CHESHIRE — Operating without a usable home track and field facility, the Pittsfield Generals made themselves right at home in a season-opening meet at Hoosac Valley on Thursday.
PHS pulled off a sweep in the team competitions, winning the girls contest 97-43 and the boys 110-31.
“We have no place to train,” said Pittsfield boys coach Joe Albano. “Long jump, triple jump, today’s the first day we did it. Discus, today was the first day in a cage. We were at Clapp Park, now we’ve kind of made our home at Herberg. It’s awful. We’re doing the best we can, not only with what we have to work with, but with nothing to work with.
“You look at the results, though, and coming from less-than nothing, then they throw like they do today. That’s a tribute to the kids.”
Albano was speaking at the time about his throwers, who swept the shot put and discus and took 1-2 in the javelin. Connor Hayford was a dual winner, throwing 197 feet, 3 inches in javelin and 47-00 in shot put. He was beat in the discus, but only by teammate Kieran Coscia, who cleared 133-02 for the win. Coscia was runner-up in both the other throwing events.
The PHS boys lost only four events on the afternoon, two of them to distance star Justin Levesque, who was coming fresh off a Berkshire County championship in cross-country during the Fall II season that ended a little more than a week ago.
“It kind of helped a little, my lungs were in good shape, but with the mask and the wind it’s definitely slowing you down a lot. It’s still a way different speed,” said Levesque, who won both the mile and two-mile races, and anchored the winning 4x800 relay team. “Today I wasn’t too sure on what events to do, but opted for all three.”
Levesque did just enough to hold off Pittsfield’s David Babineau in the mile, finishing in 5 minutes, 6.13 seconds to his foe’s 5:07.70. The two mile was a more comfortable 50-second win in 11:12.50.
“I was feeling a little achy, not the greatest. I tried to go fast enough to get the win in the mile and hopefully set myself up for the two mile. I ran a PR in the two, so I can’t complain,” Levesque said. “It’s tough to set goals this year. I want to make states, but I’m just hoping we get a Western Mass. meet. If we can’t get that, I want a school record.”
Hoosac’s other individual win came courtesy of Nick Alibozek in the 200-meter dash. He nosed out Gerogious Zamakis of PHS 25.55 to 25.74.
Otherwise, it was all Generals on the boys side. Senior standout Emmanuel Nda opened the proceedings by leading a 1-2-3 sweep in the 100. Nda carded an 11.28, trailed by Jonathan Ofori and Zamakis. Nda and Ofori later teamed up with senior newcomers Sincere Moorer and Christian Pringle to win the 4x100 relay in 47.22. Nda was a part of the 2019 4x100 team that set a school record.
“We don’t know anything about them. Three of the guys are new, never ran a full 4x100 before today,” said Albano. “They ran 47, that’s pretty good for the first time out with nobody to run against. We’ll get better. Jonathan, we had never seen him, but he was something. First time, first track meet, first time coming out of blocks on a corner.”
Moorer was a dual winner individually as well, taking triple jump and besting Pringle on tie-breakers in high jump. Fellow senior Christopher Ngo won the long jump by a hair over Alibozek, leaping 17-04.75.
Lucas Benoit handled the hurdles himself for PHS, winning both events by more than a second. Peter Breitmaier won the 800 and Anthony Telladira took the 400.
“This was the first time the kids we got came in in shape,” said Albano. “We only got 30 guys, but took 11 from cross-country, they’re in shape. The kids from football are in shape. It’s pretty good.”
It was strength in numbers for the PHS girls. The Generals won eight individual events, to six for Hoosac Valley, but swept the relays and only surrendered a 1-2 to the Hurricanes just once.
Those eight victories came on the strength of seven individuals. Only Meredith McCandless was a dual winner on the purple side. McCandless led a PHS sweep in the 800 with a 2:44.16. She also wrapped the meet with a monster outing in javelin. Her throw of 101-04 was more than 25 feet beyond her closest competitor.
Individually, the meet’s biggest star was Hoosac Valley’s Lilly Boudreau, who took home three first-place finishes. She won the long jump handily, clearing her seed length by over a foot in 15-09.25. Boudreau also put away the Duquette sisters in the 200, finishing in 27.65, and won the 400 hurdles by 10 seconds.
The Duquettes, Randi and Jamie, got the job done for Pittsfield, though, going 1-2 in the 100, respectively, both with sub-14s. They were 2-3 in the 200 and took the middle of Tess Tierney and CeCe Supranowicz to win the 4x100 in 55.07 seconds, and also took points in high jump.
Dakota Grosz won the shot put by a foot over Hoosac’s Olivia Scholz, while the hosts’ Hanna Shea got by Grosz in discus with a 79-07. Alyssa Garabedian and Taylor Garabedian went 1-2 in triple jump for the Hurricanes, landing within half-an-inch of each other. Katie Scholz was the home side’s other victor, taking high jump.
Pittsfield’s other winners were Sasha Grosz in the 400, Bella Penna in the 100 hurdles, Tess McCluskey in the mile and Grace Ungewitter in the two mile.