Track & field: Northampton, Amherst split final dual meets of the season (PHOTOS)

Northampton’s Camilla Brewer competes in the triple jump during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton.

Northampton’s Camilla Brewer competes in the triple jump during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Amherst’s Owen Platt runs to a first-place finish in the 200 meters during a dual meet against Northampton on Monday in Northampton.

Amherst’s Owen Platt runs to a first-place finish in the 200 meters during a dual meet against Northampton on Monday in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Northampton’s Eleanor Lewis competes in the high jump during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton.

Northampton’s Eleanor Lewis competes in the high jump during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

 Northampton’s Liam Ewers and Alex Sirois compete in the 1 mile during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton.

Northampton’s Liam Ewers and Alex Sirois compete in the 1 mile during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

 Northampton’s Malia Silver runs to a first place finish in the 1 mile during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton.

Northampton’s Malia Silver runs to a first place finish in the 1 mile during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

 Northampton’s Yelena Caldanaro competes in the ttiple jump during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton.

Northampton’s Yelena Caldanaro competes in the ttiple jump during a dual meet against Amherst on Monday in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

 Amherst’s Moriah Luetjen heads to a first place finish in the 4x100-meter relay during a dual meet against Northampton on Monday in Northampton.

Amherst’s Moriah Luetjen heads to a first place finish in the 4x100-meter relay during a dual meet against Northampton on Monday in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

 Amherst’s Eleanor Rasche competes in the high jump during a dual meet against Northampton on Monday in Northampton.

Amherst’s Eleanor Rasche competes in the high jump during a dual meet against Northampton on Monday in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 05-06-2024 8:59 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Regardless of the sport, it always means more when Northampton and Amherst meet up for the ‘Battle of the Bridge.’

The two schools were busy again on Monday afternoon, as the Blue Devils and Hurricanes’ track and field teams met in the final dual meet before the Western Mass. championship takes place in less than two weeks.

The two rivals split boys and girls matchups, each equally as competitive and entertaining. Northampton edged Amherst 74-71 on the girls side while the ‘Canes got the better of the Blue Devils boys, 67-57.

Even Northampton head coach Eric Pfalzgraf admitted there’s a little extra motivation when those maroon uniforms come to town.

“If you look at the league, there are better teams than us and Amherst, but there’s something with Amherst that gets us fired up,” Pfalzgraf said. “A lot of them are friends and talk to each other, so there’s more of a friendly vibe to it than some other rivalries. But the coaches know each other, especially from cross country, we see each other all the time. It’s fun but still competitive.”

Maeve O’Neil was terrific in the distance events for the Blue Devils girls, winning both the two mile (13:20.1) and the 800 meters (2:38.3). Camilla Brewer was a three-event winner, dazzling in the 100 hurdles (16.4), long jump (14-8.5) and triple jump (34-8.5), while Malia Silver (mile, 5:40.8) and Ella Hoogendyk (javelin, 90-07) had strong days as well for Northampton.

On the boys side, Davis Wheat tried his hand at several different events – scoring points in each one. He won the 110 hurdles with a time of 18.6 seconds as well as the pole vault to highlight his big day.

Pfalzgraf was pleased with the efforts of his upperclassmen on Monday.

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“Camilla had a season-best in triple jump today, so that was nice to see because her triple was off the mark this year,” Pfalzgraf said. “Davis is always up there, and he was doing some different things to practice for the decathlon later this season. He scored in everything today. Ella won javelin and she had a massive PR in just her second or third time throwing. She scored in long jump as well, she’s an other multi-type athlete.”

Owen Dagget (two mile, 10:38.6), Silas Knight-Richard (400 hurdles, 1:05.8), Liam Ewers (800, 2:06.7) and Dev Patel (javelin, 122-10) turned in solid performances for the Northampton boys, and their outputs should place them in better heats come Western Mass.

“In throwing and jumping, we had a lot of season bests and personal bests, which was great,” Pfalzfgraf said. “A lot of those came from the underclassmen, too. The younger athletes were really getting it today. That’s good because it puts them in position to be in those top heats at Western Mass.”

As for Amherst, Moriah Luetjen shined in the sprints, and also helped the Hurricanes’ 4x100 relay team to a first-place finish. Luetjen cruised to a time of 25.5 (first place) in the 200, beating out second place by over two seconds.

Elizabeth Sawicki (400 hurdles, 1:10.0), Kora Brissett (100, 12.6), Ruby Austin (400, 1:06.4) and Yairelis Bachand (discus, 73-07) also each notched first-place finishes for the ’Canes.

The boys were led by David Pinero-Jacome’s 52.5-second time (first) in the 400, as well as a burst from Ty Beckett in the 100 (first, 11.3). Peter Nedeau won the mile (4:54.1), Owen Platt grabbed first in the 200 (23.2) and Sabir Douglas’ jump of 20-00.5 in the long jump was good enough for first as well.

Both Northampton and Amherst now turn their attention to the Western Mass. tournament in two weekends.