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Locals ready for C/WMass D-II meet

It’s time for the track and field individuals to shine.

The Western-Central Mass. Division II Track and Field Championships take place today at 9:30 a.m. at Fitchburg State University and for the local teams, it’s now about the individuals.

Last weekend was likely to be the final time this season that local teams would compete as full squads and Mohawk Trail Regional High School had a strong showing with the girls’ team, taking first place, and the boys’ team finishing second on their side. With fewer and fewer athletes qualified this weekend, and with the addition of central Mass. schools, the spotlight falls more on individuals representing their schools, rather than the team as a whole. The top four individuals in each event will move on the to the state meet.

“The team is still a huge spirit, but it’s about each individual,” Mohawk boys’ coach Shawn Billings said. “The team is still a great part of what they do. They practice together and cheer for each other, but we know we are not going to compete as a team.”

The area has three top-ranked boys and three top-ranked girls. Mohawk’s Leroy Page is the top seed in the javelin at 171 feet, 6 inches, and is also ranked fourth in the discus at 133-2. Teammate Lucas Purington is ranked fifth in the 400 in 51.84 seconds.

Greenfield High School’s Vlad Popusoi is the top-seed in the pole vault at 14-6. His Green Wave teammate Scott Grote is ranked second in the discus at 133-8, while Veniam Darmanchev is the fifth seed in the javelin at 151-8.

Pioneer Valley Regional School’s Darion Sadri will try to advance in two events. The senior is ranked first in the long jump at 22 feet, and is ranked second in the triple jump at 43 feet. Frontier Regional School’s Jamie Blinder is the other area boy with a ranking inside the top five as he is seeded fourth in the pole vault at 12-6.

On the girls’ side, Frontier has two athletes with a top seed. Kat Miner is the top seed in the high jump at 5-5, while Katherine Conlisk is the top seed in the javelin at 120 feet. Ioana Teutsch is ranked fifth in the javelin at 108-5. Red Hawk do-all Mairead Ferry enters the weekend ranked inside the top six in three events. Ferry is the third seed in the 100 meter hurdles at 16.20 seconds, she ranks fifth in the pole vault at 9-6, and is ranked sixth in the 400 hurldes at 1:08.10.

Mahar Regional School’s Ally Parker is the other top seed with her leap of 17-1 in the long jump. Parker is also ranked fourth in the pole vault at 9-6. Teammate Tiffany Tenney is the fifth seed in the 400 in 1:01.92. Athol High School’s Emily Casella is ranked in two events, coming in second in the discus (111-4) and third in the shot put (37-0). Mohawk’s Natasha Olanyk is ranked third in the 400 at 1:00.23. Missing from this is Kesheal Henderson, who would be ranked in the top five in three events but has a field hockey tournament this weekend as she prepares to play collegiately in Division I and is not likely to make the trip to Fitchburg.

Pioneer’s Danielle Devine is ranked second in the high jump at 5-2, while Sydney Martin is ranked third in the pole vault at 9-6.

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