Div. 6 track: Greenfield’s Mihailicenco & Rancourt, Frontier’s Vecellio, Mahar’s Gilmore all win state titles (PHOTOS)

  • Frontier’s Jack Vecellio clears the pole vault en route to winning the event with a top clearance of 16 feet, 6 inches at the MIAA Division 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Frontier’s Erich Brown clears the high jump en route to a second place finish at the MIAA Division 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Frontier’s Jack Vecellio clears the pole vault en route to winning the event with a top clearance of 16 feet, 6 inches at the MIAA Division 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Greenfield’s Liviu Mihailicenco clears the high jump en route to winning the event with a top clearance of 6 feet, 5 inches at the MIAA Division 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Greenfield’s Tess Rancourt throws the shot put en route to winning the event with a top heave of 38 feet, 11 inches at the MIAA Division 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Greenfield’s Theo Popusoi clears the pole vault en route to a second place finish at the MIAA Division 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Greenfield’s Liviu Mihailicenco motors toward the finish en route to taking second place in the 110-meter hurdles at the MIAA Division 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 5/30/2022 8:42:41 PM

WESTFIELD — Another meet, another big performance by Greenfield’s Liviu Mihailicenco. 

The Green Wave senior had a stellar performance at the MIAA Division 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday at Westfield State Universty. He came out with a victory in the high jump and set a new personal record in the 110-meter hurdles, earning second place overall. 

Mihailicenco cleared out the field in the high jump, earning the win at the 6 feet, 2 inch mark to edge out Frontier’s Erich Brown and Quaboag’s Owen Stevens, who both cleared 6-0. Mihailicenco then bumped up to 6-5 and made it, but was unable to eclipse the 6-7 mark. 

While it was a successful first place finish, Mihailicenco is focused on his form going into All-States later this week, where he knows he’ll be pushed by the toughest in the state. 

“I still stutter-stepped, which I’m not happy about,” Mihailicenco said. “I was tired at that point. Now at All-States I’ll need to see what the seeding is. Apparently there’s a guy who jumps 6-8. I’ve done it but we’ll see. I’ll need to do it that day. I have to get a good mark in, get the hypotenuse right and be able to jump without stutter-stepping.” 

In the 110 hurdles, Mihailicenco continues to improve as the season goes on. He finished with the top time in the trials of 15.02 seconds, besting the PR he set last week at the Western Mass. Div. 2 meet. In the finals, he blazed through in a time of 14.88, once again lowering his PR. He was only beaten by Ayer-Shirley’s Jacob Kalgren, who finished in a time of 14.63. 

Mihailicenco was thrilled with his time and used Kalgren as a motivation factor to get his time down. 

“I’m glad I got second so now I can go to All-States,” Mihailicenco said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Going in I was expecting him to win. When the trials finished I had the fastest time which meant I’d be in lane four and he’d be in lane five. He got out of the blocks first and I hit a couple hurdles. Props to him. I can’t be upset because I got the time I wanted.” 

As expected, the pole vault went through Frontier’s Jack Vecellio. The senior finished with a top mark of 16-6, the best height of the high school season thus far. Greenfield’s Theo Popusoi took second with a mark of 13-6. 

On a hot day where he waited until all the other jumpers were finished before entering at his starting height, Vecellio had to get into the right mindset before his jumps. 

“I usually skip the warmups and disconnect from everything,” Vecellio said. “I sit back, get in my own zone and relax. When there’s a few jumpers left I go out and warm up. It was a fist fight today. I’m happy with it. It was a lot of jumps on a hot day but I’m pleased with that mark.” 

With All-States and a few national meets around the corner, Vecellio said he’s just hitting his stride and is hoping to topple the 17-foot mark in the near future.

“I think it’s right around the corner,” Vecellio said. “We have a few meets this summer and I’m hoping to build up toward Nationals.” 

Greenfield’s Tess Rancourt shocked herself in the shot put. 

Coming off a serious knee injury, Rancourt has been working her way back up and came in as the No. 3 seed in the event on Monday. She got out there for warmups, felt good and ended up finishing with a top toss of 38-11, which set her own PR and won her the event. 

“I felt really good in warmups,” Rancourt said. “I was pretty close to 40 feet in the warmups so it felt nice. I saw the other girls weren’t throwing it as far so I knew I had a shot. I’m super happy with it. I didn’t expect that at all. I thought I’d get third because I haven’t been doing well at practice.” 

For Rancourt, it was all about having the right frame of mind going into the event. 

“I was in the right mindset,” Rancourt said. “I had a set goal that I wanted to do well and go to All-States. All the pressure I put on myself paid off. I hit a huge PR today. Not being first in the seeding helped a lot because I didn’t have that target on my back.” 

Now going into All-States, the senior is hoping to hit the 40 foot milestone, a number she’s had in mind since the start of the season. 

“It’s a good feeling to come so far in one season,” Rancourt said. “Coming off the injury, I wasn’t throwing well and it freaked me out. My knee is a lot better now and is getting better every day. I just want to hit 40 (feet). That’s been my goal all year.” 

Mahar’s Max Gilmore earned a trio of first place finishes, winning the para shot put (16-7.5), 100, and javelin (34-6). 

Frontier’s Caroline Crocker came up with a third place finish in the 100 hurdles (15.35) and took eighth in the long jump (15-5.5). Frontier’s Abigail Howard came in sixth in the high jump (5-0) and Sadie Ross took fifth in the javelin (93-5). Pioneer’s Nina St. Clair came in 10th in the 100 (13.15). 

On the boys side, Green Wave Keegan Doty-Smith finished sixth in the pole vault (10-0). 


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.


Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
 

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy