Popp Hurdles Way to All-America Honors
Westfield State senior Lexi Popp (Westford) finished fourth in the nation in the 400 hurdles to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Division III National Championship meet at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio on Saturday afternoon.
Popp will wrap up a stellar career at Westfield State as a two-time All-American when the USTFCCCA announces their award winners later this week.
Running in lane 2, she was eighth coming off the turn into the home straight, and passed four competitors in the final 50 yards to win the fourth place finish in a time of 1:01.08.
Emory (Ga.) University’s Dilys Osei won a photo finish from Loras (Ia.) College’s Bella Solis in a time of 58.98 seconds to win the national title.
Popp was making her third appearance at an NCAA Championship meet. She placed seventh in the nation in the 400 meters indoors in March, and improved her placing in the 400 hurdles from 18th at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships in La Crosse, Wisc.
COLLEGE TRACK —
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - UMass Lowell sophomore Benjamin Drezek (Cumberland, R.I.) turned in a terrific run in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, but one misstep proved costly Friday evening, as his season came to an end on the track at Hodges Stadium in the NCAA East Regional.
Drezek finished 24th in a field of 48 and will not advance to the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas in two weeks. Drezek punched the clock with a time of nine-minutes, 01.02-seconds. It was his third fastest steeplechase of his collegiate career despite rolling his ankle with just a couple of laps remaining.
Drezek ran with the leaders from the outset and appeared in position to grab a spot at the National Championship starting line. But it was not be the case. Drezek found himself boxed in and then bumped. In trying to keep his feet under him the runner stepped on the inside rail and rolled his ankle. Adrenaline and guts combined to push Drezek to the finish line. He finished tenth in his section, but it was not enough to avoid the lowering of the curtain on a terrific season.
Grad student Paul Hogan (Burlington) has already earned a trip to the NCAA Championships in the 10,000 meters.
HIGH SCHOOLS —
BOYS TENNIS —
TEWKSBURY 4, BILLERICA 1 — The Redmen rolled to Friday’s MVC victory behind two singles wins and two doubles wins.
Singles winners were Daryl Quek (6-3, 6-0) and Aklilu Aron (6-2, 6-0), while doubles victories came from the teams of Derek Wallace/Ben Froment (6-1, 6-1) and Brandon Pham/Patrick Dunn (6-3, 6-2).
LITTLETON 4, LEOMINSTER 1 — Jack Palaia (6-1, 6-1), Alex Ryzi (7-5, 6-1) and Matthew Krampf (7-5, 6-0) set the tone by winning singles matches for the Tigers.
The doubles team of Will Palaia/Lucas Mueller was a 6-1, 6-2 winner for Littleton (12-2).
BOYS LACROSSE —
CONCORD-CARLISLE 15, LITTLETON 12 — Despite a 5-goal, 1-assist performance from Danny Angell, the Tigers were nipped.
Will Scott added 2 goals and 3 assists, while Gavin Bergeron poured in 4 goals with an assist. Ben Canfield finished with 2 goals and Pat Gibbons tallied once.
Luke Witherell made 11 saves.
IPSWICH 11, GROTON-DUNSTABLE — Senior attackman Nathan Townsend found the back of the net four times, but the Crusaders fell at home.
Scoring a goal each were Aidan McDonough and Jackson Graham. Ryan Beal played excellent defense for G-D (3-13), which received 10 saves from Declan Nash.
SPAULDING 8, ALVIRNE 7 — The game was tied when Spaulding’s Kealian Craig (5-for-5, 2 RBI) singled home the winner to edge Alvirne.
Alvirne (6-12) got on the board in the first on an RBI single by sophomore Evan Beals.
Alvirne also received a double from junior Grady Hudson and a three-run homer from Hudson which gave the visitors a 7-4 lead. Josh MacDonald laced a pinch-hit single.
The Broncos started six sophomores and one freshman during the season.
HAVERHILL 2, LOWELL CATHOLIC 1 — In a 12-inning classic at the Hillie Classic, the Crusaders were nipped.
Alex Graves led the offense with 2 singles and an RBI. David Gill tripled and singled, while Drew Martin laced a pair of singles. Kevin Galligani went 4.1 innings, striking out 4 and allowing 3 hits. He took the loss.
Graves went the first 7 innings, fanning 9, walking 1, and allowing 4 hits and 1 run.
TEWKSBURY 8, LOWELL CATHOLIC 3 — In a consolation game at the Hillie Classic, Tewksbury emerged the winner.
For Lowell Catholic, Liam Fisher ripped a pinch-hit, bases-clearing triple. Josh Sayer and Matt Larson recorded singles.
Nate Sayer went the first 3 innings and took the loss. Larson and Dan Sullivan also pitched.
GREATER LAWRENCE 4, SHAWSHEEN TECH 1 — Sophomore Cam Rich pitched well in defeat over 4 innings of work, allowing just 4 hits.
Russ Cook had a hit and scored the lone run for Shawsheen (8-11), while DJ Williams had the RBI with a sacrifice fly.