Marblehead track teams begin spring season with convincing wins

Coach Nolan Raimo’s spring track teams opened up at home against Gloucester on April 7 with essentially identical winning results. His Marblehead girls won, 87-43, while the boys took care of the Fishermen, 88-50. 

In the girls high jump, Keira Sweetnam (4-10) carried her momentum over from the indoor season to secure another win in less-than-ideal conditions. Elise Burchfield (4-8) jumped a new personal best to finish third.

Errol Apostolopoulos (5-2) finished third in the boys high jump.

“The high-jump mats didn’t arrive at the outdoor track until two days before the Gloucester meet; Merryl Thompson helped organize the move to make sure it happened on time,” Raimo explained. “But before that, in earlier practices, Errol, Keira, Elise and Campbell couldn’t practice that much, which was unfortunate.”

Girls long jump

Claire Davis (15-11.5) leaped to a first-place finish. Burchfield (15-1) had another personal best to finish third again. Ana Vina de Gamica (14-2) was fourth. 

Boys long jump 

Alex Hersey (19-11) came in first, which considering the conditions was very impressive, according to Raimo.

Harrison Curtis (19-4) returned from his college visits to finish second, and he was followed closely by fellow sprinter Thomas Carlson (18-10).

Tommaso Santoni, an exchange student from Italy, had an impressive first meet, jumping 16-11. He has only been participating in the sport for three weeks.  

Girls triple jump 

Sweetnam (32-10) led the way for Marblehead to place second overall. She was followed by Ava Machado (32-1).

Kate Twomey (30-2), a mid-distance runner, has joined the triple-jump squad this spring and ended up fifth against Gloucester. She was followed by Morgan Zion (28-0).

Boys triple jump 

Apostolopoulos (38-8, personal best) hopped, skipped and jumped his way to a win in the cold. Ryan Thompson (35-8) was third after only learning the event a few days prior to the meet. Claudio Gusmao Gonzalez (34-5, personal best) was fourth. 

“Claudio is instrumental to the success of our jump squads in terms of his efforts to maintain the pits, while watching his teammates’ marks on the board,” Raimo said. “He’s also always the first to help cover or uncover the pits.” 

Girls shot put 

Rachael Albert (28-3.5, personal best) took first in the shot put.

“Rachael had an incredible indoor season, and it was great to see her continue that success right away in the first meet,” the coach said.

Hannah O’Brien (20-7.5), who normally throws the discus, finished fifth.

Boys shot put 

Justin Gonzalez injured his ankle earlier but worked hard to recover and compete in the first meet to throw a personal best of 35-4.5 to end up second, just ahead of Hersey (35-2), who finished third.

Lycurgus Cohen (31-4.5) was fifth. Asher Oren (29-5) came in seventh.

Girls discus 

The dynamic duo of Albert and O’Brien captured the top two spots, with Rachael throwing a personal best of 94-7, and Hannah was right behind her with a throw of 72-4. Sienna Day (49-3) was sixth. 

Boys discus  

Angelo Knight (79-9), a phenomenal wrestler who is competing on the track team for the first time, finished second.

“Angelo has worked diligently on his throws, and soon we will see great results from him,” added Raimo. 

Alexander Humphreys threw an impressive 73-3 to finish third after only learning the event earlier that week.

Tucker Crane (62-5) finished fifth, and Grady Norfleet (58-5) was sixth.

Girls javelin 

Sierra Leinberry (76-9) bested the field in her first-ever meet.

“I believe that was the furthest throw we’ve had in my four years here,” Raimo said.

She was followed by Adelyn Cruickshank (61-11, fourth), Devin Whalen (55-3, fifth) and Song Waitekus (53-0, sixth). 

Boys javelin 

Knight took first with a throw of 94-10, barely beating out teammate Phineas Jakious (93-11), who ended up second.

Asher Oren (89-9) was third and Colin Hart (79-11) seventh.

“This javelin group is relatively new, and their early success is a credit to coaches Plunkett and Leveroni for getting them ready to compete so early on in the season,” Raimo said. 

