Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
P/cloudy
55°
P/cloudy
Hi 77° | Lo 58°

No contest as Amherst track dominates Northampton

  • Aybars Gungor of Amherst throws the javelin 166 feet Thursday, his longest throw of the day, during a meet against Northampton in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Aybars Gungor of Amherst throws the javelin 166 feet Thursday, his longest throw of the day, during a meet against Northampton in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Noah Jackson of Northampton long jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Noah Jackson of Northampton long jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Avery Nortonsmith of Northampton high jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Avery Nortonsmith of Northampton high jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Allen Vance of Amherst high jumps Thursday during a meet against Northampton in Amherst. He won the event and cleared 5 feet 10 inches.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Allen Vance of Amherst high jumps Thursday during a meet against Northampton in Amherst. He won the event and cleared 5 feet 10 inches.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Good Farah of Amherst triple jumps during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst. He won the event.JERREY ROBERTS

    Good Farah of Amherst triple jumps during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst. He won the event.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Timothy Lee of Amherst runs toward a first place in the 400-meter hurdles during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Timothy Lee of Amherst runs toward a first place in the 400-meter hurdles during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Ryan Stender of Amherst approaches the finish line during his win in the 800-meter Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Ryan Stender of Amherst approaches the finish line during his win in the 800-meter Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Taj-Amir Torres of Amherst runs the 200-meter dash during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst. He won the event.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Taj-Amir Torres of Amherst runs the 200-meter dash during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst. He won the event.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Aybars Gungor of Amherst throws the javelin 166 feet Thursday, his longest throw of the day, during a meet against Northampton in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Aybars Gungor of Amherst throws the javelin 166 feet Thursday, his longest throw of the day, during a meet against Northampton in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Noah Jackson of Northampton long jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Noah Jackson of Northampton long jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Allen Vance, left, takes the baton from Kelzy Semedo Rodrigues during the Amherst team's win against Northampton in the 4x400-meter relay Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Allen Vance, left, takes the baton from Kelzy Semedo Rodrigues during the Amherst team's win against Northampton in the 4x400-meter relay Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Allen Vance, left, takes the baton from Kelzy Semedo Rodrigues during the Amherst team's win against Northampton in the 4x400-meter relay Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Allen Vance, left, takes the baton from Kelzy Semedo Rodrigues during the Amherst team's win against Northampton in the 4x400-meter relay Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Aybars Gungor of Amherst throws the javelin 166 feet Thursday, his longest throw of the day, during a meet against Northampton in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Noah Jackson of Northampton long jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Avery Nortonsmith of Northampton high jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Allen Vance of Amherst high jumps Thursday during a meet against Northampton in Amherst. He won the event and cleared 5 feet 10 inches.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Good Farah of Amherst triple jumps during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst. He won the event.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Timothy Lee of Amherst runs toward a first place in the 400-meter hurdles during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Ryan Stender of Amherst approaches the finish line during his win in the 800-meter Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Taj-Amir Torres of Amherst runs the 200-meter dash during a meet against Northampton Thursday in Amherst. He won the event.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Aybars Gungor of Amherst throws the javelin 166 feet Thursday, his longest throw of the day, during a meet against Northampton in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Noah Jackson of Northampton long jumps during a meet against Amherst Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Allen Vance, left, takes the baton from Kelzy Semedo Rodrigues during the Amherst team's win against Northampton in the 4x400-meter relay Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Allen Vance, left, takes the baton from Kelzy Semedo Rodrigues during the Amherst team's win against Northampton in the 4x400-meter relay Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

AMHERST - It was a relaxed day for the Amherst Regional boys track & field team.

There was no school because it’s spring vacation.

There was a chill outside, which did not bode well for running fast times.

The team has a meet Monday against Longmeadow and the Penn Relays later next week.

But Northampton was in town. The Hurricanes’ No. 1 rival. It was the Battle of the Bridge on the track. Thursday’s meet had to mean something. But it didn’t.

The fire was not lit. The spark just wasn’t there.

“We were working on new stuff but that’s about it,” Amherst sophomore sprinter Taj-Amir Torres said.

Typically, an Amherst-Northampton track meet is something to see. There are high-quality runners and sprinters, top-notch jumpers and throwers, and the meet usually is decided by the outcome of the 4x400-meter relay.

But the attendance was thin. There were some parents, and a few members of the Amherst girls track team and boys lacrosse team lingering about. Friends could be counted on two hands. As for the meet’s outcome, it was decided long before the final relay. Amherst won 108-33.

“Since it’s vacation the school’s not here. Usually after school everyone comes and sees Amherst versus Northampton,” Torres said. “Last year it was a lot bigger at their house. But it was vacation and a relaxed day.”

Amherst didn’t have a full team. Some athletes were missing but not enough to make a difference. Northampton was half the team it used to be. The Blue Devils had 12 guys in Amherst and 12 guys overseas.

“It’s a little difficult getting everybody together over the break,” Hamp coach Brandon Palmer said. “We have half of our team over in Turkey and, I believe, Spain, too. For what we have here, we have a talented group of kids. We’re just young. Sophomores and freshmen are doing all the heavy work. They’re coming through.”

The Hurricanes took control with a strong showing in the field events despite the lackluster day.

Torres won the long jump, clearing 21 feet, 4 inches on his first jump. After a short second jump, he contemplated skipping his third. He eventually took the jump but fouled.

“I didn’t know if I was going to do it. I jumped a 21 and I had saw that no one had come close to that so I wondered if I should do it and save myself for the 200,” Torres said. “They have a good runner in the 200 — Noah Jackson. I was going to save myself to run against him but he didn’t run it.”

Allen Vance won the high jump for Amherst. The tall, wiry sophomore cleared 5-10 but then just missed on his three attempts at 6 feet.

In the throwing events, Aybars Gungor let loose a javelin throw of 166-6. That mark would have placed second at last season’s sectional championship.

On the track, the Hurricanes picked up where they left off.

Tim Lee (110 hurdles), Dylan Owens (100) and Michael Stender (mile) won the first three events.

Torres anchored a makeshift 4x100 relay that competed against its own teammates and won by at least 50 meters. The victory was well in hand as Torres glanced around the track in cruise control on the straightaway.

“I was surprised I ran it,” he said. “I just coasted the whole thing.”

Kelzy Rodriguez (400), Lee (400 hurdles) and Ryan Stender (800) won the next three events for Amherst leading into the 200.

In that event, Torres ran a little harder but still wasn’t challenged. With no warm-ups and only stretches, Torres breezed to a 22.3 finish.

“I felt good,” Torres said. “I didn’t feel my fastest but I felt alright.”

Little freshman Owen Wright followed with a gutsy win for the Hurricanes in the 2-mile, blasting down the final 100 to win in 10:44.8.

The Blue Devils were not shut out, as Charlie Baranowski won the shot put and discus to pick up 10 points.

But Amherst dominated on an easy day.

School returns next week. Warmer weather is eventually in the forecast and bigger meets, like the Penn Relays, will require better performances.

But Thursday was an average Thursday, regardless of who was in town.

“I knew this one on vacation week was going to be different,” Amherst coach Chris Gould said. “I didn’t know how many of our guys would be here. We actually have quite a few of our guys. We’re missing some. We’re a little better than what we showed today.”

Mike Moran can be reached at mmoran@gazettenet.com.

Comments
Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.