Indoor track: Northampton’s 4x800 relay team shines at MIAA Div. 4 Championships
|Published: 02-15-2023 9:29 PM
ROXBURY – Anchor runner Jack Kamins hurtled around the final curve in the boys’ 4x800-meter relay and flew toward the finish line, his teammates yelling themselves hoarse along the sideline.
As he crossed the finish line in second place, Northampton junior Teddy King-Pollet threw his hands up in the air and yelled triumphantly “All-States!”
The Blue Devils’ 4x800 relay came out of nowhere on Wednesday at the MIAA Division 4 Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center. The quartet of Davis Wheat, King-Pollet, Jude Mourad and Kamins blew their previous time out of the water, crossing second overall in 8 minutes, 31.72 seconds, punching their ticket to the Meet of Champions.
“The crowd is electric, it makes all the difference,” Wheat said. “It pushes you to give that extra inch and really put your whole effort into it.”
Northampton’s relays came out in full force – the boys’ 4x200 team of Jake Fein, Rowan Hodgson, Juan Jose Adams-Causton and Ryland Breen placed fourth in 1:35.01, the girls’ 4x800 team of Tess Geis-Benton, Anna Zamer, Lila Hensley and Norah Reade placed fifth with a time of 10:33.39, and the girls’ 4x400 team of Sihe Austin, Odessa Glanesin, Maddalena Figueroa-Starr and Kira French finished just off the podium in ninth with a 4:27.13.
Also earning medalist honors were Jude Mourad and Norah Reade, who both placed in the mile, finishing seventh and sixth in their respective races. Kamins and King-Pollet also medaled, both finishing fifth – Kamins in the 600 run and King-Pollet in the 2-mile run.
The boys’ relays and individual finishes propelled them to an eighth-place team finish with 23 points. The girls placed 18th with seven points.
Kamins initially qualified in both the mile and 600, but scratched the mile race to focus solely on the 600. He placed fifth overall with a time of 1:27.73, barely a tenth of a second ahead of sixth place.
It was an intimidating race for the sophomore in his first indoor championships. Kamins was one of two underclassmen in the fastest heat, and one of only five underclassmen to even qualify in the 600.
“It was pretty scary. They’re all 12th graders, and I’m a sophomore. So it’s intimidating to have all these upperclassmen to race against,” Kamins said.
All the same, Kamins knows he can compete with the older runners. He showed that in his race on Wednesday, and doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
“Expect big things from me,” Kamins said at the end of his interview.
King-Pollet ran a 10:18.65 and finished fifth overall in the two mile, the same spot he was seeded, but it wasn’t how he wanted to finish. This indoor season has been a struggle for the junior, who said he was feeling about 80 percent on Wednesday.
“I’ve dealt with a lot of sickness and injury this season, both my right and left calf and I got really sick,” King-Pollet said. “Going into it, I didn't have any expectations of myself. I just wanted to run hard and I'm glad I did that, even if it didn't result in the time and place I wanted.”
Jude Mourad excelled in the mile. Seeded No. 12 going into the race, he knew he needed to be intentional with how he raced to give him the best chance at making the podium.
“I kind of wanted to be in the middle of the pack, knowing that I was going to be faster than most people at the end of the pack,” Mourad said. “I just wanted more of a tactical race.”
With one lap to go, Mourad turned on the jets, passing two competitors on the back straightaway and flying to the finish line to secure seventh with a time of 4:40.71, seven seconds faster than his seed time.
Norah Reade medaled in the mile run and also competed in the 1,000 meter run, where she finished 10th with a time of 3:16.42. Reade was one of the only athletes for Northampton to compete in multiple individual events, and she barely had time to catch her breath in between. After her mile race, she had just a few heats of the 600 before she had to line up again for the 1,000.
Reade was in the fastest heat in both of her events, and she managed to hang with the rest of the pack for her mile race. It wasn’t a race she’d done a lot during this indoor season, but she wanted to post a strong time at her senior state meet.
“I feel like I haven't done it as much this season and I really wanted to get a good PR,” Reade said. “I knew the girls that were in it would be so good. It really helped me to pace off of them. So I was just trying to stick with people in front of me.”
Other top competitors for Northampton included Wheat, who placed 10th in the 1,000 run, Ryland Breen, who moved up to 11th place (37.05) in the 300 dash, Rowan Hodgson, who fell just short of the 55 dash finals, crossing the line in a time of 6.85 for 13th place, Eleanor Lewis, who finished just off the podium in the high jump, tying for ninth with a height of 4-10 and also finished 14th in the 55 hurdles (9.78).
Annie Sullivan and Camilla Brewer tied for 12th in the high jump, also with 4-10 heights, and Anna Zamer (5:47.51) and Tess Geis-Benton (5:48.39) both moved up from their seeded spots in the mile, finishing 12th and 14th. Brewer also placed 13th in the long jump (15-9.25).
Paulo Ippolito poured in a team-high 15 points, and Grgur Brcic added 10 as the Williston Northampton boys basketball team took down Loomis, 57-50, in NEPSAC action on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Gabi Bobiak, Lucy Hoyt, and Andie Kinstle helped the Wildcats' girls swimming team past Wilbraham Monson, 63-30, but the team fell to Ethel Walker, 47-43, in the tri-meet.
The boys' swimming team earned wins over Avon (59-35) and Wilbraham (60-34), thanks to strong swims from Harrison Bartles-Thiel, Will Lee and Kei Imai.
The girls hockey team earned a road win over NMH, and the boys hockey team took down Canterbury, 6-4.