Hawks thinking about repeat
Greenfield pole-vaulter extraordinaire Vlad Popusoi is in a league of his own coming into Saturday's WMass Division II Boys' Track and Field Championships at Mohawk in Buckland.
Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
Mahar multiple-event contender Ally Parker should be a threat in the long jump Saturday at the WMass Division II Girls' Track and Field Championships at Mohawk in Buckland.
Recorder/Mike Phillips Purchase photo reprints »
WESTFIELD, MA (June 1, 2013) - MIAA All State Track Championship Meet held at Westfield State University. Dario Sadri, Pioneer Valley Regional high School, Long Jump event. Photo by Beth Reynolds Purchase photo reprints »
Last season, the Frontier Regional School girls’ track and field team suffered its first regular-season loss since 1997. The Red Hawks responded by winning the Western Massachusetts Division II championship and then the Central-West Division II meet.
This year, Frontier again suffered a regular-season loss and finished second in the Suburban League, but on Saturday it will get a chance to once again redeem itself with some postseason magic.
The Red Hawks will try to defend their WMass Division II crown on Saturday at Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland at 9:30 a.m.
What has always been a staple of one of the most successful programs in western Mass. has been the team’s depth, something that was questioned at the start of the year as the team lost a number of top performers from a season ago. But on the heels of a 5-1 regular-season record, the team has put to rest doubts that it can repeat at both postseason meets.
While all the teams will be closely monitored at the meet, Saturday is also a chance for the top individuals to shine on the big stage, and Franklin County has no shortage of top performers.
The Red Hawks have three No. 1 seeds. Kat Miner leads the high jump at 5-5, while Pioneer Valley Regional School’s Danielle Devine is second at 5-2. Frontier has an even greater hold on the javelin as teammates Kat Conlisk (120 feet) and Ioana Teutsch (108-5) are the top two seeds. Mairead Ferry is the top seed in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:08.30 that puts her nearly a full second above the closest competition. Ferry is also ranked second in the 100 hurdles at 16.50 seconds, which is just .06 seconds back of the top seed. Frontier’s Sarah Conlisk is the second seed in the 800 (2:30.2) and a second back of the top seed.
Mohawk, fresh off its Franklin County League title, should contend with Frontier. Kesheal Henderson has a chance to pick up points in every event she enters and she will be the top seed in the 200 (27.04) and the second seed in the long jump (16-5½). Teammate Natasha Olanyk is the top seed in the 400 at 1:00.64.
Mahar Regional School is another team to keep an eye on, led by Ally Parker, another do-it-all athlete who should be a top point-getter. Parker is the top seed in both the pole vault (9-6) and long jump (17-1). Tiffany Tenney is the second seed in the 400 at 1:01.92.
Pioneer will have some top athletes at the meet. Joining Devine as a second seeds at the meet is Sydney Martin and Savannah Sojka. Martin comes in at 9-6 in the pole vault, while Sojka is second in the discus at 101-8. Athol’s Emily Casella is the only athlete in front of Sojka in the discus and is the top seed at 111-4. She is also the second seed in the shot put at 37 feet, just two inches back of the top seed.
On the boys’ side, Mohawk is fresh off its Intercounty League championship and should join Mahar as two teams to keep an eye on. Mohawk’s Leroy Page is one of the top throwers in western Mass., seeded in three events. He is far and away the top seed in the javelin with a chuck of 171-6, making him 14 feet better than his closest competitor. He is also second in the discus (125-0) and second in the shot put (44-7). Teammate Lucas Purington is the No. 2 seed in a pair of events, second in the 200 at 23.34 (.10 seconds back of first) and is second in the 400 at 52.34.
Greenfield has a pair of top seeds, including Vlad Popusoi, who was the top pole vaulter in Massachusetts last season and comes into the meet two feet better than his closest competitor at 14 feet, 6 inches. Teammate Scott Grote is the top seed in the discus at 128 feet.
Pioneer is led by Darion Sadri, who is the top seed in the long jump at 21-6, which is a foot better than his closest competition. Sadri is also the No.3 seed in the triple jump at 41-4¾, which is over a foot back of the top seed. Dan Bordner will also look to make some noise in high jump, where he is the third seed at 6-2, just two inches shy of the top seed.