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These are random thoughts surrounding the Division II meet from a retired coach who wasn't there. That doesn't mean I wasn't interested. I stayed up late to catch results off coolrunning.com. My heart sank when only the girls' scores appeared but no event results. I went through the boys event by event and then went to bed unsatiated, wondering where NA's 53.5 points came from.
Here's a coach's ramblings about what was expected and unexpected - who excelled and who was expelled - who goes on and who goes on vacation.
Before I go too deeply, here's a special commendation for Meghan Ferreira. She was a double winner and nearly a triple winner. I know how tough it is because I can only remember two NA girls ever accomplishing that feat. In 1986 Melody Johnson set Division III records that still stand in both the 100M (12.0h) and Shot Put (43'+) besides anchoring the winning 4X1. In '97 Alisha Durant accomplished a feat similar to Meghan by winning the hurdles and long jump. So to Meghan - you really got it done!!
Two athletes who looked terribly out of synch at the Hocks were Kevin Peter and Laura Brunelli. Peter entered the meet with a discus PR of 135 but kept rushing the release and could only muster a 110' toss for 9 th . Brunelli was the league leader in jav at 106'4 but tossed 94' – and looked very much uncomfortable doing it.
With one week till the Class Meet they went back to the drawing board in an attempt to recapture their skills. Mission accomplished – AND MORE! Brunelli placed 6 th in Class B with a 108'4” season PR. Peter spun the platter 140'7” which placed 5 th overall – beating all the Hock throwers except league champ Dan Glavin.
North had their most successful showing ever at sprints. Not only did Kristen McLoughlin win the 200M, but NA put three sprinters into the finals of the 100M. Julianne Cappadona placed 2 nd , Katy Flannery 6 th and Carolyn Udall 8 th . It was almost a foregone conclusion that they'd win the 4X100M. They did so in a sparkling 49.29, just off the meet record of 49.17 set by North Attleboro in 2006 when just two were finalists. (Tinuke Adeyemi (200-1 st ) and Adrienne Goldberg (100M-6 th -3 rounds)
Add Stoughton's Jen Jaboin to the list and the Hock provided 4 out of 8 finalists. Only Flannery is a senior so Hock dominance should continue.
Speaking of the 100M, it was a junior sandwich with two seniors for bread.
The good news for Sharon is that sophomore Ali Kirsch dropped her PR all the way from 5:37 to 5:29. More good news is that the time that would have placed her third in Hocks. The bad news for Ali is that Class B is heavy in quality sophomores. Four of the girls ahead of her 8 th place finish are also in her graduating class.
Last year Christy Deininger found her best performance in Class B running 15.90 in the trials. This year she did the same by blazing a 15.98 in the finals for second place behind league champ. Could the sudden improvement be the help of brother Nick who's home from college and lending a hand?
A few more athletes found a good time to up their game. Brittany Jermyn (SH-4'11) bounced back from a sub-par Hock meet (4'8) to tie for 5 th . Katie Kelleher turned it up more than a notch in the discus. At the Hocks she pr'd at 97'4” for third. This time she hit 104'2 to grab second in Class B. Amanda Parker ran a PR 2:21.87 to snag a 4 th place and another week. Pat Grimes PR 4:31.30 is a big improvement that netted 8 th .
Michelle Jenssen continues to sparkle, but that sub-60 400M is still eluding her – this time by .03. Her third place gets her another shot next week. Her 4X4 also misses a class championship by .19. Next week she and her posse will be doubly motivated to not just be close!
I'm a little surprised – at the event – not the performance
I figured I'd see Mary Cole in the mile, but this soph is already trying to establish herself as a true distance runner. It worked out perfectly where her 11:40.59 got her a third place. The mile was loaded and she would have had to throw down a sub-5:20 to grab the same spot – a time she has only broken indoors. It took 5:22 just to place.
JD Chalifoux also bumped up one event higher than I imagined. He grabbed a 4 th place in the 400M with 51.59. There was no easy choice between Kamal Riley (21.93) and Ryad Bencheikh (a jogging 50.27).
Back in 1972 I was competing in a relay meet for UCONN at Georgetown. I wasn't competing until the afternoon but Coach Kennedy asked me if I wanted to head over to the track and help him time some splits. It turned out to be the 4 X 3-mile. I thought of it as cruel and unusual punishment – 48 laps in all. I think my job was really to just keep him awake. But after looking at the Mansfield results of the deuce, I wouldn't mind watching them in a 4 X two mile. They posted three runners under 10 minutes (Andrew Irwin 9:48.02, Mike Boles 9:53.21 and Pat McGowan 9:55.68). For the 4 th runner Kevin Meagher ran a 10:24 and you know Pat Grimes could throw down a pretty good one too.
