The Marblehead High indoor track teams took part in the annual Division 3 state championship meet at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Roxbury on Feb. 19. The boys finished 10th, while the girls ended up in the top five in fourth place.
The season-long friendly rivalry between Harrison Curtis and Thomas Carlson ended with a narrow victory for Curtis (6.88), who finished 13th overall. Carlson (6.89) was right behind him in 14th place.
Carlson’s future is bright, because the top sophomore time in the division was 6.88, according to coach Nolan Raimo.
Cate Trautman led the way finishing sixth overall with a new personal best time of 7.54. She easily bested her previous time of 7.62.
Ava Machado finished 11th with a time of 7.65, and Sadie Halpern (7.76) ended up 21st.
“At the beginning of the season, Cate wanted to focus on the 300 after a successful 400 spring campaign the previous year,” said Raimo. “Cate ran a 7.78 three years in a row, but was frustrated with the 55. However, she still came out for the event this season after a fantastic off-season and ended up shattering the school record by over a tenth of a second that also shaved a quarter of a second off her previous best time.”
Boys 55-meter hurdles
Alex Hersey finished seventh with a new personal best time of 8.50. Errol Apostolopoulos (8.99) was 19th.
“Alex and Errol have made tremendous progress over the course of the season in the hurdles, and they will have one last shot in the event at the pentathlon on March 1,” said Raimo.
Girls 55-meter hurdles
Devin Whalen (9.36) finished eighth after running a personal-best time of 9.17 in the preliminary round. Claire Davis (9.58) was 15th, and Elise Burchfield (9.92) 25th.
“It was a day of bad luck for the hurdlers,” Raimo said. “Devin tagged the last hurdle in the finals that set her back a bit, and Claire battled back from an illness this week to compete.”
Boys long jump
Apostolopoulos finished sixth with a huge jump of 20-2.25 that places him third all-time in the school record books.
Hersey (19-3.75) missed the finals by three inches to finish 10th.
“For multi-event participants like Errol and Alex, bad events inevitably happen when you’re competing,” Raimo said. “Errol had a herculean effort in the long jump following a sub-par hurdle race. His tenacity was on full display, and it was awesome to witness it.”
Girls long jump
Charlie Roszell finished 19th with a leap of 14-6. Claire Davis (13-7) was 27th.
Boys high jump
Apostolopoulos finished 13th with a clearance of 5-7.
“Errol, with his other events already mentioned, has a limited amount of time to practice the high jump, and so a 13th-place finish at the state divisional championship meet is great,” Raimo said.
Girls high jump
Keira Sweetnam (5-4, personal best) continued to climb the ladder to finish second. Burchfield (4-8) was 12th.
“Elise, like Errol and Alex, bounces around between a lot of events, and her clearance of 4-8 at the state divisional championship meet is quite impressive,” Raimo said. “Keira’s jump of 5-4 qualifies her for the nationals. She is the first athlete to qualify for nationals in my tenure, and I imagine the first one since A.J. Ernst in the last decade.”
Curtis (37.09, personal best) continued his long-sprinting career with an eighth-place finish. Sebby Pantzer (37.29, personal best) was 11th
“Harrison and Sebby are absolute competitors, and they’ve pushed one another to have incredible indoor seasons,” Raimo said.
Cate Trautman flew to a new personal best time of 42.12 this season to capture fifth, a near .05-second drop. This time qualifies her for the All-State championship meet.
“Cate put in hundreds of hours in the weight room throughout the entire off-season, and she rightfully deserves this recognition for having one of the best individual state divisional championship performances in school history,” Raimo said.
Ryan Thompson (1:24.60) bested the entire field to finish first.
“Ryan Thompson was in third place for 580 meters, but when he came off the final turn, with 50 meters to go, he wasn’t going to be denied,” said coach William Herlihy. “Nothing in this race went the way we planned, and his splits for the first two laps weren’t what he wanted, but none of that mattered when he was climbing onto the tallest podium platform as a state divisional champion with a new school record.”
Herliihy added, “Ryan’s season isn’t over yet, but he’s already had so much success, and all of it derives from the work he puts in everyday and his competitive fire when he races. It was an extra special moment for me, as Ryan’s 1:24.60 bested my 1:24.69, and I couldn’t have been happier. Honestly, I’ve never been more excited to be in second place.”
