Top track runners challenged as Taconic boys, Lenox girls win duals
PITTSFIELD -- For the top performers in Friday's Taconic-Lenox track and field dual, stumbles were only temporary.
Taconic's Dominic Nda had trouble coming out of the blocks in the 200 meters, but quickly regained his footing, took the rest of the field in the first turn and won the event -- one of three event wins for the Braves senior in Taconic's 88-53 meet win.
Lenox freshman Shannon Meisberger hit a hurdle late in the 400 hurdles, but didn't fall and won the event in 1 minute, 12.05 seconds. She swept the hurdles and added a triple jump win for Lenox's girls, victorious by an 80 1/3-60 2/3 score.
Nda -- the UMass Boston-bound sprinter who already had the year's fastest 100 time -- improved it on a cloudy, ugly Friday. He won in a personal-best time of 10.84 seconds, the fastest time in Berkshire County since 2008, according to Eagle records.
"The 1 felt good today," he said. "I really felt confident going into it, so I think that's why I PR'd."
Nda also won the 200 (no time given) and the long jump (19 feet, 2 1/2 inches), and took third in the triple jump, to lead the Braves. He credited increased weight lifting and plyometric training, as well as a shift in his starting blocks this season, for his early success.
"I figured, and I was coached on it, to put [the foot rests on the starting blocks] a little more forward to get a better jump, and it helped," Nda said.
Taconic's boys won two of three relays, swept the 400 hurdles and got two wins from Kirk Doherty in the throwing events. Doherty won the shot put (37-6) and the discus (103 feet).
Lenox's girls, meanwhile, won with depth in the track events. Having Meisberger prevail in the 100 hurdles (16.88), 400 hurdles and triple jump (31-1) didn't hurt, either.
She may have hit a late hurdle, but Meisberger was still able to hold off a charging Hannah Barbarotta in the 400 hurdles.
"My aunt told me this, because she used to do them: It's about who can take the most pain," Meisberger said. "When I hit the hurdle, my coach yelled, ‘Continue running!' I quickly sped back up."
Lenox's girls swept the 400 and the mile, and won two of the three relays. That helped offset Courtney Luscier's two-win day, and Taconic's sweep of both the discus and javelin.
Luscier jumped a season-best 14-6 1/2 in the long jump, and beat Lenox's Amber Shove in the 100 (12.79), but tweaked her left hamstring just after crossing the 100 finish line. She jumped twice in the triple jump after that, finishing second (30-5 1/2), but scratched out of the 200 as a precautionary measure. Shove won that in 27.35.
"I should have focused more on stretching," Luscier said. "I haven't been watching times, so I didn't know, but it was a really good push to hear [Shove] behind me."
That 200 finish, meanwhile, was a personal best for Shove.
"It was great to see she had such a good race," Lenox coach Jeanne Teasdale said. "For Amber, that was good competition. She ran well today. Her time was a little up, but she felt she ran hard."
Lenox's boys were missing middle distance runner Eric Lomaglio, who rested due to a hip issue. Still, Tucker McNinch won both the mile (4:45) and two-mile (10:22) for the Millionaires. Nico Ciolfi won the triple jump (38-3) and took second in the 100, and Nick Jarck won the high jump (5-4) and took second in both the 200 and the triple jump. He also ran a leg of Lenox's victorious 1,600 relay (4:05).
"Nico is looking very strong, along with Nick Jarck," Teasdale said. "These are kids who already qualified ... for Western Mass. Right where they should be at this part of the season, with [divisionals] coming up in about two weeks."
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