Berkshires' best seeded highly for Central-Western Mass. track/field meets
A number of Berkshire County's best track and field athletes may not have shown anyone their best performances yet.
Saturday, then, would be the perfect day to top a personal-best mark.
The county's track and field teams head for two locations for Central-Western Mass. meets Saturday morning. Division I, where Pittsfield and Taconic will compete, is at Westfield State University, while Division II teams head to Fitchburg State. Both meets begin at 9:30 a.m. with field events.
Two individuals and a relay head to the D-II meet with top seed times in the MIAA performance lists. On the boys side, Hoosac Valley's Trevor Ciempa is the top seed in the 800 at 2 minutes, 0.18 seconds, and Monument Mountain's 3,200 relay team is tops at 8:15.67.
On the girls side, Mount Greylock's Emily Kaegi leads the way in the 2-mile run at 11:18.62, but will not run the event due to her skipping next week's state meet because of Mount Greylock's graduation (held on the same day as states). Kaegi will run the mile and the 3,200 relay.
"With my coaches, I decided to run the mile because with the competition, we want to see how fast I can run," Kaegi said in a message to The Eagle. "I've already run [the] 2 mile with girls pushing me so we thought it would be fun to see what I can do running in the pack with a mile. The mile has been my race since [seventh] grade, so it does seem fitting that I run it one last time."
Wahconah's boys have a number of top seeds as well. The best among them is Marcus Duncan in the 400, where he's seeded second with a 50.55-second time.
Warrior coach James McMahon has high expectations for Duncan on Saturday -- mainly because he thinks Duncan hasn't been pushed enough within the county.
"He posted that seed time winning by something like 1.3 seconds," the coach said. "His goal this season has been to run a sub-50."
Wahconah's boys 3,200 relay team is also a second seed (8:25.84). Eric Klem is third in the mile (4:31.28), and Dalton Hill is fourth in the 800 (2:01.44).
The 800 is noteworthy because Berkshire County has three of the top four seeds -- Ciempa, Jesse Arevalo (second) and Hill. But that's not even the most notable event. Berkshire runners are 1-2-3 in the 2-mile -- Hoosac's Travis Ciempa at 9:36.11, Monument's Ace McAlister at 9:37.12, and Lenox's Tucker McNinch at 9:43.44.
Hoosac's Dante Sandifer is seeded fourth in the long jump (20-8).
On the girls side, Kaegi is not only tops in the 2-mile, but she's second in the mile seeds (5:13.68). Hoosac's Meg Rodowicz is fourth in the 800 (2:22.11), and Lenox freshman Shannon Meisberger is fifth in the 100 hurdles (16.54).
Greylock's Jenna Phelps, meanwhile, is one of eight girls scheduled to compete in the outdoor pentathlon.
In relays, Greylock's girls are seeded second in the 3,200 (10:07.37), with Monument's girls fourth in the 400 relay (52.73).
Taconic's Courtney Luscier gained momentum last weekend, when she won the Districts F&G Division I championship in the 100. Her time of 13.01 isn't as good as her seed time of 12.54, which has her fifth headed into Saturday's meet at Westfield.
"It was a huge accomplishment and I am much more motivated to win and go to states," Luscier said in a message to The Eagle. "Central [Mass.] is very fast, so I expect some very good competition and some amazing times. ... I feel I haven't run my best yet and I've been resting my hamstring in hope of an amazing time tomorrow."
Luscier's seed is the only PHS or Taconic entrant in the top 10 in any event, though Pittsfield's 1,600 relay team of Amanda Wright, Jillian King, Jamie McMahon and Daria Brown is 11th (4:24.31).
On the boys side, Taconic's Dom Nda is seeded fourth in the 100 at a 10.74 seed time (adjusted to FAT from a hand-timed 10.5 run at home this season). He took third last week at divisionals, running an 11.19. Nda is seeded eighth in the long jump.
Pittsfield's Aaron Weeks (third, 159-9) and Evan Bossio (fifth, 153-9) are both seeded high in javelin, and PHS hurdler Aaron Coty is seventh in the 110 hurdles (16.14).
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