Girls 400-meter hurdles 

Whalen casually ran a 74.7 to open up the season with a victory. She was followed by Claire Davis (79.3), who finished second.

“The 400-meter hurdles is incredibly exhausting and difficult on a sunny, calm day, but with bad winds and cold temperatures, it was very impressive that Claire and Devin did so well,” Raimo said. 

Boys 400-meter hurdles 

Apostolopoulos (63.6) finished third against two of the best hurdlers in the Northeastern Conference.

Magnus McCarthy (64.9) ended up fourth, while Quinn Schein (82.9), making his debut, came in fifth. 

Girls 110/100-meter hurdles 

Whalen (16.0) cruised to another victory in the 100-meter hurdles. Davis (16.9) was just behind her in second, and Burchfield (18.6) completed the sweep with a third-place finish. 

Boys 110/100-meter hurdles 

Hersey, who won the long jump, also won this event with a blistering fast time of 16.1, despite stumbling off the final hurdle. Apostolopoulos finished third with a time of 17.3. Elian Colon (20.1) was fourth.

Girls 100 

In one of the fastest 100-meters anybody will see this year, Cate Trautman was victorious with a time of 12.5. Ava Machado (12.9, second) followed close behind. There was a foul-up in Sadie Halpern’s time by the officials, and as a result she finished fourth, not fifth. 

Boys 100 

Harrison Curtis led the sweep with a blazing fast time of 11.0. Sebby Pantzer (11.2, second) and Thomas Carlson (11.4, third) came in second and third. 

Girls 200 

Gabby Hendy took off like a rocket out of the blocks to win in convincing fashion with a time of 27.5.

“Gabby missed a significant portion of the indoor season due to an illness, and it’s awesome to see her open up the spring season on such a strong note,” Raimo said. 

Liv Carlson (29.4, fourth) and Ariella Kahn (30.9, sixth) also earned points for their teammates.

“Liv and Ariella stepped up from the JV team seconds before the race because of an injury that also resulted in a reorganization of the 4×400 relay team,” Raimo said. 

Boys 200 

“Similar to Gabby, Thomas Carlson (22.6) absolutely ran away from the field, which was one of the fastest hand-timed 200 I have ever witnessed in high school track,” Raimo said. “Tommy is a workhorse, and it’s awesome to see his hard work translate into well-deserved success.” 

Aidan Vizy (26.0, fourth) and Elian Colon (26.3, fifth) also had solid performances in this event to open up their seasons.

Girls 400  

Charlie Roszell (62.8) emerged as one of the team’s best 400 runners at the end of last spring, and she picked up right where she left off to earn another victory.

She was followed by Grace Mortenson (67.2, fourth) and Burchfield (69.2, sixth).

“Grace typically runs the 800, but she stepped down to the 400 to help the team out,” Raimo explained. 

Boys 400   

Colin Hart (61.1) led the way for Marblehead to finish second, and he was followed closely by Logan Doody (62.1, third).

Slater Johnson (73.6) was fourth while making his debut in the 400. 

Girls 800 

Kate Twomey (2:36.9) ran a solid first race to come in second behind a Gloucester runner, who is one of the best mid-distance runners in the conference. Juliet Burchfield (2:50.9) was fifth.

Marblehead High girls spring track athletes junior Kate Twomey, sophomore Juliet Burchfield and senior captain Cat Piper run the 800 last week against visiting Gloucester. The Magicians defeated Gloucester going away, 87-43. COURTESY PHOTO/CAT PIPER

“Juliet had to rush over to the starting line from the jumping pits after waiting around for over an hour without getting a jump in,” coach William Herlihy said. “Managing multiple events and staying warmed up is difficult on its own, and it’s especially tough in the cold weather. Expect her to bounce back in a big way in future meets.”  

Cat Piper (2:52.6, an eight-second personal best) was sixth in this event. She was able to hit a pretty significant personal best, which is doubly impressive considering she also ran in the 2-mile earlier in the meet, which also earned her a personal best, according to Herlihy. 

