CHELMSFORD — On Saturday, the Tewksbury Memorial High School Girls Track-and-Field team finished in sixth place at the annual Merrimack Valley Conference Championship Meet held at the McCarthy Middle School.
And while the Redmen celebrated with a first place finish and eight other individuals finishing in the top six of their respective event, certainly the biggest performance or highlight of the day besides sophomore Makayla Paige breaking the meet record in the 400-meter hurdles, belonged to fellow sophomore Julia Dillon. She finished fourth in the javelin, throwing 102-11.
"This is first year doing the javelin as she had never done it before," said Redmen head coach Fran Cusick. "She has put the work in, she has made progress and Andrea Caprio is our throws coach and she has done a great job of getting Julia up to speed. I'm really excited for Julia because you never know what's going to happen but we think she can pop (a big throw) at any second."
It was a pretty decent day for Tewksbury overall in the throwing events. Besides Dillon, Faith Mazzapica had a terrific day as she was fourth in the discus throwing 95-2 and also picked up an eighth place finish in the shot put throwing 32 feet. In addition, Abby Demos was 10th in the shot put with Gianna Bourassa finishing 11th in the javelin (85-01) and 29th in the shot put (26-10).
A handful of seniors had busy and productive days. Stephanie Baptiste was fifth in the triple jump at 34-06, fifth in the 100-meter hurdles (16.11) and then joined Cassidy Gruning, Kerry Shea and Marissa Ladderbush to finish third in the 4x100 relay with with a time of 51.07 seconds.
"The 4x100 traditionally is always loaded at this meet so to get third place certainly says a lot. Our hand-offs went perfectly and the four of them just ran a really, really smart race. They executed so well," said Cusick.
In addition, Gruning was fourth in the high jump (4-11) and eighth in the 100 (13.50), Shea was fifth in the high jump (4-9) and 14th in the 100-meter hurdles (17.52), while Ladderbush was also third in the pole vault clearing eight feet and seventh in the long jump at 16-06.
Paige won the 400-meter hurdles with a meet record with a time of 1:03.58 and she also competed in the 200 taking third at 26.52 seconds and in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet.
Two other individuals placed including a fourth place from Jess Satterfield in the 400-meter hurdles (1:10.64) and a sixth from Lily Robinson in the mile (5:28.30).
In the other running events, Devyn Veits (12:31.83) and Caitlin Conneely (13:21.04) finished 8th and 13th in the two-mile. In the 400-meter hurdles, Isabelle Carleton was 10th at 1:14.30, followed by Sarah Polimeno who was 13th at 1:15.66. In the 100-meter hurdles, senior Isabelle Frost was 15th at 17.56 seconds. Grace Higgins was eighth in the 200 at 27.77 and was also 10th in the 100 at 13.66, with Jade Gizzi right behind finishing 11th at 13.74 seconds.
In the 400, Abby Hansbury was 11th at 1:04.79 and Ryan Quinn was 15th at 1:05.34. Molly Cremin was 19th in the mile at 6:10. And rounding things out included Hansbury taking 13th in the triple jump at 31-07 and the 4x400 relay team finishing ninth at 4:43.76.
"This meet brings out such strong competition. We are facing every single team in the conference and it's probably one of if not the best track league in the entire state. To score in this meet is always tough and we had a lot of it," said Cusick.
This upcoming week, Tewksbury will take part in the Eastern Mass Division 3 Championships. The meet actually kicks off on Thursday with the Pentathlon competition to be held at North Andover High School before the rest of the meet is concluded Sunday morning at Merrimack College starting at 10:00 am.
Three members of the team will participate in the pentathlon including Stephanie Baptiste, who is ranked second in the 100-meter hurdles, in a tie for second in the shot put and third in the long jump, Marissa Ladderbush who is second in the long jump and tied for second in the shot put and Kerry Shea, who is first in the high jump and third in the long jump.
"Now we're ready to go for Sunday's Meet," said Cusick. "Everyone is healthy. I think we will have a really good chance to make some noise. North Reading would have to have a bad day for us to have any chance of beating them, but I think second place is realistic. We would need to have a really good day but I think it's in our capabilities to get second place. We're looking forward to it.
“Whenever you get go to a divisional meet and have a chance to finish first or second, it makes the experience that much more fun."
Heading into Sunday’s meet, Paige is seeded first in both the 400-meter hurdles (63.53) and 800 (2:10.31), while she will be a part of the 4x400 relay team along with Quinn, Hansbury and Higgins and they are seeded third.
The 4x100 relay team of Ladderbush, Gruning, Shea and Higgins are seeded first at 51.07 seconds.
Dillon is seeded fourth in the javelin (102-11), Ladderbush is fifth in the pole vault and Baptiste is seventh in both the triple jump and 100-meter hurdles.