WESTFIELD — Despite earning only five points in running events, the Frontier Regional girls track & field team’s dominance of field events nearly carried the Red Hawks to another title Saturday.
The District F&G champions claimed three individual victories and finished as the runner-up at the West/Central Division 2 championships at Westfield State University.
“We had quite a good day at a big meet. I just hoped we’d finish in the top five, because we simply don’t have much in the running,” Frontier coach Bob Smith said. “But we received contributions in field events from many different girls.”
The Red Hawks totaled 49 points, 38 of them in field events. They led for much of the meet, but Bromfield (56) took hold of the title in the final relays.
“I’m very proud of how the team performed today, especially on such a hot day,” junior Kat Miner said. “Everyone’s done really well all season and it’s a big accomplishment to finish as well as we did.”
Junior Katherine Conlisk added, “Our coaches stress that we complete in both running and field events, so those are a real strong suit for us.”
South Hadley (20.5 points) came in 15th and Hampshire Regional (13.5) finished 20th, while Holyoke Catholic did not score.
In winning the high jump, Miner established a school and meet record by clearing 5 feet, 7 inches. Her top seed jump was 5-6.
“It’s always exciting to get a new school record, so the event went great for me,” she said. “I wish I could have jumped a 5-8, but the 200 was calling to I had to cut it short.”
Miner followed that up by matching her seed in the 200 dash, coming in fourth with a time of 26.39 seconds.
In the day’s initial event, senior Kimmi Logan gained her team a quick 10 points by winning the pole vault. The top seed was the lone competitor to clear 10 feet.
“It’s a hard event, but my style might make it look easier than it is,” Logan said. “There’s more pressure with being the top seed, so usually I like to not be at the top.”
She attempted to increase her winning mark to 10-6 but came up short in each of the allotted three attempts.
“It would have been nice to get to 10-6, but it’s still a great day,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to states and I’d love to place there in my senior year.”
The surprise event winner was Katherine Conlisk, who entered as the 11th seed in the javelin only to throw 118-9 and exceed her previous best this season by over 13 feet.
“I threw a lot better last season and have been in a slump most of this year,” she said. “But the last couple weeks I’ve worked really hard to get it back. Javelin is a taxing event, so I’ve tried to pace myself. My realistic expectation was to throw up to 108, so 118 was quite a good surprise.”
Sarah Conlisk added six points by placing third overall in the pentathlon, comprised of five events (100 hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put, 800). She took first in the high jump (1.47 meters) and 800 (2:37.16) components and compiled 2,097 total points.
Also placing for Frontier were Ioana Teutsch (third, 109-4) in the javelin and Remi Quesnelle (tied for sixth, 4-10) in the high jump.
South Hadley’s Serena Sarage earned a handful of points in distance events. She came in fifth (5:27.35) in the mile and eighth (11:53.02) in the 2-mile.
Meghan Godfrey rose from her 21st seed to tie for fifth at 12.94 seconds in the 100-meter dash. She also teamed with Gigi Thibault, Katie Evans and Kate O’Neill to run the 4×100 relay in 52.79, good for a seventh-place finish.
The Tigers also nabbed a sixth (4:20.27) in the 4×400 with a team of Kiera Thorton, Evans, Sarah Fudger and Claudia Menard.
Tara Bainbridge also placed in a pair of events: fourth (105-6) in the javelin and seventh (32-73/4) in the shot put.
For Hampshire, Maya Zamek finished fifth (26.95) in the 200 and sixth (16-3) in the long jump.
Melissa Gagnon tied for fourth at 8-6 in the pole vault. The Raiders’ 4×800 squad (Taylor Blow, Sophia Prouty, Meredith Mase, Charlotte Reynolds) finished seventh at 10:31.5.
Blinder vaults to title
Frontier took home the only local individual boys title. The Red Hawks were also the top local finisher, tying for eighth with 30 points.
South Hadley (eight points) tied for 29th and Hampshire (six) was 35th. Holyoke Catholic did not score.
After a runner-up performance in 2014, Frontier’s Jamie Blinder claimed the sectional title Saturday with a mark of 12-6.
Although pleased to finish first, the senior expressed some disappointment with his performance. His seed vault was 13-0.
“I felt like I could have accomplished more, but I was inconsistent today,” Blinder said. “I still got first, so I shouldn’t complain too much, but I’ve done much better throughout the season.”
Saul Soto was the only Red Hawk to place in two events. The javelin top seed came in third with a best final-round throw of 165-11. He was eighth (42-51/4) in the shot put.
Andrew Lankarge came in third in the 400 hurdles at 1:00.63, while Oliver Fox finished fourth in the 400 at 52.66.
Also for the Red Hawks, the 4×100 relay team (Chad Parent, Dylan Talbot, Blinder and Fox) earned a seventh-place showing at 45.98.
South Hadley’s Conor Cassidy earned the runner-up spot in the high jump with a school record leap of 6-4. He was the lone Tiger to place.
Hampshire’s Dylan Cross also accounted for all his squad’s points by posting sixth-place finishes in the pole vault (11-6) as well as the 400 (53.82).
NOTE: Every event winner in each division automatically qualifies for the All-State Championships next Saturday at Fitchburg State University. The next six best performances across both divisions also qualify.
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