The bulk of the MVC headed to Boston for the annual Holiday Challenge, while one team headed to Rhode Island to earn some hardware.
While most of us have been stuffing ourselves with the holiday food and desserts, many of the local track stars continue to light it up in various meets.
On Friday, the Boston Holiday Challenge Meet was held at the Reggie Lewis Center and there were some outstanding performances from MVC athletes — led by Lowell’s Richmond Kwaateng, Billerica’s Stephen Harris, Methuen’s Stanley Hanci and Billerica’s Thomas Dinsmore, to name a few.
Kwaateng won the long jump at 22-04.25, was part of the winning 4×200 relay team along with Aaron Morris, Samuel Mutiso and Franco Recto with a combined time of 1:32.54. Kwaateng finished up his busy day by taking second in the 55-meter dash at 6.49 seconds.
Both the 300 and the high jump had Harris and Hanci competing against one another. In the 300, Harris got the edge as he came in second at 35.66 with Hanci third at 35.92.
Then in the high jump, they both cleared 6-1, but Hanci got fourth place with less misses with Harris taking sixth. It was a personal record for Hanci.
Dinsmore won the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:38.09, and Mutiso was second in the 55-meter hurdles at 7.49 seconds which broke his own school record, and before that the mark was set ten years ago.
Two other relay teams placed in the top five. The Billerica 4×800 team of Gachau Kabuga, Jack Holden, Brandon Marion and Dinsmore finished third at 8:34.02 and in the same race, the Haverhill team of Ben Craven, Shane McGonagle, Aiden Corcoran and Colin Daugherty finished fifth at 8:48.64.
Billerica’s Eric Tedesco competed in the pentathlon competition and finished 14th, but did take the top spot in the shot put throwing 36-06.75.
On the female side, Billerica had an outstanding day. Taking individual third places included Nicole Anderson in the 300 at 42.33, her twin sister Deidra in the 1,000 at 3:06.91 and Hannah Doherty in the two-mile at 11:39.28. Also, the 4×800 relay team of Nicole and Deidra Anderson, Sydney Diorio and Emily Burdick finished third at 10:09.59.
Paige Murphy competed in the pentathlon and finished third with 2,722 points. She was third in the long jump, shot put and 800, tied for third in the high jump and sixth in the 55-meter hurdles.
Lowell’s Deborah Ofodile had a terrific performance, finishing third in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.91 seconds.
“This is the fifth-fastest time in school history and makes her only the fifth girl in Lowell history to break nine seconds,” said head coach Nate Kraft. “She also posted a personal record in the high jump clearing 4-9. Deborah has started off her senior year very strong. A quiet leader, her hard work at practice sets a great example for our young athletes.”
Finally, Haverhill freshman Finleigh Simonds, who was an All-Scholastic from the cross-country season, was fourth in the freshman mile with a personal best time of 5:18.10, which just missed a meet record. She also joined Ariann and Byrnne LeCours and Gabby DeRoche on the 4×800 relay team which took fifth at 10:19.64.
The Rhode Island Classic Meet was also held on Friday and Dracut’s shot put trio of DJ Gagnon, Gerrin Kopcinski and Luke Davey (pictured below) came in first place, and on the female side, the team of Juliana DeMartino, Jacintha Karanja and Stephanie Moreira placed seventh.
Back on December 21, the MSTCA Speed Classic Large School Meet was held at the RLC. North Andover had a strong day as the 4×400 relay team of Jack Chace, Peter Martel, Will Servino and Matt Chicko was first with a time of 3:35.95, while in the 300, Peter Martel (36.99) and Jack Chace (37.34) finished third and fifth, respectively.
Mutiso was first in the 55-meter hurdles at 7.58 seconds, Kwaateng was second in the 55-meter dash at 6.57 and then his teammates Jakob Rivers, Aaron Morris, Kyle Shanahan and Recto were third with a time of 1:34.56.
Finally, Andover’s James Chen was fourth in the 55-meter hurdles at 8.32 seconds.
On the female side, the 55-meter hurdle event was incredible as four representatives from the MVC finished second through fifth including Andover’s Jodi Parrott second at 8.95, Ofodile was third at 9.17, North Andover’s Sarah Lavery was fourth at 9.36 and Andover’s Ashley Sheldon was fifth at 9.72.
Lowell’s 4×200 relay team of Lizzie Tighe, Casey Mitchell, Becca Cady and Celeste Mensah won at a clip of 1:52.20. North Andover’s 4×200 relay team of Ava Nassar, Emma Martin, Angie Coa and Alison Ferullo were third at 1:54.38, while the 4×400 relay team of Madison Palumbo, Katie Sullivan, Katie Wojcik and Caleigh Applegate was also third at 4:28.39 and Martin also picked up a fifth in the long jump at 16-01.25.
On the same day, two Tewksbury athletes participated at the BU Mini Meet. Senior Zach LaLonde was fourth in the 400-meters with a time of 51.44 which broke a school record and junior Makayla Paige won the 400 with a time of 58.66, which also broke a school record.