The Marblehead High School spring track athletes took a break from the Northeastern Conference regular season meet schedule to participate in the annual MSTCA (Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association) Division 3 State Relays at Oliver Ames High School in Easton on Sunday, April 30.
The headliners were sprinters Ava Machado, Cate Trautman, Sadie Halpern and Le’Daisha Williams, who set school records in the process of winning both the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
Boys mile relay
Nate Assa, Henrik Adams, Ryan Blestowe and Isaac Gross finished eighth among the state’s best with a time of 20:00.92.
“Nate (Assa) got out to a good start in a pretty dense and aggressive field of runners, but then held his own throughout his leg,” said coach William Herlihy. “Ryan and Henrik both ran low five-minute splits, before (Blestowe) handed off the baton to Isaac to close out the race. It’s challenging to stay focused and run fast when the competition is very spread out. It’s a testament to their work ethic that all of them gave 100% throughout each one of their legs.”
Girls mile relay
Grace Mortensen (6:04.47), Cat Piper (6:08.2), Maren Potter (6:14.11) and Marri O’Connell (5:59.15) turned in solid performances in a tough event to finish seventh overall in 24:25.93.
“Cat Piper’s split was a significant improvement from her open mile best time of 6:20 after she picked up nearly 40 meters on the runner ahead of her over four laps,” said Herlihy. “The most difficult part of a distance relay like this is staying engaged when the pack spreads out, but this group kept their foot on the gas as long as possible and ended up with a very solid time.”
Boys shuttle hurdle relay
Alex Hersey, Harrison Curtis, Marc Grazado and Errol Apostolopoulos finished second with a time of 1:10.25.
“Harrison Curtis is a hurdler from the indoor pentathlon, and he was determined to come out and run a solid race alongside Alex, Marc and Errol,” said coach Nolan Raimo.
Girls shuttle hurdle relay
Devin Whalen, Elise Burchfield, Ana Vina de Garnica and Claire Davis would have finished sixth with a time of 1:13.61, but they were disqualified for missing a hurdle.
“The wet conditions made all jumping-related events tough, and the competition this year in this event was shockingly good,” said Raimo. “The winning Plymouth South quartet ended up with a combined blazing fast time of 1:06.34.”
Jacob Bobowski, Slater Johnson, Joseph Proulx and Ethan Horgan finished 25th with a time of 48.84.
“All four runners are either freshmen and sophomores, but yet they put up a respectable time amongst a fast field,” said Raimo.
Ava Machado, Cate Trautman, Sadie Halpern and Le’Daisha Williams ran away from the rest of their divisional opponents to win the event in a school record time of 50.63, surpassing the previous mark that lasted 10 years by a second.
“Sharon, the second-place team, (51.81) was closer to the eighth-place time of 52.74 (Duxbury) than ours,” said Raimo. “Our time, in ugly conditions, ranks 12th in the state so far this year, and with warmer, drier conditions coming up, we could see a low 49 or a high 48 soon.”
Boys sprint medley relay
Harrison Curtis (200), Thomas Carlson (200), David DiConstanzo (400) and Ryan Thompson (800) finished fifth with a time of 3:42.34.
“The sprint medley relay is one of the most exciting events, and Harrison, Thomas, David and Ryan put together a time just a couple of seconds off the Rising Stars Nationals,” said Raimo.
Girls sprint medley relay
Devin Whalen (200), Gabrielle Hendy (200), Charlie Roszell (400) and Kate Twomey (800) sprinted to a third-place finish (4:27.20).
“At the time, we were neck and neck with Billerica, and Kate Twomey’s final leg was extraordinary to narrowly beat Billerica by four-tenths of a second,” said Raimo.
Harrison Curtis, Thomas Carlson, Sebastian Pantzer and Ryan Thompson were unfortunately disqualified due to a handoff outside the zone.
This same squad had a remarkable run during the indoor track season in this event to finish 10th at the All-States, but with wet conditions and a chaotic handoff zone they were disqualified, Raimo explained.
For the second time in this meet, Machado, Trautman, Halpern and Williams were victorious with a time of 1:48.54 to eclipse the previous school record of 1:48.63 from 10 years ago.
“The team scored 54 points as a whole, and Cate, Sadie, Ava and Le’Daisha scored 20 points in just two events,” Raimo said. “They broke both school records, and they practically ran by themselves in both races. It will be incredible to watch this group in the postseason against the top competition in the state and region.”
James Marcey (2:34), Ryan Blestowe (2:20), Peter Sullivan (2:27) and Henrik Adams (2:15) ran a collective time of 9:36.72 to finish 13th.
“There was some uncertainty about who would be running on the A or B team leading up to race day, and there were some last-minute changes on the day off. But these boys all stepped up and submitted a solid time,” said Herlihy.
Boys distance medley relay
Nate Assa ran the first 1200 leg in 3:36, which is a great time for an odd distance that is never raced outside of this relay, according to Herlihy.
David Di Costanzo turned in a 54-second 400 in his second event of the day. Gabe Bayramian kept his team in the mix in the 800 leg with an impressive time of 2:07. Isaac Gross closed it out, picking up a few spots with his 4:41 split in the 1,600 leg.
“This is an excellent time from this group, and they battled in every leg to give their teammates a better shot at medaling,” the coach added.
