In front of a roaring Reggie Lewis Center crowd on Monday, Cambridge and Newton North ruled both the boys’ and girls’ MIAA Division 1 Indoor Track & Field Championships. Cambridge finished first in the girls’ meet, squeaking out a victory over Newton North by 2 points. On the boys’ side, Newton North claimed the title with Cambridge placing second.
The Falcons’ 55 points topped Newton North’s 53 and third-place Lexington’s 50. Usually known for its prowess in the sprints and jumps, Cambridge’s newfound depth ultimately pushed the girls’ squad to the title.
“We’ve added some more pieces,” said Cambridge coach Jamalh Prince, pointing to sophomore Mia Baxter Smith. “This young lady, Mia, has become part of the collection when it’s been dominated by sprinters and jumpers. Finally we’ve added what we believe makes us more dynamic, a distance runner.”
Baxter Smith, a sophomore who just started running competitively this season, entered the day seeded 14th in the girls’ 2-mile run, but finished fourth with a time of 11 minutes 29.30 seconds.
“It just shows how much I’ve improved and that I’m a part of this team as much as everyone else is,” Baxter Smith said. “I was very surprised when I finished. It felt very invigorating, it felt good.”
Juniors Sydney Fisher and Maya Halprin-Adams also came up big for the Falcons. Fisher’s time of 7.22 seconds was the fastest in the 55-meter dash and her 40.56 time in the 300-meter dash was good for second. Halprin-Adams’s 2:55.92 finish led the field in the 1,000-meter run. Cambridge also finished first in the 4 x 200-meter relay, third in the 4 x 400 relay, and third in the high jump.
Newton North’s boys finished first with 79 points, outdistancing Cambridge (56) and BC High (53). For the Tigers, the win was simply taking care of business.
“I didn’t expect that we’d get as many points as we did, but we figured we’d be strong,” coach Jim Blackburn said. “We’ve got some great athletes. When you get that talent, you know you’re going to do pretty well.”
Blackburn expected his team to finish with 70 points, but the Tigers picked up extra points with a win in the high jump from senior Nick Fofana (6 feet 4 inches). Senior Mike Schlichting added wins in the mile and 2-mile runs, a feat his coach wasn’t sure he’d be able to accomplish.
“I felt pretty good the whole time,” Schlichting said. “Right after the mile, I wasn’t really sure how I felt but I knew I’d be able to do something good [in the 2-mile]. There was a lot of surging, forward and back, I was just trying to stay in a position where I wouldn’t find myself all the way back and where I wouldn’t be leading either.”
Tigers senior Gabe Montague competed in three events, winning the 1,000-meter run, anchoring a 4 x 800 relay second-place finish, and running in the 4 x 400 relay.
As a team, Newton North showed its dominance by earning points in 10 of the 13 events.
In addition, Shrewsbury’s Domonique Hall set the meet record in the girls’ 300-meter dash with a time of 39.69, and St. John’s Prep’s Joe Luongo broke the meet record for the 600-meter run with a time of 1:20.05.