Ryan’s season was expected to continue at the All-State championship meet on Feb. 26 and then at the New Balance Indoor Nationals.
Gabe Bayramian (2:45.39) accounted for a 17th-place finish in his final indoor race, matching his personal best time from the recent conference meet.
“Gabe had an incredible season across a couple of different events, and he will look to pick up right where he left off this spring,” Herlihy said.
Isaac Gross (9:49.96) was credited with a sixth-place finish.
“Running the 2-mile as your primary event is incredibly taxing over the course of a full season,” Herlihy said. “Isaac grinded out this race, and although it matches his personal best, he should be tremendously proud of how well he did under the circumstances, and how well he’s done this season.”
Herlihy added, “The amount of growth I’ve seen from Isaac this season in terms of race strategy and execution is way beyond what I would expect from one person in just one season. His indoor season has come to a close, but he will look to improve further in the spring.”
Cat Piper (14:04.40) ended up 27th overall.
“Sometimes the best outcome of a race is just to finish,” Herlihy said. “Cat’s final indoor race may not have gone the way she could have hoped, but she should be proud of seeing it through. The 2-mile is never an easy race, but when you know things aren’t right early on, it’s even harder to take it to the finish, but that’s exactly what Cat did. After a short break, she will look to come back even stronger in the spring season.”
“Unfortunately, the team was disqualified for a handoff outside the zone between Curtis and Pantzer,” Raimo said. “The team battled through the entire race to win the heat to finish what would’ve been third overall. Luckily, they already qualified for the All-State Championship Meet via the supermax qualifier. Exchanging a baton in a 20-meter zone at full speed is a difficult task, and even though the boys worked diligently on their handoffs, bad outcomes are inevitable.”
Trautman, Machado, Whalen and Davis banded together to win a state divisional title with a time of 1:48.78.
“It’s been a two-year journey for Cate, Ava, Devin and Claire, and to capture the title is well-deserved,” Raimo said. “Devin and Claire ran brilliant legs. Devin passed a Burlington girl to give Claire the lead in the final lap. Claire, with the toughest job in track as the anchor, still held off one of the best runners in this meet.”
These Marblehead girls finished sixth with a time of 10:34.25.
“This group represented how track is truly a team sport,” Herlihy said. “Two of the four runners opted to scratch from individual events they qualified for in order to run fresh for the 4×800, and it paid off for the team. This group ran fantastic races from top to bottom, and could’ve run even better had they been seeded in the fast heat.
According to Herlihy, Kate Twomey (2:31.48) ran an excellent leadoff leg, getting her team out to a strong start. Grace Mortensen (2:42.03) followed that up with another great leg, before handing off the baton with an even larger gap.
Freshman Isabelle Mortensen (2:43.76) then ran way above expectations as someone who has been training for the 300 all season and had never run an 800 before. When she handed the baton off, the team was firmly in the lead.
Juliet Burchfield (2:36.98) had some competition with two teams that were a full lap behind, which helped her push the pace, while improving on her previous 800 split of 2:43.
“This group delivered a full effort, and it’s a shame they weren’t in the fast heat to really push themselves,” Herlihy said. “But it’s a young group that will absolutely get another chance in the future.”
Twomey, Grace Mortensen and Burchfield will continue running track in the spring, while Isabelle Mortensen plays softball.
The team did not finish the race after Sadie Halpern’s legs got tangled up with a runner about 225 meters into it.
“She fell very hard but is going to be OK,” Raimo said. “Although we won a couple of state divisional titles in other events, I was most proud of the way Cora Gerson, Le’Daisha Williams and Charlie Roszell handled the disqualification. Le’Daisha and Sadie didn’t run the 300 in order to stay fresh for this relay with the opportunity to go to the All-State championships. Cora came to the meet to just run the 4×400. But together, they immediately rallied around Sadie. I’ve seen plenty of runners fall here at the Reggie Lewis complex, but I’ve never seen 10-plus athletes immediately surround and support a fallen athlete. That was pretty cool stuff.”