Spartans Shatter Program Records
WESTFIELD — Records came crashing down on Saturday at the Central/Western Mass. Division 2 Track and Field Championship.
Two of those school records shattered for the Oakmont Regional girls’ team. Alyssa Madden broke her own school record in the triple jump, and the 4x100-meter relay shattered a school record, as both events secured gold medals for the Spartans.
Oakmont led the local girls, finishing 11th with 24 points, followed immediately by rival Gardner in 12th with 21 points. Lunenburg took 20th with 12 points, and Ayer Shirley placed 30th with 5 points.
On the boys’ side Ayer Shirley led the way, finishing third with 49 points, just a half-point behind Quabbin (49.50) and slightly further away from winner Murdock (56 points). Lunenburg finished 11th with 21 points, Monty Tech took home 37th with 6 points, and Oakmont finished tied for 48th with 2 points.
The senior-laden 4x100-meter relay left no doubt from the start as to who was going to win the race, taking an early lead with senior Jessica Ciesluk, which was sustained by classmate Rachael Law and sophomore Madison Wilga, before Madden helped put the icing on the cake. The relay finished in 50.54 seconds, setting a new school record.
“Last year we set the school record with three of the four runners on this relay,” Oakmont Regional girls’ head coach John Margarita said. “The 4x100 led from start to finish. If you get it to Madden clean with a lead, you know you’re going to win it.”
Madden, a senior, entered the triple jump finals in second place, and then on her final jump leap-frogged the leader to take first with a distance of 37 feet, 3.75 inches.
“Madden is going to the University of Rhode Island on a track scholarship,” Margarita said. “She was in second place in the finals, and then she popped it. She only started triple-jumping midway through the season. She is such a great athlete.”
Senior Cassidy Callahan put an exclamation mark on the end of her career, placing fifth in the pole vault with a height of 9 feet, which ties an Oakmont school record.
Gardner’s Savannah Pineda is a one-person wrecking ball. Despite only being a sophomore, Pineda won the 200-meter dash at 25.34 seconds and took third in the 100-meter dash (12.66), both of which qualify her for the state championship. She also finished fourth in the long jump at 17-5.5, which leaves her waiting see if she qualifies for states in the event.
“She broke the school record in the 200-meter for the second time this season,” Gardner girls’ head coach Ken Pelletier said. “She won the trials easily, and shut it down a little bit; in the finals she was being pushed but had the lead throughout. Her 100 time was also a personal best, and is close to a school record, which is a 12.5.
Historically Lunenburg has been able to put together quality relay teams, and Saturday was no different. Isabella Brackett, Nicole Lawrence, Amber Green and Latifah Ouro-Sama raced to a fourth-place finish in the 4x100-meter relay (52.84).
The 4x800, comprised of Gabrielle Maia, Paige Gengler, Keena Kelly and Abby Rodriquenz, was also able to take home fourth with a time of 10:18.24.
“The 4x1 hadn’t run together all year, and it was a better choice because it was a good way to get a medal,” Lunenburg head coach Steve Kyajohnian said. “It was the best two times all year in both relays. We did the best we could, and it was a great season, winning the relays, leagues and districts.”
Individually, Lunenburg saw points from Green in the 100 hurdles (8th, 16.74) and Brackett in the 100 dash (8th, 13.17).
The Ayer Shirley 4x800 relay placed seventh with a time of 10:49.04 and Anna Norton took home sixth in the high jump (5 feet) to represent all of the Panthers’ points.
Joseph Rivers was throwing around 40 feet this time a year ago. Now, after a growth spurt, there have been some major changes in the Lunenburg junior’s throwing capabilities.
On Saturday, Rivers threw 55-1.75 to win the shot put by nearly 10 feet, and continues to put himself on the radar of college track coaches.
Rivers will enter states as one of the favorites to move on to New Englands, and also finished sixth in the discus at 127-4.
“Rivers broke the school record this season, which was 54-2.5,” Lunenburg boys’ head coach Mike Spare said. “With the way he is progressing I’m expecting him to do well at states and hopefully make it to New Englands.”
Rivers will not be alone in making the trek to Westfield on Saturday, as senior David Gardner finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:01.71.
Monty Tech senior Conor Dandy made the most of his first and last Central/West championship, as he claimed third overall in the 400-meter run, clinching a spot for the Bulldogs in the all-state championship. Dandy’s time in the finals was a 51.45.
“Dandy will be our first all-state competitor since 2004, and he was seeded No. 1 in the meet Saturday,” Monty Tech head coach Anthony Muhnisky said. “He had done baseball for the last three years, and he didn’t have his best time on Saturday, but was in fourth and had a good lean at the end to qualify for the all-states.”
Jared Sarasin was the lone scorer for the Oakmont boys, as he finished seventh in the high jump with a leap of 5-8.
James Robinson had a huge impact on Ayer Shirley’s team success, winning the 200-meter dash (22.19) and finishing second in the 100-meter dash (11.27). The Panthers 4x100 relay also took gold as it edged out Whitinsville Christian by 0.07 seconds to win with a time of 45.06.
Dana Maloney took fifth in the mile (4:43.98), Leonardo Rosales secured fourth in the pentathlon (2,463 points) and Liam Bourassa placed fifth in the javelin (149-03). Another bright spot for the Panthers, Antonio Urbaez took home fifth in the discus (127-8).