Indoor track championships

Latin Academy sweeps to three-peat titles

Latin Academy’s Catherine Van Even finished according to plan in the mile race, winning in 6:39.77
yoon s. byun/globe staff
Latin Academy’s Catherine Van Even finished according to plan in the mile race, winning in 6:39.77

Latin Academy coach Brian Leussler’s pre-meet rituals include number- crunching to figure out what exactly he needs from the boys’ and girls’ indoor track teams to win.

“I don’t know if other coaches do this. I create spreadsheets with every single [result] I can predict,” he said.

Heading into Day 2 of the Boston Public Schools Indoor track championships at Reggie Lewis Center, the girls were tied with O’Bryant at 52 points each. Leussler’s spreadsheet calculated he could expect 60 points from the final five events.


“So I have projections and I’m telling the kids all the time, ‘I need at least a fourth place from you or better, you need to do at least your best time,’” Leussler said. “I show the kids these spreadsheets ahead of time.”

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In reality, away from little boxes and approximations, the girls picked up 68 points for a total of 120 to leave O’Bryant (83) in the dust in second place. The win — after an undefeated (6-0) league schedule — was the Dragons’ third consecutive meet title.

“All season long we’re looking forward to this. I tell the kids, ‘This has got to be the best race you’ve had, best time all season long,’ ” Leussler said.

The afternoon started with a showdown in the mile, but Latin Academy eighth-grader Catherine Van Even bested the Tigers’ Aislinn Donovan by four seconds to grab a first-place finish in 6:39.77.

“We have a lot of really good younger talent in the seventh, eighth, ninth grade, which is really good,” Leussler said.


In the next event, the 600-meter run, youth prevailed again as Latin Academy grabbed the top three spots for 24 points, led by freshman Britney Firmin’s 1:45.38. Seventh-grader Lila Musoil Clark (1:51.08) and Kara Atkinson (1:54.96) took second and third.

“I feel pretty good about my race. I wanted to have even splits,” Firmin said. “I thought we all did our best today, so it was nice that we went out there and did what we had to do today.”

The Dragons added another 12 points in the 1,000-meter run with a 3-4-5 finish by the trio of Lucy Donovan, Ashley Dixin, and Paola Villatoro.

In the relays, the quartet of Ashley Lewis, Atkinson, Firmin, and Leigha Mills won the 4 x 400 by 37 seconds over West Roxbury (4:59.13), crossing at 4:22.56. The 4 x 200 relay team came in second to West Roxbury (1:51.15) in 1:54.91.

“We graduated 10 [seniors] last year, so the girls’ team is really coming up and doing great,” Leussler said.


West Roxbury finished third in team scores with 67 points.

The Latin Academy boys also extended their win streak to three meet titles with 58 points. Again, it was O’Bryant challenging the Dragons by adding 27 points to its Day 1 title for second place with 51.

Coming into the first event, Latin Academy had 47 points and only placed in the 600-meter run and both relays. Tayo Stuppard earned one point with a sixth-place time of 1:37.01 in the 600. The relay teams combined for 10 points with third- and fourth-place finishes in the 4 x 400 and 4 x 200 respectively.

Dorchester finished third with 48 points.

For more on the city track championships go to