Track teams open strong

MIDDLEBURY — An early-season high school track and field meet at Middlebury College on Friday featured some fine individual performances by athletes from Middlebury, Mount Abraham and Vergennes, but the fourth team on hand, Lyndon, walked away with first place when they tallied up both the girls’ and boys’ team scores.
The Lyndon girls scored 120 points, with MUHS (89) and Mount Abe (81) not too far behind and VUHS (27) trailing.
The Lyndon boys won more easily with 146.25 points, while the three local teams waged a close race for second won by the Eagles (54), with MUHS (50.75) and VUHS (50) nipping at their heels.
“The team scores between the Addison County teams were very competitive, the most balanced that I have seen in recent years,” said MUHS coach Bill Edson, whose team hosted the meet.
Edson’s girls’ team had the overall best local performance, although like all the teams the Tigers were shorthanded because of school trips stranded in Europe. Senior distance and middle-distance runners Hilary Swift and Kelly Covey were also injured, and Swift, a captain, may miss the season.
Counting relays, among the Tiger girls, several veterans performed well: sophomore Emily Anderson had two firsts and a second, junior Rosalie Wright-Lapin had a first and three seconds, senior Ashleigh Hickey had a first and a second, sophomore Julia Geisler led a Tiger sweep in the 100-meter hurdles, and junior Jasmine Blodgett tied her school record (8’-0”) in winning the pole vault.
Edson was also happy to see several newcomers to the team step in and do well, notably freshman Nicole Morris (two seconds) and juniors Christine Artim (one first and one second) and Rachel Getz (a first, two seconds and a third).
“Although some of the mainstay athletes had solid performances for the first meet of the season … it was the newcomers that raised some eyebrows,” Edson said.
On the boys’ side, junior Ethan Roy won the 800 meters and anchored the winning 4X800 relay team, freshman Akeem Pottinger tied for second in the high jump, and sophomore Stuart Guertin joined Roy on the 4X800 team and picked up two seconds.
For the Eagle girls, junior Cassie Marion took two firsts and a second, sophomore Brooke Lossman earned a first and a second, and sophomore Mariah Clark won the high jump.
On the boys’ side for Mount Abe, youngsters also did well: freshman thrower Logan Rotax picked up a first and a fourth, and freshman Malcolm Plunkett broke 10 minutes and posted a 34-second win at 3,000 meters, running the second half of the race faster than the first half.
Eagle co-coaches Gary Russell and Gabe Hamilton were both happy afterward. Russell called it a great opening meet.
“We have a lot of youth on our team and Gabe and I were very encouraged by the results, especially by our underclassmen and women who placed strong in many events,” Russell said.
Hamilton noted nine Eagle athletes performed well enough to qualify for the state meet in 11 events. As well as the event winners, they included sophomore Alia Johnson, a track newcomer, at 3,000 meters, and senior triple-jumper Sylvia Sword.
“Additionally, we had several other athletes start off the season with PRs (personal records) over last year’s best performances,” Hamilton said. “It was quite a remarkable start to the season.”
VUHS coach Jeff Kauffman’s team was also missing a number of potential scorers because of a music trip, but one of his preseason predictions came true, that Commodore newcomers would score points.
Junior Jacob Firlik made the biggest impact in his first-ever meet, winning two events, the 100 and the triple jump, and adding two fourths. Freshmen Shep Carter (a first and a second), Lane Kessler (one first, one third), and Jon Welch (one second, one third) also hit the ground running — literally and figuratively.
“You can see from the results that we are a small team but competitive,” Kauffman said. “Most of the athletes running yesterday were first-year athletes. They have matured well and worked really hard. The proof is in the results.”
Athletes like seniors Chris Parfitt and Ellen Watkins will be on hand this Thursday when VUHS competes at U-32.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the whole team compete,” Kauffman said. “There is a great future for this team.”
Scoring points on Friday with top-five finishes for local teams were:
• 100 meters: 2. Marion, MAU, 13.46; 4. Sword, MAU; 5. Kensey Hanson, MAU.
• 200: 2. Tabby Danyow, VUHS, 29.55; 4. Lane Russell, MAU.
• 400: 1. Hickey, MUHS, 1:06.02; 2. Wright-Lapin, MUHS; 3. Lily Haigis, VUHS.
• 800: 1. Anderson, MUHS, 2:39.43; 2. Alia Johnson, MAU; 5. Casey Ogden, MAU.
