South Hadley girls win 1st Central/West track and field title

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  • South Hadley senior Emma Rahilly wins her100-meter hurdle prelim with a time of 15.98 seconds at the Central-West Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University on Saturday, May 25, 2019. Rahilly later placed third in the final with a time of 16.02.

  • South Hadley sophomore Farrell Dawson, center, places third in the 400-meter run at the Central-West Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University on Saturday, May 25, 2019. Flanking her are Jules Hogan, left, of Advanced Science & Math Academy and Cierra Firth of Hudson.

  • South Hadley sophomore Paige Marjanski, center, places fourth in the 200-meter dash at the Central-West Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University on Saturday, May 25, 2019. She is flanked by Yulive Peralta, left, of Putnam and Takiera Darrow of Mount Greylock.

  • South Hadley senior Jocelyn Rondeau, third from right, starts the 800-meter run at the Central-West Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University on Saturday, May 25, 2019. Rondeau placed third, helping the Tigers to win the meet.

  • South Hadley senior Jocelyn Rondeau, third from right, warms up for the 800-meter run at the Central-West Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University on Saturday, May 25, 2019. Rondeau's third-place finish helped the Tigers win the meet.

  • South Hadley senior Emma Rahilly, right, wins her100-meter hurdle prelim with a time of 15.98 seconds at the Central-West Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University on Saturday, May 25, 2019. Rahilly later placed third in the final with a time of 16.02.

  • South Hadley junior Maggie Doolittle, left, clocked a time of 16.20 seconds in this 100-meter hurdle prelim at the Central-West Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University on Saturday, May 25, 2019. Doolittle placed fifth in the final with a time of 16.18.

  • South Hadley junior Lindsay Marjanski cleared her second attempt at 5 feet, 4 inches, to win the high jump at the Central-West Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University on Saturday, May 25, 2019.

For the Gazette
Published: 5/26/2019 4:31:20 PM

WESTFIELD — Practice makes perfect.

There was a bit more intensity at practice for the South Hadley girls track and field team this week.

The Tigers knew they could do well at the Central-West Division 2 Championship and that preparation was going to be the key.

South Hadley ended Bromfield’s four-year stranglehold on the title as the Tigers claimed the championship, Saturday at Westfield State University.

“We’ve had a couple of times where we fell just short and I knew on paper we had a good shot but that doesn’t mean much until the girls show up and actually perform,” coach Nick Davis said. “We knew what we left behind last year and I put the pressure on them since Day 1. Ever rep in practice was fast, was miserable as far as how bad it hurt and they performed today.”

The Tigers accumulated 86 points to top the field. Rival Mount Greylock was runner-up, Pope Francis took third and Bromfield, which edged South Hadley by a mere three points in last year’s meet, finished fourth.

“Our girls thrive under pressure,” Davis said. “This is a special team.”

It was the first Central-West title for the Tigers, who return a strong nucleus next season.

“Our work ethic is really united and we are a close team,” senior Jocelyne Rondeau said. “We knew this would be a close meet and we all had that drive to go for the big trophy.”

A strong week of practice was the approach Savannah Sudyka took as she prepared to compete in shot put.

Sudyka worked closely with Davis during practice. A little tweak here and there left the senior confident she could better her throw of 34 feet, 6½ inches that gave her a second straight win at the Western Mass. meet.

Sure enough, Sudyka topped that throw with a toss of 38-9 and for the first time, became the Central-West shot put champion. That put her in position to shoot for her first All-State medal Saturday.

Sudyka was not content to rest on her sectional title. She knew how crucial the week-long preparation was.

“All this week, all I did was drill work just to get my footwork down,” Sudyka said. “I made sure my feet were closer together and I knew how hard the competition was going to be.”

Winning this event has been a long-time goal for Sudyka, who joined the track team as an eighth-grader.

“It hit me today that I’ve got to do this and I was able to throw a good one,” she said. “Being the first time I’ve won here is really cool and I was very excited.”

There’s one thing Sudyka will never forget.

“This shows how hard work will play off,” Sudyka said.

That’s why she is not only a champion, but a role model for the underclassmen on a talented Tiger team.

“We owe a lot to our coaches,” Sudyka said. “They know how to push us work hard and be at our best.”

Another first-place winner for the Tigers was junior Lindsay Marjanski. She finished first in high jump with a leap of 5-4, a mark she hopes to better at All-States.

“That’s roadblock I’m trying to get over,” said Marjanski, who jumped 5-6 a year ago.

She equaled her winning jump at Western Mass.

“This is awesome,’’ Marjanski said. “Winning this has been my goal.’’

There was one noticeable difference from the sectional meet.

“I don’t want to say I was nervous last week but more serious,” she said. “After I won last week, I knew that I couldn’t be nervous and that I needed to go into this meet and just have fun.”

Marjanski did not come into the meet with lofty expectations.

“My mindset was to let whatever happens, happens,” she said. “That was the only thing I could control.”

Marjanski had no trouble sizing up the competition Most of them were fellow juniors and she has competed against them since her freshman year.

“The competition here is always tough,” Marjanski said. “We push each other and everyone is so nice that we tend to help each other out.”

Rondeau took third in the 800 meters in 2:21.70. Two years ago, Rondeau watched the meet from her wheelchair after undergoing an appendectomy.

“This is such a good way to go out,” Rondeau said. “I couldn’t ask to be part of a better team.”

The Tigers secured second in the 4x800 relay behind Farrell Dawson, Anna Evans, Carla Jarrett and Rondeau in 9:56.55.

Senior Emma Rahilly was third in the 100 hurdles in 16.2. The Tigers took third in the 4x100 relay in 52 seconds with a team of Sudyka, Kayla Carleton, Teagan Gawron and Bella Alcaraqz.

Another third place went to the Tigers 4x400 relay with Maddie Doolittle, Dawson, Lindsay Marganski and Rondeau, who came from way behind during the final leg to take third place.

As for the future, Paige Majranski had quite a day. She finished fourth in the 200 dash in 26.47, fourth in triple jump at 36-4 3/4 and fifth in long jump at 17-4.

Frontier Regional’s Reilly Isler took sixth in the javelin (103-07).

Jillian Scott cleared 9-6 on the pole vault to finish fourth for Hampshire Regional.




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