Monument Mountain boys are looking strong on the track
CHESHIRE -- The Monument Mountain boys track and field coaches may not have been looking at finishes too closely in Wednesday's early-season Berkshire Invitational, but if they had, they'd find themselves at the top more often than not.
Team scores didn't count, as this was in individual meet, but Monument performers earned victories in 11 events, with second-place finishes in two more.
Spartan boys took two of three relays, winning the 3,200- and 400-meter relays. They were outdone by rival Pittsfield by just a second in the 1,600 relay.
Individual victories came from Tom Randolph (110 hurdles), Chris Peretti (400), Mike Kotleski (400 hurdles), Connor Storti (200), Weyessa McAlister (3,200), Juri Kiin (shot put), Jesse Dupont (javelin), Rowan Myers (high jump) and Korey Leonard (triple jump).
"They just want to get better, so I think they did fine," Monument coach Mickey McCartney said. "We aren't looking at any teams or scores."
He might want to take a look now, because a few of his performers have already outdone last season's best performances. Randolph won the 110 hurdles in 16.7 seconds, faster than his 17.5 in 2012.
Leonard, in taking second in the 100, dropped from 11.5 last year to 11.3 Wednesday. Kotleski didn't run a sub-1-minute 400 hurdle race at all last season, but won in 59.6 seconds Wednesday.
The biggest jump for Monument, though, may have been in the javelin. Dupont set a new personal best with his toss of 170 feet, 4 inches.
Dupont said after the throw that he's happy with it for now, but has a goal of 180 feet in mind.
The Spartans will get used to the invitational style this week, as McCartney said the team will attend another meet Saturday in Albany.
"It's an all-boy meet. It's a great meet," he said. "We've gone for many years now."
Other event winners in the boys meet included defending Western Mass. champion Dominic Nda of Taconic in the 100 (11.0), as well as the long jump (19-3); Hoosac's Travis Ciempa in the mile (4:50.2); and Pittsfield's Dan Brien in the 800 (2:07) and Kyle Brazee in the discus (106-3). Pittsfield's 1,600 relay team won in 3:49.
Alex Majetich surprised herself twice Wednesday.
The Mount Greylock senior didn't expect herself to top her best 100-meter time from last year so early in the season, and she certainly didn't think she'd top her own school record.
Both happened, though, on the Hoosac Valley track. Majetich -- celebrating her 18th birthday -- ran a 12.3-second time in the 100 to win the event. Her previous best time was 12.4.
"I had expectations like that at the end of last year, but I didn't get that far," Majetich, a UMass-Lowell signee, said.
Majetich's victory was one of four for Mountie girls Wednesday. Monument Mountain topped that number with five event wins, taking two of the three relays (with Greylock winning the 1,600 relay).
Majetich was also second in the 400, which she said she did just for fun.
"I could probably get it down to [a minute] flat, but today, I took it easy," she said.
Along with its relay wins, Monument got victories from Emma Carchedi (800, 2:47), Hannah Cohen (discus, 73-2) and Iolani DeRis (javelin, 107-2). Greylock wins came from Majetich, the mile relay, Jenna Phelps (400 hurdles, 1:14) and Kat Chenail (3,200, 13:17).
Chenail described the conditions as "pretty brutal" for the 3,200. She said she was forced to work harder on a windy back stretch at Hoosac.
"The wind is awful," she said. "When the wind stopped, it was so hot."
Wahconah's depth gave it plenty of points, should this Invitational have been a team meet. Maddie Sprague earned second-place finishes in the 100 hurdles (18.4) and the long jump (14-11 2), while Erin Hopmans was second in the 400 hurdles (1:17). Bethany Houle (13:31) was second in the 2-mile, Lizzy Kowalczyk (4-8) was second in the high jump and Jacky Farrell (29-5 3 4) was second in the triple jump.
Not bad for half a team participating, as girls coach Jeff Pike said.
"We have a really young team," he said. "At least 50 percent are freshmen and sophomores. There are a lot of newcomers to track."
Event winners included Drury's Alyssa Marceau (100 hurdles, 17.5); Lenox's Emily Tibbetts (mile, 6:09) and Amber Shove (long jump, 14-3 1/4); Hoosac Valley's Meg Rodowicz (400, 1:04.6); Taconic's Alyssa Doerle (shot put, 26-9) and Courtney Luscier (triple jump, 31-21 2); and Pittsfield's Makayla Powers (high jump, 4-10) and Amanda Wright (200, 27.5).
The overall sentiment seemed to be in favor of the invitational style of meet, rather than the relay style held in previous years at Williams College.
"We get to do regular events, so we know what our times are and try to improve," Powers said Wednesday. "In relays, we're running different distances like 600s."
The coaches largely believed Wednesday's format allowed individuals to focus less on a team score and more on their own performances.
Pittsfield boys coach Joe Albano said that it was a little earlier than what his team has been used to -- they're practicing this week from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -- but that the Generals handled it well.
"I like this a lot better than the relays," Albano said. "This is just a regular track meet. With Brian Gill doing all the paperwork, and Ron [Namislo] and Greg [Lucia] doing all the work down here [at the finish line], this is a nice show."
Even Gill, who has run the press box at this meet whether it's at Williams or Hoosac Valley, liked the new format.
"I think today's meet was great for a big-meet feel," Gill said from the press box. "Obviously, it takes a little longer, but it's vacation week. We've got the time."
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