Division 1 state coaches relays

Newton North girls hit trifecta

Lowell boys snag a first for school

Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff
Newton North’s Meghan Bellerose stays ahead of the pack at the Division 1 MSTCA Relays at Reggie Lewis Center.

Each winter, the Newton North girls’ track team circles the MSTCA Relays on the schedule. The focus leading up to the ultimate team event on the schedule has often paid off, as it did yesterday at the Reggie Lewis Track Center, with the Tigers rolling to their third straight Division 1 championship.

“I’m ecstatic, to break three state records is absolutely phenomenal,’’ said Tigers coach Joe Tranchita of his team’s performance. “To come here and get the win and set records speaks volumes for their execution.’’

Newton North finished with 59 points, far ahead of Andover (36) and Weymouth (30).


The Tigers won five of the 10 events, three in record fashion. Junior Carla Forbes was prominently involved in three of those wins and two of the meet records. Forbes, Kayla Prior, and Kayla Wong set one in the long jump, combining to cover 49 feet 4 1/4 inches.

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That same trio teamed up with Stephanie Brown to win the 4 x 50-yard shuttle dash in a meet-record 24.52 seconds.

“We knew we would have a good chance to win,’’ said Forbes, who also ran the anchor of the victorious 4 x 400 (4:03.74). “We didn’t come here with the mind-set to break records, we just wanted to try and do our best and hopefully take first.’’

The Tigers’ other record run came in the 4 x 50 shuttle hurdles, which was run in 29.11 by Wong, Brown, Prior, and Sonja Lehman.

“This is a huge meet for us every year because it is the one pure team meet and you really have to have a full range of depth, not just one or two superstars,’’ Tranchita said. “This is really about the team talent.’’


The Newton North boys’ team almost pulled off the double, but it was edged by Lowell, which scored in the final event for its first Division 1 relay title.

“It’s awesome, I’m so happy for the kids,’’ said coach Phil Maia. “It’s so difficult in Division 1 to get to the top, but we came into this thinking we could win it.’’

Lowell ended with 38 points, topping Newton North (34) and Acton-Boxboro (32).

The Red Raiders were led by high jumper Gilberto Brown, who cleared 6-7 of the team’s winning total of 18-1 3/4.

“He’s a really good athlete and kind of the cornerstone of the program,’’ said Maia.


The Red Raiders also took home the top prize in the 4 x 800 as the quartet of Nathan McCarthy, Alex Andujar, Mike Kalenoski, and Pat Coppinger finished in 8:06.30, just .22 seconds ahead of Brookline.

Lowell also picked up points by virtue of its second-place finish in the distance medley, and third in the shuttle hurdles.

The meet was tied at 34 going into the final event, the 4 x 400. Lowell finished more than three seconds behind Acton-Boxboro. Although it was fourth place, it gave the team first overall.

“We knew we had a good relay team, and they set a school record, so we were confident - we were just hoping we wouldn’t have a disqualification,’’ said Maia. “Things worked out in our favor today, so we’re excited.’’