South Hadley makes history with first PVIAC girls indoor track title

  • Sarah Fudger, of South Hadley, runs the 600-meter during the PVIAC track championship, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at Smith College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Sophia Jacobs-Townsley, right, of Amherst Regional, Mary Yount, of Northampton, second from right, and others begin the mile run during the PVIAC track championship, Friday. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Sophia Jacobs-Townsley, of Amherst Regional, runs the mile during the PVIAC track championship, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at Smith College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jocelyne Rondeau, of South Hadley, runs toward a first-place finish in the 1,000 meters during the PVIAC track championship, Friday at Smith College. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

Saturday, February 10, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — South Hadley girls track coach Nick Davis paced around the infield at Smith College, nervously clicking his stopwatch.

He knew the Tigers’ 4x400-meter relay team just needed to finish seventh or better in the final event to clinch the program’s first PVIAC championship, Friday.

Davis didn’t tell Kayla Carleton, Sarah Fudger, Lindsay Marjanski and Jocelyne Rondeau before the race. He told his assistants not to tell the team.

All they knew was they were close.

“If anything I thought we would have to win the relay to win,” Fudger said.

The Tigers left no doubt. They won the 4x4 in 4 minutes, 19.09 seconds, more than two seconds clear of second-place Longmeadow.

“This group, in particular, is the smallest team we’ve ever had but it’s the most determined,” Fudger said.

Winning the final relay gave the Tigers 72 points. East Longmeadow was second with 59.67.

Northampton finished fourth with 55, while Amherst was sixth with 47.

It’s South Hadley’s first PVIAC title.

“It’s surreal,” Davis said. “We’ve talked about it for so long. Day 1 of the season I told them we would have a shot at this if we took it seriously. They never looked back.”

South Hadley started strong in the field events. Savannah Sudyka threw the shot put 36 feet, 4.25 inches to place first. Marjanski also won the high jump at 5-2.

“We know that the field is where we have our strong points,” Davis said. “Because of our strength in the field we can roll out to the track and stay competitive.”

Marjanski, a sophomore, contributed to both. She place third in the 300 in between high jump attempts.

“It’s hard and it gets stressful sometimes, but they’re very different,” Marjanski said. “High jump is very natural to me. I get very nervous before I run, but before I high jump it’s fun for me.”

Rondeau outpaced the field in the 1,000, winning in 3:09.74.

Once the individual events ended, Davis loaded up the relays to either solidify a victory or make up a gap.

The Tigers were fifth in the 4x2 (1:53.48) and second in the 4x8 (10:36.12).

“It was unbelievable, especially closing my career at Smith with that is anything I could have asked for,” Fudger said.

Amherst won the girls 4x8 in 10:21.35. Junior Sophia Jacobs-Townsley ran the third leg. It was her third event win of the day. She swept the 1-mile (5:12.77) and 2-mile (11:09.52) for the second straight year. Jacobs-Townsley was nearly a minute clear of second place in the 2-mile.

Isabela Shepard finished first for the Hurricanes in the 600 in 1:40.18.

Mary Yount posted Northampton’s best finish, second in the mile. She crossed the line in 5:15.98. Hazel Ethier was third in the long jump at 16-4.25.

Hannah Labrie finished sixth in the 55-meter hurdles (9.6), as Hampshire Regional was 16th as a team.