• 1,500: 2. Morris, MUHS; 4. Carrie Stearns, MUHS; 5. Hannah DeGraaf, VUHS.
• 3,000: 1. Artim, MUHS, 12:25.36; 2. Johnson, MAU.
• 100 hurdles: 1. Geisler, MUHS, 21.16; 2. Rachel Getz, MUHS; 3. Emily Byers, MUHS; 4. Mira Atherton, MUHS.
• 300 hurdles: 2. Abby Baker, VUHS, 58.12; 3. Getz, MUHS; 4. Isabel Hamilton, VUHS; 5. Samantha Sequin, MUHS.
• 4X100 relay: 2. MUHS, 57.52, Getz, Nina Edson, Wright-Lapin, Hickey.
• 4X400: 1. MUHS, 4:37.59, Getz, Morris, Anderson, Wright-Lapin; 2. VUHS, 4:48.94, Baker, Haigis, Hamilton, Catherine Parker.
• 4X800: 2. MUHS, 11:34.58, Stearns, Morris, Artim, Anderson.
• High jump: 1. Clark, MAU, 4’-6”; 2. Becky Johnston, MAU; 4. Atherton, MUHS; 5. Shannon Gillen, MAU.
• Pole Vault: 1. Blodgett, MUHS, 8’-0”; 2; Lossman, MAU, and Wright-Lapin, MUHS; 4. Emily Wood, MAU.
• Long jump: 1. Marion, MAU, 15’-10.25”; 3. Sword, MAU, 13’-1”; 4. Byers, MUHS.
• Triple jump: 1. Marion, MAU, 32’-4.75”; 2. Sword, MAU; 3. Gillen, MAU; 4. Nicky Shandrow, MAU; 5. Johnston, MAU.
• Shot put: 2. Jamie Cousineau, 24’-6.5”; 4. Cathy Paquette, MUHS.
• Discus: 1. Lossman, MAU, 78’-8.5”; 4. Paquette, MAU.
Scoring points with top-five finishes for local teams were:
• 100: 1. Firlik, VUHS, 12.07; 2. Nick Earle, MAU; 5. Adam Peterson, MUHS.
• 200: 4. Firlik, VUHS, 24.99.
• 400: 3. Ben Smith, MAU, 56.58.
• 800. 1. Roy, MUHS, 2:13.06; 2. Carter, VUHS; 3. James Hare, MUHS; 4. Caetano Hanta-Davis, MUHS, 5. Clayton Duclos, MAU.
• 1,500: 1. Carter, VUHS, 4:40.22; 2. Guertin, MUHS; 3. Cam Skerritt-Perta, MAU; 4. Zac Shambo, MUHS.
• 3,000: 1. Plunkett, MAU, 9:46.15; 3. Yoan Gorostiaga, MUHS; 4. Damian Chamberlain, VUHS.
• 100 hurdles: 1. Kessler, VUHS, 19.21; 3. Welch, VUHS; 4. Jarrod Ashley, MUHS; 5. Micah Lynch, MUHS.
• 300 hurdles: 2. Welch, VUHS, 47.97; 3. Kessler, VUHS; 4. Ashley, MUHS; 5. Chuck Hill, MUHS.
• 4X100 relay: 2. MAU, 56.40, Earle, Eric Monzel, Ryan Conant, Bobby Lavallee.
• 4X400: 2. MUHS, 4:00.16, Guertin, Peterson, Tenzin Chopel, Lynch.
• 4X800: 1. MUHS, 9:17.97, Gorostiaga, Neil Guertin, S. Guertin, Roy.
• High jump: 2. Pottinger, MUHS, 5’-4”; 4. Lynch, MUHS; 5. Peter Watson, MUHS, and Charlie Watson and Grant Baker, MAU,
• Pole Vault: 3. Ben Smith, MAU, 7’-6”.
• Long jump: 3. Charlie Johnston, MAU, 19’-4.5”; 4. Firlik, VUHS.
• Triple jump: 1. Firlik, VUHS, 38’-9.5”; 3. Dan Boucher, MUHS.
• Shot put: 1. Logan Rotax, MAU, 35’-8”; 4. Linwood Chamberlain, MAU.
• Discus: 4. Tony Sawyer, MAU, 78’-11”; 5. Chamberlain, MAU.
• Javelin: 4. Rotax, MAU, 110”-5.5’; 5. Chamberlain, MAU.

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