Sadri, Popusoi advance
It was not a great day for local athletes at the All-State Track & Field meet at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater on Saturday.
While two athletes qualified for next weekend’s New England meet, many of the locals failed to live up to their seed and fell short of finishing inside the top 6, which is what was needed in order to advance to New Englands.
Greenfield High School’s Vlad Popusoi and Pioneer Valley Regional School’s Darion Sadri will make the trip back to Bridgewater on Saturday for the New England meet, although both athletes had some issues during the day.
Popusoi, the No. 1 seed and defending state champion in the pole vault, is assured to finish inside the top five in the pole vault, but had the event cut short due to a light failure on Saturday night prior to the conclusion of the event (see side story). The five remaining vaulters have each cleared 13-3 and were attempting 13-9. Each competitor had already taken one try at 13-9, and only Westborough High School’s Jack Chuma had cleared it. The other four, including Popusoi, will pick back up at 13-9 and get their remaining two attempts when the event resumes Wednesday at Westborough at 4.
As for Sadri, he also entered the long jump as a top seed but did not have a great day, fouling on four of his six attempts. He finished seventh overall with a leap of 21 feet, 2 inches. The seventh-place finish made Sadri the first alternate, and he found out that day that one of the top six would not be competing at New Englands, making Sadri eligible for the New England meet.
Sadri also competed in the high jump along with Pioneer teammate Dan Bordner, who finished 12th with a jump of 6-2, while Sadri came in 15th at 6 feet. Pioneer also had a female representative in the high jump, as Danielle Devine finished 14th in the state at 5 feet.
Frontier Regional School had seven athletes at the meet, including five from the girls’ team. Kat Miner was the No. 3 seed in the high jump but finished 10th overall in the event at 5-2. The Red Hawks had two girls in the pole vault, as Kimmi Logan came in 11th at 9-9 and Mairead Ferry finished 18th at 8-9. There were also two Frontier females in the javelin with Katherine Conlisk placing 18th (105-7), and Ioana Teutsch took 21st (97-7). As for the two Red Hawk boys, Jamie Blinder took ninth in the pole vault (12-9) and Saul Soto finished 14th in the javelin (153-1).
Mahar Regional School’s Ally Parker competed in two events, placing ninth in the long jump (16-4) and 16th in the pole vault (8-9), while Athol High School’s Emily Casella also competed in a pair of events, taking 11th in the discus (107-9) and 12th in the shot put (35-61/2). Mohawk Trail Regional High School had three competitors at the meet, including Leroy Page, who was in two events. Page took 11th in the javelin (159-2) and 20th in the discus (126-5), while teammate Josh Rode placed 23rd in the 800 at 2:03.97. On the girls’ side, Mohawk’s Natasha Olanyk took 16th in the 400 in 1:00.39.