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MSTCA RELAYS

Lexington girls, St. John’s Prep put it all together in MSTCA Division 1 Relays

The field leaves the starting line of the boys' distance medley during the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Division 1 Relays meet Saturday in Peabody.
The field leaves the starting line of the boys' distance medley during the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Division 1 Relays meet Saturday in Peabody.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

While the MSTCA Boys’ Division 1 Relay Championships were occurring Saturday at Peabody High, members of the Lexington girls’ track and field team were napping under a tent in wind-driven rain before their events started.

The abnormally cold temperature before competition did not stop the Minutemen from winning the MSTCA Girls’ Division 1 Relays. In the final event of the day, Mari McBride, Aleia Gisolfi-McCready, Catherine Movsessian, and Aylin Bruce combined for a time of 4:03.95 to blow away the field and win the 4x400 meter relay to give Lexington the victory.

“I honestly don’t think they came here with the expectation to do what they did, they just all wanted to push each other and went hard,” Lexington coach Rebecca Trachsel said. “I didn’t not think we had a shot [to win]. For me, it’s just let’s see how well you can do today.”

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Sophomore Mirra Payson contributed to the Minutemen winning the 4x1600 meter relay, shattering her PR with a split of 5:21. Karin Minimoto placed second in the javelin throw relay with a distance of 26.93 meters, while McBride and Maddie Parks tied for second in the high jump.

St. John’s Prep used five first-place wins and three second-place finishes to cruise to 74 points and capture the boys’ title. The Eagles last won the event in 2018.

“This, for us, is the ultimate team championship event,” St. John’s Prep coach Zach Lankow said. “The All-State meet is great, and we love that event too, but this is a team-oriented event. This takes a whole team. It doesn’t matter how good one leg of your relay is, you need three other guys with him. This, to us, is the real team title. Really happy for these guys to get this today.”

The Eagles jumpers played an integral role in securing the victory, accumulating 30 points. Senior Quinn Curtin, who will jump for Lafayette College next year, clinched the triple jump for the Eagles, posting a jump of 13.19 meters. Curtin also won the high jump (1.77 meters). Eagles senior Harry Portorreal, who will jump at Bridgewater State, topped the long jump with a distance of 6.23 meters.

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“We knew we could do it,” Curtin said. “We knew we weren’t the favorites so it was going to be a long shot, but we all came together.”

St. John’s Prep also captured first in the sprint medley relay and the shuttle hurdle relay. In the sprint medley, freshman Dylan Aliberti and sophomore Stephon Patrick ran the 200, University of Rhode Island commit Jarrett Young handled the 400, and sophomore Nathan Young anchored the 800. The winning 4x100 shuttle hurdles team consisted of Portorreal, Aliberti, and juniors Tyler Hughes and Jason Bois.

The Eagles finished in second in the 4x100 meter relay, the 4x400 meter relay, and the 4x1600 meter relay.

Triton boys alone atop D4; Pentucket girls prevail

After a two-year hiatus, a little rain was never going to dampen the mood surrounding the Division 4 Relays at Gordon College in Wenham.

“It means everything for these kids, especially the younger kids who may have gotten into their fall and winter sports in 2019, but never have had a spring event,” meet director Chris Gardner said, “even with this weather, this was important for us to hold this event.”

The Triton boys placed first with 47 points, edging out Dover-Sherborn (44 points). Triton clinched its victory in dramatic fashion, after the 4x400-meter relay team missed the start of the event because of confusion about the number of heats in the event.

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“We thought we were in Heat 3, and then we found out there was not a third heat, and I protested because we didn’t know that,” Triton coach Joe Colbert said.

Colbert’s protests worked, earning the Vikings a second shot at victory in the form of a solo heat. The 4x400 team took the opportunity and ran with it, placing first in the event and helping to lock up the title for Triton.

“Normally you don’t want to be running alone, but the kids knew they had to run a certain time and they went out and did it,” Colbert said. “Even with the rain and these miserable conditions, being out here is a lot better than what we were doing this time last year, and winning makes it that much better.”

Riley Gagnon, Parker Burns, Graham Stedfast and Joe Delmonico were the 4x400 winners for Triton, and Eliot Lent placed first in the javelin throw. The Vikings finished second in the 1600 sprint medley, the 4x100 and 4x1600.

The Pentucket girls won back-to-back events toward the end of the meet to help secure a first-place finish with 51 points. Libby Murphy, Phoebe Rubio, Kaylie Dalgar and Erin Muir won the 4x800, and Syeria Campbell, Sage Smith, Emily Rubio and Sabrina Campbell took home the 4x200.

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“We overcame the adversity of dealing with this weather, but we were really excited to be here regardless of the conditions,” Pentucket coach Steve Derro said.

The Fenwick boys set a new standard for persevering in the face of brutal weather conditions, as Matt Juneau (119 feet, 3 inches), Max Gibbs (110-0) and Franklin Quintin (103-4) each set personal records in the discus relay while placing first in the event.