Central-Western Division 1 track: Boys 4x400 relay sets meet record for runner-up Northampton

  • DAN LITTLESierra Loomis, of Northampton, jumps off the block at the start of the 400 meter hurdle during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, center, stands on the podium to receive first place medal in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLELiam Sullivan, of Northampton, right-center, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLEJohnathan Dean, of Northampton, from left, West Springfield runners Nate Merck and Gabriel Medina, and Phillip Hempstead, of Northampton, run in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLESophia Jacobs-Townsley, of Amherst, receives the first place medal for the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLESophia Jacobs-Townsley, of Amherst, center, receives the first place medal for the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLESophia Jacobs-Townsley, of Amherst, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLESophia Jacobs-Townsley, of Amherst, runs down the final stretch to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLESophia Jacobs-Townsley, of Amherst, left, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event alongside Rebekah James, of Shepherd Hill, during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • DAN LITTLESophia Jacobs-Townsley, of Amherst, runs to a first place finish in the two mile event during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • Sierra Loomis, of Northampton, competes in the 400 meter hurdle during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

  • Nik Smith, of Northampton, right, sprints to a first place finish in the 200 meter dash during the MIAA Central/West D1 track and field Championship Saturday at Westfield State University.

@Hargraves24
Published: 5/29/2016 12:38:28 AM

WESTFIELD — There was one event to go at the sweaty and muggy Western-Central Division 1 Track & Field championships at Westfield State College Saturday afternoon.

The Northampton boys didn’t have a chance of winning the team championship, but that didn’t mean the Blue Devils couldn’t create a championship legacy in the 4x400-meter relay.

The team of Nik Smith, Jeremy Doele, Cole Lavalle and Marcus Peterson set a meet record with a time of 3 minutes, 22.25 seconds.

“Last year left a bad taste in my mouth,” Smith said. “We knew if we put it together this year we could do something special. I made the commitment to get better with three new teammates.”

Smith took the last relay and left the competition far, far behind. An opposing team collided on the final relay, leaving Smith almost alone. The points in the final event put Northampton in second place with 53 points.

Smith also won the 200 dash (21.62) and came in second in the 100 (10.99)

“I’ve been inspired to do this since my freshman year,” Smith said. “Especially against great competition from all over Mass. There’s a lot of talented guys around here.”

The first place finisher in the 100, George Biney of Worcester Technical, finished in 10.98.

“I’d love to see the picture of that finish,” Northampton boys coach Brandon Palmer said. “Those are good finishes. But it shows how talented these athletes are.”

Saint John’s won the meet with 95 points, Nashoba (52 points) was third while Worcester Technical came in fourth (40 points).

Amherst Regional placed eighth (33 points).

Sophia Jacobs-Townsley was once again dominant in the girls 2-mile for Amherst Regional, finishing with a time of 11:18.19. Runner-up Rebekah James of Shepherd Hill crossed in 11:28.30.

“It feels really good; I’m excited to keep going,” Jacobs-Townsley said. “Hopefully I qualify for New Englands. I raced really strong in a good field.”

Amherst’s Frances Duncan was second by a hair in the 800. Duncan crossed in 2:19.56. Alexandra Bettez of Nashoba won in 2:19.51.

Ariel Christie added a fourth in the 100 hurdles (16.79) while Duncan, Christie, Sophia Fang and Eva Feyre Febonio teamed for a third-place finish in the 4x400 relay (4:11.37) for the Hurricanes.

Claire Basler-Chang threw the javelin 105-8 and finished fourth for Amherst.

For Northampton, Sierra Loomis was third in the 400 hurdles (1:06.47) while Stephanie Jordan was fourth in the mile in 5:20.41. Loomis added a fifth in the triple jump (35-2¾).

Hamp’s 4x800 relay team of Erica Dean, Jordan, Scarlet Sands Bliss and Loomis was second in 9:47.86.

Wachusett (92 points) won the girls meet, followed by Algonquin (59 points) and Nashoba (57). Amherst was sixth (41 points) while Northampton (32 points) placed 11th.

Belchertown placed 22nd with eight points.

The Amherst boys had another first-place finisher in Sage Bailin, who won the 400 hurdles in 57.63.

In the 2-mile, Northampton’s Liam Sullivan came from behind in dramatic fashion.

Entering the final lap, Sullivan was about seven seconds behind the leader, Peter Monahan of Saint John’s. In an effort that saw Sullivan go to a gear that not many runners have, he not only caught Monahan but blew past him completely.

“I didn’t want to give him a sliver of hope,” Sullivan said. “Because of the weather I didn’t expect him to start as fast as he did. On the last lap I realized I was still in the race and I saw him slow down. When I decided to pass him I wanted to be decisive.”

Sullivan (9:26.52) beat Monahan (9:31.81) by five seconds.

“If anyone can have a big finish it’s (Sullivan),” Palmer said.

Sullivan was a late scratch from the mile in an effort to focus on the relays.

Amherst’s Jericho Sylla had a disappointing night in the jumping events due to a hamstring injury. The senior didn’t make it past preliminaries in the long jump and the triple.

“Not the way we wanted him to go out,” Amherst coach David Thompson said. “But he kept missing his mark and couldn’t qualify.”

Adawahi Robinson was third in the discus (149 feet, 7 inches) for Amherst.


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