The Raiders win their first MVC Duals title since 2016, while a deep and talented Indians squad overpowered Tewksbury.
Heading into the final event of the evening, the 4×400 relay, the Central Catholic girls’ indoor track-and-field team had a three-point edge over North Andover, who came into Thursday night’s meet with a 10-0 regular-season mark against Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 opponents.
Thanks to the efforts of Carla Bouchrouche, Elizabeth Dankert, Ciera Lacare and Kaleigh Lane, who had a combined time of 4:09.10, the Raiders celebrated with their dramatic come from behind, 54-46 win over the Scarlet Knights to capture the MVC Division 1 Dual Meet Championship held at Boston University’s Track and Tennis Center.
This is the first title for CC since 2016, and also the first for Coach “Doom”, Shawn Dumas, who joined the ranks this season.
“North Andover is a good team and we played up to them all season but we picked away at it,” he said. “We adjusted the line-up a little bit and we had a goal at the start of the year and we reached that goal (of being league champions) today.”
Central was able to come away with the win as the team had seven first places and six second places, compared to five and four for the Knights.
“We have a lot of kids running this weekend (at other Invitational Meets) so we kind of moved some kids around so it was really a development effort,” said North Andover assistant coach Bill Varney. “We thought we had a chance (to win) and we did. We gave Central everything that they could handle and they just had the better team today. What I liked was the kids competed and we tried to have a good effort today for Coach (Rick) Dellechiaie, who is not here because his mother just passed away. So the entire team is wearing these ribbons to show their support for Rick and his family.”
Central was led by the performance of junior Katharine Duren. She was the overall league winner in the 55-meter hurdles at 8.75 seconds and the long jump with a leap of 17-05.25, and then she was part of the first place 4×200 relay team along with Grace Lydon, Victoria Moda and Faith Lee, who had a time of 1:49.08. The other first-place finish came in the shot put as Emily DeMonico threw 34-08.25.
In addition, Lane was second overall in the 600 at 1:40.94, Lee was also second in the 300 at 43.67 seconds, Moda was third in the 55-meter dash at 7.76, Bouchrouche was third in the hurdles at 9.25, Kelsey Seamans was fourth in the mile at 5:38.19 and fifth in the two-mile at 12:24.63, and Kaitlyn Sawyer was second in the shot put throwing 31-11.50.
In the Division 2 race, Billerica easily defeated Tewksbury, 71-29, to come away with the title.
Senior Deidra Anderson was the overall league winner in the mile with a time of 5:35.17. The team also received first-place finishes in the dual meet against Tewksbury from Nicole Anderson in the 600 (1:43.64), Hannah Doherty in the 1,000 (3:12.03), Danielle Sullivan in the two-mile (12:48.59), Emma Hallet in the 55-meter hurdles (9.34), Paige Murphy in the long jump (16-04.50), Isabella Pereira in the 55-meter dash (8.10) and Brianna Martini in the shot put (30-06.75).
“We have big numbers this year which really helps us out, so it’s probably the deepest team that we have ever had,” said Billerica head coach Cullen Hagan. “It’s been exciting to watch, just across the board. We never used to have any hurdlers or high jumpers or we would have one every now and then, but our entire coaching staff is just excellent. They really know how to bring kids along in every event.”
The other overall first places came from Dracut’s Ava Soucy in the 55-meter dash (7.75), Tewksbury’s Makayla Paige with the state’s best time in the 300 (40.13), North Andover’s Courtney Dalke in the 600 (1:40.94) and Sarah Lavery in the high jump (5-4), Lowell’s Slap Mirambeaux in the 1,000 (3:10.91) and Andover freshman Molly Kiley in the two-mile (11:50.16).