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Top seeds Sadri, Popusoi lead locals into All-State

Darion Sadri and Vlad Popusoi lead the field of local track athletes into Saturday’s All-State Track and Field meet at Bridgewater State University.

Both boys are No. 1 seeds entering their events and will have the rest of the field chasing them. A total of nine girls and seven boys from the area qualified. All top-six finishers will qualify for the New England meet.

Greenfield High School’s Popusoi will be looking to defend his All-State title in the pole vault after winning the event last spring with a jump of 14 feet. Since then, the senior has improved his height by a full foot, clearing 15 feet at last weekend’s West-Central Division II Championships. The all-time state record is 16 feet. Popusoi’s closest competition is Westborough High School’s Jack Chuma at 14-3. Frontier Regional School’s Jamie Blinder will enter the event seeded eighth after clearing a personal-best 12 feet, 9 inches last weekend.

As for Pioneer Valley Regional School’s Sadri, he qualified for three events Saturday but has the best chance to win the long jump, where he is seeded first at 22 feet, 9¼ inches. The second seed is Mark Pighetti from Westfield High School at 22-6¾.

Sadri qualified for the All-State meet last season but fouls cost him a chance to place and he finished last with no score. He entered that meet seeded 23rd at 20-5, meaning he has improved by better than two feet in a season. The senior will also compete in the triple jump as the 16th seed at 42-3, and in the high jump, where he is ranked 21st at 6 feet. He will be competing in the high jump against Panther teammate Dan Bordner, who enters tied for the 10th seed at 6-2, which is only four inches shy of the No. 1 seed.

Mohawk Trail Regional High School has two boy qualifiers, including Leroy Page, who’ll compete in a pair of throwing events. Page is the 20th seed in the javelin at 155-8, and is 21st in the discus at 126-11. Warrior teammate Josh Rode is 26th in the 800 at 2:00.29. Frontier’s Saul Soto is the final local boy competing, seeded 23rd in the javelin at 153-10.

On the girls’ side, Frontier leads area schools with five qualifiers, including Kat Miner, the top area girl tied for the second seed in the high jump at 5-4. Marshfield High School’s Ellen DiPietro is the only girl seeded above that height as she is the top seed at 5-8. Miner’s teammate Mairead Ferry will compete in two events, coming in tied for the 11th seed in the pole vault at 9-3, and ranking 19th in the 100 hurdles at 16.22 seconds. Frontier’s Kimmi Logan is tied for the ninth seed in the pole vault at 9-9, while teammates Ioana Teutsch and Katherine Conlisk will each compete in the javelin, Teutsch seeded 19th (107-9), Conlisk 25th (102-6).

Mahar Regional School’s Ally Parker will compete in two events and is the sixth seed in the long jump at 17-2. While top-seeded Brianna Duncan from Cambridge High School qualified at an astounding 19-2, second-seeded Morgan Richard from Barnstable High School is within Parker’s range at 17-6¼. Parker is the third area girl competing in the pole vault, tied with Ferry among 11th seeds at 9-3.

Pioneer’s Danielle Devine is another area girl looking to finish among the top six, entering the high jump tied for seventh place at 5-2.

Athol High School’s Emily Casella is another multiple-event competitor. The Red Raider thrower is seeded ninth in the shot put at 36-1½ and is 14th in the discus (106-5). Mohawk’s Natasha Olanyk is the final area girl competing, seeded 13th in the 400 at 59.31 seconds.

All seeds are based on the MIAA list released this week, and all qualification standards are based on how athletes performed last week, not their best finish of the season.

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