Girls distance medley relay
“This team was among our strongest that we fielded in this meet, and they all ran well to finish fifth in a very stacked field with a total time of 13:15.38,” said Herlihy. “For reference, this time would’ve put them in third place by 12 seconds at last year’s relays.”
Juliet Burchfield opened up by running the 1,200 leg in 4:07, keeping her teammates in the top pack. She hit the 800 mark in 2:40, which is only a couple of seconds off her seasonal best at that distance, and she still had another lap to go.
Cora Gerson held her own in the 400, splitting a 68-second lap in a race that is relatively new for her, but she still stepped up to run it anyways, according to Herlihy.
“Kate Twomey split a 2:33 in the 800 leg, which is a great time, to keep the quartet in the top five, but it is especially impressive considering she was doubling up to that distance only a couple of hours earlier,” said Herlihy.
“Marri O’Connell was the anchor 1600 leg, and there was no question that she left it all out there for her teammates,” Herlihy said. “She split a 5:23 in the 1,600 leg, which is insanely fast for anyone, not to mention a young freshman runner with minimal experience at that distance.”
Herlihy continued, “Only a few Marblehead runners have run a sub-5:20 mile, so for Marri to be so close at this early stage of her career is crazy. The team’s time already puts them second in the school record books, and with no seniors on the squad, I’m sure they want a chance to break it next year.”
Boys long jump
The team of Alex Hersey (14th, 18-11.25), Errol Apostolopoulos (27th, 17-10.75) and Sebastian Pantzer (30th, 17-8) finished eighth.
“Across this competition, nobody was jumping well because of the wet runway,” said Raimo. “Alex, Errol and Sebby put together a decent jump day, but a lot of teams who finished ahead of them in this event had more depth.”
Girls long jump
Claire Davis (sixth, 15-6), Elise Burchfield (ninth, 15-1.5) and Charlie Roszell (16th, 14-3) finished second with a combined distance of 44-10.
“There were 33 jumpers in this event, and for Claire, Elise and Charlie to all finish in the top half was impressive, especially considering all three competed in three different events,” Raimo said.
Boys triple jump
Hersey (seventh, 38-0), Thompson (15th, 35-8.5) and Apostolopoulos (21st, 30-0) finished fourth with a combined distance of 108-9.
“Alex, Ryan and Errol had already competed in two events prior to this event, but they still battled to a fourth-place spot,” Raimo said. “Triple jumping on a wet runway can be daunting, especially landing in the second and third phase, but Alex, Ryan and Errol competed and deservedly earned their four points.”
Girls triple jump
Claire Davis (seventh, 31-8), Ava Machado (10th, 30-9.75) and Keira Sweetnam (11th, 30-6.25) finished second.
“The girls triple jump was the first event, and Claire, Ava and Keira were on top of it from the beginning,” said Raimo. “It’s tough to get off the bus after a long trip and start warming up, but Claire, Ava and Keira are all veterans, and they were able to open up the meet with eight points for the team, which created a ton of momentum.”
Boys shot put
Justin Gonzalez (30th, 34-8.5), Asher Oren (49th, 32-1) and Lycurgus Cohen (54th, 31-1.75) finished 18th as a team.
“Justin, Asher and Lycurgus are all relatively new to this event, and to throw around a combined 100 feet is a great sign of their progress so far,” Raimo said. “Their potential as a unit is also evident, and as the season progresses and in future years they’ll continue to build on this effort.”
Rachael Albert (third, 90-5), Hannah O’Brien (sixth. 82-5) and Campbell Crane (39th, 51-0) finished third with a combined distance of 224-0.
“Spinning and throwing a metal discus is hard enough in dry conditions, but with puddles in the circle and a slippery discus Rachael, Hannah and Campbell still found a way to secure a third,” said Raimo. “It’s easy to get frustrated when throwing distances are significantly below your best mark, but this group didn’t worry about it and just competed to the highest level they could.”
Asher Oren (33rd, 98-9), Phineas Jakious (43rd, 86-7) and Angelo Knight (44th, 84-10) finished 14th with a distance of 270-0.
“The javelin was thrown on a grass field, and the surface degraded as the meet went on,” Raimo said. “This squad had to throw in the very last flight of javelin competitors among both the boys and girls teams, so even in adverse conditions they threw well, especially considering it was nearly impossible to plant and throw.”
Rachael Albert (ninth, 82-0, personal best), Sierra Leinberry (14th, 74-9) and Adely Cruickshank (36th, 43-3) finished seventh with a combined distance of 200-0.
“Although these girls threw early, it was filled with slipping and sliding,” said Raimo. “This is Rachael’s first season throwing the javelin, and a top 10 finish at this meet is impressive.”
Marc Grazado, Colin Hart, Logan Doody and Slater Johnson finished 14th with a time of 3:58.65.
“This relay team, made up of freshmen and sophomores, was able to crack the four-minute mark, and that’s really impressive,” said Raimo. “The 400 is a great test of lactic acid training, and as Marc, Colin, Logan and Slater progress with workouts throughout the rest of the season, we could see the same squad run 3:50 under the right conditions.”
Trautman, Halpern, Williams and Roszell finished fourth with a time of 4:17.8, which was good for 15th in the state among Division 3 opponents.
“Cate, Sadie and Le’Daisha pulled off the triple of pure sprint events (4×100, 4×200 and 4×400) to account for 24 points,” said Raimo. “Charlie ran the 400 in the sprint medley relay, and then came back to the 400 again in this relay.”