks,” Herlihy said. 

Girls 4 by 400

The foursome of Halpern, Charlie Roszell, Gerson and Williams finished sixth with a time of 3:18.21, which is the third fastest in school history.

“They ran a remarkable race to put them in contention as a top-25 team in the entire state, and their four-second personal best solidifies that position,” Herlihy said.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: