ANDOVER — Another year and another title for the Newton North girls’ track team as the Tigers took home their fourth consecutive Division 1 Massachusetts State Track Coaches Relays title on Sunday.
The Tigers racked up 73 points in the victory while for the fourth consecutive year Andover finished second (63).
“To come as close as we did to probably the best girls’ track team in the state, I’ll take it,” Andover coach Peter Comeau said.
Newton North coach Joe Tranchita didn’t expect the day to end like it did, and certainly not by earning 10 points in the high jump.
The Golden Warriors and the Tigers traded the lead all day.
With 14 of 15 events completed, Newton North took a 1-point lead into the last flight of the high jump. The Tigers won the event with combined jumps of 4.42 meters.
“It doesn’t get more intense than this,” Tranchita said. “This is just huge, of the last four years we’ve won this, this is the biggest.”
The Tigers also took top prize in the triple jump (30.27 meters) without national champion Carla Forbes, who didn’t compete. In the shot put, they were runner-up at 30.04 meters to the Warriors’ 30.33.
On the oval, Newton North grabbed 10 points from Evie Heffernan, Mauve Greeley, Sonya Jampel, and Cookie Koh in the 4 x 800 and another first in the sprint medley.
“That’s not our top 4 x 800 team, but we came in hoping to win knowing that we had a legit shot of winning it,” Tranchita said.
Senior Meghan Bellerose ran the opening leg of the sprint medley and was spent afterward. Tranchita had planned to pull her from the 4 x 200, but she insisted on staying in for a 25.7 second split to help the Tigers finished second in 1 minute 47.53 seconds.
With less dramatics, the Lowell boys won their first outdoor title.
“This is one of our favorite meets to compete in because it shows the true team,” said Red Raiders coach David Casey, a former Lowell hurdler (class of 1997).
Lowell grabbed an early 10 points by winning the first event, the 4 x 1,600 in 18:08.95 behind Pat Coppinger and Mike Kalenoski. The pair returned to lead the Red Raiders to victory in the distance medley at 10:57.50. Peabody finished second (11:05.09).
“The backbone of our program is definitely the distance runners and some short sprinters we have,” Casey said.
But he was most impressed with his 4 x 100 quartet of Ryan Fitzgerald, Ramsford Kanneh, Colin Hoey, and Nicolau Coury placing first at 43.80.
“We really needed the points, and we were coming in ranked first in the state, so kind of had to live up to potential,” Hoey said.
Overall, the Red Raiders used 10 top-six finishes to rack up 59 points, to Newton North’s 49. BC High finished third (46).
The win was Lowell’s third state title of the school year after winning the indoor relays and the boys’ All-State crowns.
“I feel like we’re on that pedestal right now, can’t be touched,” Hoey said.