After moments of distress, Pioneers still emerge on top.
SHREWSBURY - For a moment, you could say Ed McGuinn was unnerved.
Early in yesterday afternoon's Robert Duncan Relays, the St. John's High coach saw one of his best athletes, Kyle Morette, injure himself warming up for the pole vault. Not to mention, the soggy weather at St. John's, the host field, meant a more level playing field.
The Pioneers' streak of consecutive Division 1 wins at this event was in jeopardy for a short time, too. Westboro High was initially declared the winner with 65 points, with Nashoba Regional in second and the Pioneers in third. The decision was overturned about an hour later; St. John's point total (80) was initially miscalculated, dropping the Rangers and the Chieftains down a spot.
St. John's has now won the Division 1 title 18 straight times.
"On a rainy, damp, cold day, my hats are off to those kids," McGuinn said.
And especially to Morette. The senior had to pull out of the pole vault and 800 relay as a result of his injury, but still contributed to two of the Pioneers' five first-place finishes - the long jump and the shuttle hurdles. Morette went to the hospital after the meet to determine the severity of his injury, according to McGuinn.
"I hope for a speedy recovery with Kyle," McGuinn said. "He cleared 14 feet in the pole vault earlier in the season, so we need him. ...We're hoping he's OK; he's one of our top performers."
In the shuttle hurdles, St. John's tied a 15-year-old record despite the conditions. The Pioneers' quartet of Andrew Powell, Dan Foley, Josh Millea and Morette finished first in 1:05.7, tying a record time set in 1993 by Shrewsbury High. Powell also contributed to St. John's first-place finish in the high jump - an event where he ranks among the state's elite.
Westboro, meanwhile, took second despite winning just one event, the 400 relay. But the Rangers field one of the state's deepest teams, with over 130 athletes, and the quantity paid off.
"We never backed down, we just kept coming," said coach Roger Anderson, who was without two of his top performers - Conor Nolan (shot put) and Justin Strechsetter (javelin).
Said senior captain Ian Hayes, who was part the winning 400-relay team: "Our team is not just senior studs. Our team is full of young guys who can perform. There were a lot of sophomores that ran and performed today, and they were a part of this whole thing."
Nashoba had another solid outing in the meet, taking home two first-place finishes (distance medley, 800 sprint medley) largely on the strong running from Anthony Raduazo and Joe Doyle. The Chieftains totaled 61 points for their third-place finish.
"It was definitely a balanced meet," coach Jim Nosel said. "The kids were really excited for it this year. They spent a lot more time on the exchanges and handoffs."
Rounding out the top five were Shrewsbury High, which won three field events (shot put, discus, pole vault) en route to 57 points, and Doherty, which had six top-five finishes for 38 points.
Division 1 Results
1, St. John's, 80. 2, Westboro, 65. 3, Nashoba, 61. 4, Shrewsbury, 61. 5, Doherty, 57. 6, Wachusett, 22. 7, Algonquin, 21. 8, North Middlesex, 15. T9, Fitchburg, Groton-Dunstable, 13. T11, Leominster, Quabbin, 12. 13, Tantasqua, 10. 14, Marlboro, 8. 15, Shepherd Hill, 4. T16, Burncoat, Gardner, South, 0.
440 Shuttle Hurdles: 1, St. John's (Andrew Powell, Dan Foley, Kyle Morette, Josh Millea), 1:05.70 (tied meet record). 2, Algonquin, 1:10.60. 3, Westboro, 1:11.80. 4, Groton-Dunstable, 1:13.20. 5, Shrewsbury, 1:15.70.
Distance Medley: 1, Nashoba (Marc McCloud, Joe Doyle, Brendan Ayalian, Anthony Raduazo), 10:41.50. 2, St. John's, 10:48.60. 3, Westboro, 10:53.0. 4, Doherty, 11:04.10. 5, North Middlesex, 11:06.80.
High Jump: 1, St. John's (Tyler Masi, Andrew Powell, Josh Miller), 17-04. 2, Nashoba, 17-0. 3, Shrewsbury, 16-06. 4, Marlboro, 16-04. 5, Westboro, 16-02.
400 Relay: 1, Westboro (Greyson Thomas, Kevin Stechler, Ian Hayes, Ryan Ruffing), 44.9. 2, Shrewsbury, 45.6. 3, Nashoba, 46.0. 4, Marlboro, 46.7. 5, Groton-Dunstable, 47.1.
1,600 Relay: 1, St. John's (Dennis Kott, Jon Vignaly, Zach Kofos, Sean Mitchell), 3:33.3. 2, Leominster, 3:33.8. 3, Wachusett, 3:34.9. 4, Westboro, 3:39.1. 5, Algonquin, 3:42.4.
800 Relay: T1, North Middlesex (Michael Wheeler, Alan Cavanaugh, Josh Hussey, D.J. Webb), Nashoba (Conor Megee, Doug Koury, Andrew Wade, Jesse Wade), 1:36.0. 3, Doherty, 1:36.3. 4, St. John's, 1:36.60. 5, Fitchburg, 1:37.20.
3,200 Relay: 1, St. John's (Kevin Turner, Brian Clark, Ben Perrow, Cam Tieuli), 8:20.60. 2, Nashoba, 8:30.3. 3, Westboro, 8:39.40. 4, Doherty, 8:41.70. 5, Wachusett, 8:44.70.
800 Sprint Medley: 1, Nashoba (Doug Cary, Travis Johnson, Conor McGee, Joe Doyle), 3:36.50 (meet record). 2, Shrewsbury, 3:47.40. 3, Westboro, 3:48.50. 4, Leominster, 3:50.9. 5, Wachusett, 3:53.90.
Pole Vault: 1, Shrewsbury (Justin Bartkiewicz, Eddie Gordon, Anthony Wriche), 34-06. 2, Westboro, 30-06. 3, Algonquin, 27-0. 4, Quabbin, 25-0.
Long Jump: 1, St. John's (Kyle Morette, Shawn Mitchell, Andrew Powell), 58-00.25. 2, Doherty, 56-03.5. 3, Groton-Dunstable, 55-01.25. 4, Nashoba, 55-01.25. 5, Wachusett, 53-02.75.
Triple Jump: 1, Doherty (NA), 116-06.00. 2, St. John's, 116-02.50. 3, Nashoba, 114-08. 4, Algonquin, 113-08.0. 5, Westboro, 113-06.5.
Shot Put: 1, Shrewsbury (Chris Cole, Brad Diamantopoulos, Dylan Allard), 119-04.50. 2, St. John's, 115-08.00. 3, Doherty, 112-10.50. 4, Quabbin, 111-11.75. 5, Wachusett, 109-01.75.
Discus: 1, Shrewsbury (Chris Cole, Jimmy Flynn, Keenan Harst), 323-06. 2, Fitchburg, 323-01. 3, Westboro, 317-08. 4, North Middlesex, 297-08. 5, St. John's, 294-06.
Javelin: 1, Tantasqua (Mike Grubert, Dan Kerber, Mike Mahar), 412-03. 2, Westboro, 397-01. 3, Wachusett, 394-09. 4, Quabbin, 390-02. 5, Fitchburg, 370-04.
CUTLINE: Nashoba's Anthony Raduazo runs his leg of the distance relay.
PHOTOG: T&G Staff/MARK C. IDE