Mahar girls lead area entries at PVIAC indoor track meet

  • Mohawk's Meghan Davis competes in the 1-mile run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Pioneer's Scott McDonough competes in the long jump during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Cresens Iavorschi competes in the long jump during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Crescens Iavorschi competes in the long jump during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Cresens Iavorschi competes in the 55-meter dash during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Kamryn Reilly competes in the high jump during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. For more photos from the event, visit recorder.com. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Carra Fitzgerald competes in the 1-mile event during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Carra Fitzgerald, left, competes in the 1-mile event during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Tyssen LaBombard competes in the 1-mile event during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk's Meghan Davis competes in the 1-mile run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk's Dennis Simmons, front, and Mahar's Liam O'Donnell compete in the 2-mile run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk's Meghan Davis crosses the finish line in the 1-mile run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk's Meghan Davis competes in the 1-mile run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Athol's Mason Barrieau competes in the 600-meter run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Jordyn Berry competes in the high jump during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Caroline Chase, center, competes in the 600-meter run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Kamryn Reilly competes in the 55-meter dash during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Caroline Chase, center, competes in the 600-meter run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk's Meghan Davis competes in the 2-mile event during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk's Meghan Davis competes in the 2-mile event during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk's Meghan Davis lines up to compete in the 2-mile event during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Athol's Dennis St. Jean competes in the 1000-meter run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk's Dennis Simmons, front, and Mahar's Liam O'Donnell compete in the 2-mile run during the PVIAC indoor track championship Friday night at Smith College in Northampton. Staff Photo/Dan Little

Staff Writer
Published: 2/8/2019 10:47:59 PM

NORTHAMPTON –  The roars inside the track at Smith College can oftentimes serve as a distraction, especially with the margin for error razor-thin heading down the home stretch.

But to the best athletes, the ones who shine week in and week out, the controlled chaos is embraced.

Such was the case Friday night, when the PVIAC Individual Championships served as the culmination of a seven-meet regular season. To excel is to rise above the noise, something that can often be difficult as the Franklin County schools compete against the best in western Mass., regardless of division.

Mahar Regional School’s Kamryn Reilly was one of those local athletes to rise to the occasion. The junior multi-event standout took second overall in the long jump Friday, posting a personal-best leap of 16 feet, 5 inches, to put her as the runner-up behind Longmeadow’s Kay Conway (17-4). Reilly, who was seeded seventh in the long jump, also broke the school record in the 55-meter dash (7.67 seconds), where she finished seventh overall, and nabbed ninth in the high jump for a trio of top 10 showings.

“It can be stressful, but it’s a lot of fun here because everyone is cheering and loud,” said Reilly, who helped the Senators finish an area-best seventh place in the team standings. “I was definitely hoping to make the finals (in the long jump) so second place, I’m happy with that.”

Mohawk senior Meghan Davis is no stranger to the spotlight. She was in the middle of the action yet again Friday, beginning with her run in the mile.

Davis jumped out quickly, climbing to the front of the pack for the opening two laps. She was unable to hold the lead from there however, and ultimately settled for fifth place (5:22.15). Pope Francis’ Emily Boutin captured the win in 5:11.45.

“I knew I had to get out front so I’ve been working on my starts to try and get out there and hang with that main pack,” Davis explained. “Those top runners are really tough.”

Not long removed from the mile, Davis stepped to the line for the 2-mile and once again ran well. Her time of 11:21.20 was good enough for second place, behind only Amherst’s Sophia Jacobs-Townsley (11:02.98). Mahar seventh-grader Carra Fitzgerald, who broke her own school record to finish seventh in the mile (5:34.67), cruised into the top 5 with a fifth-place showing (12:13.56) in the 2-mile. Greenfield’s Lulu Calamae was 12th (12:58.32).

“I’m relatively happy with it,” said Davis of the runner-up spot. “I felt comfortable. I’ve worked a lot on speed and shorter races this year, hoping to save my best 2-mile for championship season.”

Strategy becomes an important piece of the puzzle in big races. Athol senior Mason Barrieau admitted his strategy didn’t wind up working out for the best in the boys 600. Barrieau found himself in last place after the opening turn of the three-lap event, an unenviable position in a grueling distance. He recovered nicely, picking off runners to finish third overall (1:26.51), but his disappointing start cost him a chance at victory in the end. Northampton’s Ethan Cooper took first in 1:23.52.

“My strategy blew up in my face right away,” said Barrieau, who also nabbed seventh place in the 55-meter hurdles, with a smile afterward. “I was trying to get right up behind the (top-seeded runner) and stay there at the beginning of the race but I got stuck in the back behind just about everyone else. I’m disappointed about that start. If I hadn’t let myself get into that situation, I wouldn’t have had to use more of the energy that I needed for my finishing kick.”

Barrieau was one of a pair of No. 2 seeds entering Friday’s race from the Recorder area. The other? Pioneer senior Scott McDonough, the long jumper extraordinaire. McDonough had an eventful day, beginning his long jump with a solid leap of 20 feet, 6¾ inches, only to foul on his next two attempts. The initial mark got him into the finals, and he bumped his total with a jump of 20-8½. He had a chance for more, only to be called for a close foul on what could’ve been a winning leap. He settled for fourth place overall, but has his sights now set on Wednesday’s MIAA Div. 5 Championship in Boston where he was the runner-up in the event a year ago as a junior.

“He’s improved this year, been consistently in the 20’s,” said Pioneer coach Jim Bell of McDonough. “He’ll do well Wednesday. He's a competitive kid, he’ll want to go right back out and jump better.”

Greenfield junior Crescens Iavorschi was all over the place Friday. After qualifying for the finals in the 55-meter dash, he high-tailed it back to the long jump where he also reached the finals and posted a top 10 finish. Just seconds after his last jump, he motored back to the starting line just as the 55 finals were set to begin. He strode up to the line and ran to a sixth-place finish in 6.86 seconds.

Greenfield teammate Theodor Popusoi also scored on the night, finishing eighth in the 55-meter hurdles (9.07). The girls team was without the services of versatile sophomore Victoria Marin, who qualified in three different events but missed Friday’s meet with an illness.

Athol’s Dennis St. Jean broke a 10-year old school record in the 1,000 meters, finishing sixth overall with a time of 2:43.92 to help the Red Raiders to the best finish of a local boys team (12th). Mohawk freshman Dennis Simmons took 11th in the 2-mile (10:43.74).

Mahar received several strong performances on the girls side behind Reilly. Senior Anna Wetherbee improved her seed in the long jump to finish sixth overall, while freshman Emma Savoy took ninth in the 1,000 (3:34.36) and classmate Caroline Chase was 11th in the 600 (1:49.11).

Mohawk freshman Erica Szewczyk cracked the top 10 for her team in the mile, nabbing 10th overall with a time of 5:57.65.

South Hadley won the girls team event, edging Northampton by one point (71-70). On the boys side, Northampton took first place (89 points), ahead of runner-up Amherst (66).


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