Boys 800 

Ryan Thompson (2:04.7) was challenged by a Gloucester runner, but as always he did enough to hold him off and take first.

Senior captain Ryan Thompson leads the pack, followed by classmate Gabe Bayramian, as Marblehead High boys spring track athletes run the 800 last week against visiting Gloucester. The Magicians defeated the Fishermen, 88-50, to open up the season on a successful note. COURTESY PHOTO/CAT PIPER

Gabe Bayramian (2:11.4) and Xavier Grazado (2:22.4) came in third and fourth, respectively. 

JV girls 800 

Max Arbo (3:02), also a field hockey player in the fall, was the lone JV competitor for Marblehead against seven or eight Gloucester runners but was able to hold them off throughout.

“This is a 27-second improvement from the combine and a great opening race for Max,” Herlihy said. 

JV boys 800 

David Alpert (2:37.9) finished first after taking an early lead and never looking back, which is a big step forward for him, according to Herlihy. 

James Marcey (2:43.8) was second, and Zach Plum (2:46.1) and Zach Pike (2:46.3) were right on his heels.

Sam Tanger (2:50.3) and Jeremy Sorkin (2:51.3) rounded out the Marblehead understudies.

All of these runners turned in times that were significant improvements on their combine times. As many of them are underclassmen, it bodes well for the middle-distance events, Herlihy said. 

Girls mile 

Maren Potter (6:09.6) finished second. Her goal is to break six minutes this season, and turning in one of her best times this early is an encouraging sign, Herlihy noted.

Maya Mahoney (6:27.1) was fifth. Emma St. George (7:25, a 28-second personal best) had a monster race, crushing her previous best by nearly 30 seconds. 

Boys mile 

“Will Cerrutti (4:46.8) remains one of the most electric racers I’ve ever seen,” said Raimo. “He ran an excellent race, while also turning on the jets in the final 200 meters to take first by nearly five seconds. That time matches his best time from last spring, and already puts him as one of the top milers in the conference.” 

Ryan Blestowe (5:07.6) finished fourth. Henrik Adams (5:18.3) was fifth.

“This was an impressive time for Henrik, who doesn’t have a lot of experience at this distance as of yet,” Raimo said. “I expect that time to come down as he learns how to pace himself, and as he builds off his training.” 

Girls two-mile 

Marrietta O’Connell (12:49.7) cruised to her first win of the season after running an intentionally controlled race for the first six laps.

“Marri is still recovering from a minor injury, but this first race was a great sign for her recovery as she aims to keep her undefeated streak in the NEC intact since the cross-country season,” her coach said. 

Cat Piper (13:06.5, a 19-second personal best) has been on the brink of a breakout race, according to her coaches, and she was finally rewarded with that significant improvement in time. 

Boys two-mile 

Isaac Gross (10:10.0) took first after getting out to his patented fast start. His time also qualifies him for the state meet, which is great to accomplish this early in the season.

Harrison Kee (10:18.3) made his return to the track and ran a very controlled, smart race to end up second.

Jonah Potach (11:42) was fifth, just shy of his best time. 

Girls 4×100 

Gabby Hendy, Liv Carlson, Morgan Zion and Ariella Kahn stepped up to finish second with a solid opening time of 55.6. 

Boys 4×100 

Jake Bobowski, Aidan Vizy, Slater Johnson and Michael Carlson battled Gloucester the entire race. Slater ran an incredible third leg to set Michael Carlson up with the lead. Carlson then battled the wind to secure the win with a time of 49.7. 

Girls 4×400 

Cate Trautman, Le’Daisha Williams, Ava Machado and Sadie Halpern (4:22.2) combined to win the race.

Boys 4×400  

Harrison Curtis, Sebby Pantzer, David DiCostanzo and Ryan Thompson flew to victory with a time of 3:42, which was incredible considering it was the first meet of the season, and the conditions were anything but ideal, according to their coaches.

Joe McConnell | + posts

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