PVIAC meet kicks off postseason

  • Greenfield's David Giurgiu competes in the pole vault. April 14, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Mohawk's Lilly Wells leads the 100 yard dash in their meet against Turners Falls, Pioneer, and Athol, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Mohawk's Lilly Wells is the top seed in the 800 and second seed in the 400 at today’s PVIAC Division II Championships, which take place at her home track in Buckland. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

Recorder Staff
Friday, May 19, 2017

It’s on to the postseason for the local track & field stars.

After a grueling dual meet season came to an end earlier this week, the local teams now turn their sights to today’s PVIAC Championships, the beginning of what many hope will be a long and fruitful postseason run. Mohawk Trail Regional High School will host the event, which begins at 9 a.m. in Buckland and functions as a de facto Western Mass. Division II championship.

Host Mohawk comes into today’s meet flying high on the girls’ side. The Warriors are fresh off a narrow victory over Mahar Regional School on Monday to capture the Intercounty League championship, and they have several athletes seeded at or near the top of the entry lists today.

Junior Lilly Wells will headline the squad, as she’s seeded first in the 800 meters (season-best time of 2:20.14) and second in the 400 (1:01.04). Classmate Violet Rawlings will also look to figure into the discussion in the discus, where she’s the top seed in the field after posting a season-best heave of 99 feet, 5 inches.

There are plenty of other Mohawk girls expected to be in the hunt on home turf. Sophomore harrier Meghan Davis is seeded third in the 2-mile and fourth in the mile, while Gabby Shean is strong in the field events where she’s second in the javelin and third in the shot put. Other top five seeds for the Warriors are Taylor Loomis (fifth, pole vault), Emma Poplawski (fifth, shot put) and Lily Shearer (fourth, 100 hurdles).

After settling for the runner-up spot in the IL standings, Mahar hopes to make some big noise in the postseason. Junior Kianna Reilly enters today’s event as the top seed in the triple jump (34-10), and she’ll also likely fare well in the high jump where she’s seeded second.

Other Senators to watch today are Maeve Powell (fourth, shot put), Kamryn Reilly (fifth, long jump) and Sienna Moore (fourth, pole vault).

Frontier Regional School, which tied for the top spot in the Suburban League with South Hadley High School during the regular season, has a pair of top 5 seeds going in Buckland. Olivia Vecellio is seeded third in the discus (93-3), while teammate Jaime Byrne is in contention in the pole vault as the third seed. The Red Hawks’ 4x100 relay team enters with the second-fastest time in the field.

Sarah O’Sullivan of Greenfield High School is another to watch in what will be a crowded field of locals in the girls’ pole vault. The senior is seeded second there with a best clearance of 8-6.

Greenfield eighth-grader Victoria Marin, who burst onto the scene in several events this spring, is seeded well in the long jump where she’s fourth (15-11). Teammates Courtney Danielson (fourth, javelin) and Amy O’Sullivan (fifth, 2-mile) could also challenge for top spots.

In the boys’ event, Franklin County Technical School senior Owen Ortiz, who attends Turners Falls High School, is primed for a big PVIAC day. The multi-event star, who has been posting outstanding results all season and is headed to compete on the track & field team at Westfield State University next year, is the top seed in the triple jump (43-1/2) and is second in the long jump field.

Mohawk junior stalwart Seth Hoynoski is another top seed, as he’ll enter the 400 hurdles as the one to watch with a top qualifying time of 58.40 seconds. Hoynoski should also push Ortiz in the triple jump, where he’s seeded third in the field.

The other top-seeded local athlete is Greenfield’s Isaiah Morrison, who headlines a Wave-laden pole vault with the best clearance of the season at 13-6. Morrison will see plenty of familiar faces in the event, as teammates Silvian Popusoi and David Giurgiu are seeded second and third, respectively.

Intercounty League champion Mahar, which beat Mohawk on the boys’ side to claim the league crown, is well-represented in several events today. Nick Sharp is seeded second in the shot put and fifth in the discus, while Ash Shaw is the second seed in the high jump. Others to watch for the Senators today include Aaron Hendry (top 5 seeds in the 400 and 110 hurdles), Hugo Frost (fourth, 400 hurdles) and Camden Mosher (fifth, pole vault).

Scott McDonough of Pioneer Valley Regional School qualified as a top five seed in both horizontal jumps. He enters as third-best in the long jump and fifth-best in the triple jump, continuing what has been an outstanding sophomore campaign that was jump-started by a lengthy postseason run in the winter indoor track season.

Fellow Panthers Jake Kelton (fourth, pole vault), Andrew Pratt (fourth, discus) and Wyatt Keith (fifth, javelin) are also in the mix today.

While Hoynoski is the highest-seeded Mohawk runner, he’ll have company with several teammates aiming for titles. Bennett Boucias was a consistent scorer in the distance events this spring, and he’ll be the third-seed in the mile and fifth-seed in the 800. John Demech is seeded fourth in the javelin for the Warriors, which also has the second-fastest 4x100 relay team in the field.

Others to watch on the boys’ side include Athol High School’s Mason Barrieau (third, 400 hurdles), Frontier’s Alex Sharp (fifth, mile) and the Greenfield sprinting duo of Connor Joy (fifth, 100) and Robert Byrd (third, 200).