NORWELL — The North Reading girls repeated as Eastern Massachusetts Division 4 track and field champion on Sunday afternoon.
But their encore was not decided until the final event of the day, the 4x400-meter relay at Norwell High.
Entering the relay, the Hornets held a 5-point lead over Amesbury, the favorite to win the race.
North Reading coach Sotirios Pintzopoulos knew his girls needed to string together a third-place finish or better to hold off Amesbury.
One hundred meters from the finish line, North Reading anchor Meredith Griffin was in fifth place.
“I knew the team needed a third-place finish, so I dug deeper than ever before,” Griffin said. “Once I crossed the finish line, there was a sigh of relief and a smile because I knew we had done it.”
Griffin was the closer for a foursome that also included junior Kirsten Bradley, freshman Emily Davis, and sophomore Mia DeNofrio.
Amesbury’s quartet was first, in 4:09.12, followed by Millis (4:10.98)
“It was one of the closest finishes I’ve ever experienced as a coach,” Pintzopoulos said. “I’m just happy to see these girls pull off the victory.”
Norton senior Brooke-Lynn Williams continued her domination in the sprints, cruising to titles in the 100 (12.00) and 200 (25.09).
The Penn State-bound Williams is already looking ahead.
“I was happy with how I finished, especially the 200 because I don’t run that race as often as the 100,” Williams said.
“Now, I have some bigger goals going into the All-State meet [Saturday at Bridgewater State University].
In the boys’ meet, Old Rochester (83 points) outdistanced North Reading (59.5) and Weston (47.5) for the team title, a big improvement from last year’s sixth-place finish.
“When we finished one, two, three in the 110 hurdles, I knew we were in the driver’s seat,” said ORR coach Bill Tilden said.
“The momentum went to us and we took advantage by performing well the rest of the way.”
Danny Renwick (14.56), Eli Spevack (15.10), and Harry Smith (15.29) went 1-2-3 in the hurdles, racking up 24 total points for ORR.
Renwick also leaped 6 feet, 4 inches to win the high jump and accumulated 3,373 points to win the pentathlon, outdistancing North Reading’s Cameron Davis (2,829).
Lynnfield’s Nicholas Kinnon also was a double winner in the 100 and 200, while Wareham’s Bradley Harunkiewicz had the top throws in the shot put and discus.
Brian Mozey can be reached at email@example.com.