Open doors for '09?
There were many events that were top-heavy in seniors. What does that mean? It means plenty of opportunities for fresh faces to splash on the scene. Here's some of the open doors for next year.
100M – The top 6 are graduating and only one runner that made finals is returning.
800M – 7 of the top 9 are graduating
2 Mile – 5 of 6 were seniors which bodes well for Pat McGowan (SO) who ran 9:55.68 for seventh.
110Mhurdles – 5 of the top 6 were seniors which means frosh Greg Bourisquot
(ST-16.69-8 th ) must be licking his lips for next year.
Long Jump – All six point scorers were seniors.
Triple jump – 5 of the top-6 were seniors and that has to make Alex Kutana
(SH-JR-41'8.25-7 th ) a very happy person.
Shot Put – 8 of the top 9 were seniors. Who's going to make Dan Glavin work next year? Other than Dan the next highest returning shot putter threw 46'11.50 – Brian Courtney of NA.
The girls' scoring was decidedly not senior dominated. In no event were there more than three seniors among the placements. Those events where half the scorers are leaving are:
400M – three seniors but not the winner
Two mile – Three seniors but #'s 1-2-3 are back. Looking to slide into one of the open spots next year is Megan Ross who dipped under 12 with an 11:59.12 for 7 th place.
Long jump – there's a little breathing room because #'s 1 and 2 are gone.
Discus – Three seniors including the winner
Closed shops - It won't get much easier in these events next year
200M – Among the top 6 were a sophomore, THREE FRESHMEN and a junior. Only the winner graduates.
800M – only the 4 th place finisher graduates and a frosh ran 2:22 for 6 th .
Mile – 4 of the 6 placements were sophomores and only one senior. This event looks solid for years to come.
100Mhurdles – Only the third place finisher was a senior. Two sophs and three juniors return.
300MH – Only one senior graduates – 2nd place Colleen Davis. The rest are all juniors. That means 7 th place frosh Victoria Perez is looking forward to 2010.
Shot Put – only the third place thrower is graduating
Fully expected excellence - placements not listed were unexpected
These are the normal kudos for a job well done. If these didn't happen I'd have been surprised.
1 Cappadona, Julliann JR NO Attleboro 12.86
1 McLoughlin, Kristin SR NO Attleboro 25.90
4 Broyles, Emily FR Mansfield 26.55
3 Jenssen, Michelle JR Mansfield 1:00.03
1 Ryan, Kathleen JR Franklin 2:18.58
4 Parker, Amanda SR NO Attleboro 2:21.87
3 Cole, Mary SO Franklin 11:40.59
1 Ferreira, Meghan JR Mansfield 14.95
2 226 Deininger, Christy SO NO Attleboro 15.98
2 Davis, Colleen SR Mansfield 46.33
1 Franklin HS 9:40.90*
1 North Attleboro HS 49.29
2 Mansfield HS 3:59.96
5 Matte, Nicole SR NO Attleboro 4-11.00
2 McLoughlin, Kristin SR NO Attleboro 16-03.75
4 Cappadona, Julliann JR NO Attleboro 16-02.
1 Ferreira, Meghan JR Mansfield 36-09.00
6 Norvaisa, Audra JR Sharon 33-05.75
1 McCabe, Kelly JR Mansfield 36-00.00
2 Eason, Jess SO Mansfield 35-11.50
5 Harris, Elijah SR NO Attleboro 23.43
2 Wade, Nick JR NO Attleboro 1:56.06
4 Erwin, Andrew SR Mansfield 9:48.02
1 Callanan, Matt SR Mansfield 14.31
4 Julien, Rodney JR Stoughton 15.91
2 Mansfield HS 8:15.48
4 Mansfield HS 3:27.32 4
6 North Attleboro HS 3:30.15
3 Toney, Brian SR King Philip 43-02.50
5 Sullivan, Derek SR Franklin 42-02.25
2 Glavin, Dan JR Mansfield 148-00
1 Byron, Sean SR Stoughton 182-09
McPherson, Mike SR Mansfield 55-00.00
2 Glavin, Dan JR Mansfield 52-08.50
3 McNiece, Drew SR Franklin 50-11.50