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Mohawk takes 2nd; Popusoi, Sadri break records

  • Vlad Greenfield pole vault 14"<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Leroy Page Mohawk javelin winner 161 ft 2 in<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Vlad Greenfield pole vault winner<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

BUCKLAND — Leroy Page dominated the throwing events, picking up 28 of a possible 30 points in the three events, and Mohawk Trail Regional High School finished second among the 22 teams making up the boys’ field during the Western Massachusetts Division II Track and Field Championships Saturday in Buckland.

Pioneer Valley Regional School’s Darion Sadri and Greenfield High School’s Vlad Popusoi each set meet records on the day and joined Page as the top area male individuals at the meet.

Page hit personal bests in two of the three events on the day and his 28 points were the key to Mohawk’s second-place finish with 69 points. Monument Mountain Regional High School ran away with boys’ title with 134 points, nearly twice as many as second-place Mohawk. Frontier Regional School was the next local finisher in seventh place with 38 points.

Page wound up hitting a personal record (PR) in the shot put at 44 feet, 81/4 inches to win that event. He also crushed the field in the javelin to win that event by nearly 10 feet with a throw of 161 feet, 2 inches. Page’s second PR of the day came in the discus where he finished second with a throw of 133-2.

“I was hoping to PR today and I PRed in two of the three events,” Page said. “It feels great to take second place, it’s the second year in a row we’ve finished second.”

Sadri had a solid day, winning both the long jump and triple jump. The Pioneer senior set school records in both events, and broke the meet record in the long jump with a distance of 22 feet. That was nearly two feet better than the second-place competitor. He also cruised to a victory in the triple jump with a leap of 43 feet, which was over two feet further than his closest competition. Sadri, a senior, only just started competing in the triple jump, and did not like the event when he first tried it.

“I tried it out and didn’t really like it that much,” he said. “Then last meet this year, I tried it and got 41-4 and that was the school record I think. So I just figured I would do it this week instead of the high jump.”

The long jump is an event Sadri has dominated in since the indoor season. He said he had a nagging injury that affected him at times this season, but he really wanted to reach 22 feet this season and that pushed him on Saturday, and he hit the mark in his final jump of the day.

“This season I hadn’t been doing too well,” he explained. “Today, just I just drove myself to want to win. I was going to pass on my third jump, because my second jump was 21-71/2, and that tied the meet record exactly. I figured I would try my third jump and just try my best and going for that record, I think I just pushed myself.”

And then there was Popusoi, who entered the meet as a heavy favorite to win the pole vault and he did not disappoint. In the pole vault event, competitors do not have to start jumping until they get to a desired height that they know they can clear. The risk in starting too high is that you miss and get a no-height and finish last. Popusoi’s height to come-in at is 13 feet, which was a height no other competitor was able to clear. He easily cleared 13 feet and proceeded to finish first after clearing 14 feet. His three attempts at 14-6 (his personal-best) came up short, and at one point he knocked the bar off and it hit him in the face, leaving him with a small laceration. Afterward, as he wiped some blood from the scrape, he said he was disappointed he topped out at 14, but was happy he set a meet record and won the event.

“I’m not really happy,” he said. “I felt weird on the runway. My plant was wrong. The record here was 12 feet, and three of us beat that, so it was a good day in this event.”

One of the other pole vaulters to top 12 feet was Frontier Regional School’s Jamie Blinder, who tied Monson High School’s Brendan Lloyd with a height of 12-6. Blinder finished third due to jumps, but the 12-6 was a personal best for the junior, who should be a favorite in the event next spring. Another favorite next season in the event should by Popusoi’s younger brother Sylvian Popusoi, a freshman this season, who finished fourth in the event at 11-6.

Greenfield’s Scott Grote was the other local male winner on the day with his first-place heave of 133 feet, 8 inches in the discus, narrowly beating Page in that event. Greenfield’s Veniam Darmanchev came in second in the shot put at 44-11/4.

Pioneer’s Dan Bordner had a solid day with a pair of top 3 finishes, placing second in the high jump at 6 feet, and third in the 110 meter high hurdles in 16.10 seconds. Mohawk’s Lucas Purington came in second in the 400 in 52.09 seconds, Mahar Regional School’s Ethan Nye came in third in the triple jump at 40-21/2, and Frontier’s Dylan Talbot came in third in the 200 in 24.17 seconds.

The boys take their talents to Fitchburg State University on Saturday for the Central-West Division II Championships.

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