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Perfect season for Uxbridge.

Byline: Steve Farley

COLUMN: INDOOR TRACK

It has been a banner season for the Uxbridge girls, who were 15-0 in dual meets and won the SWCL championship.

"We haven't won that in probably four or five years," said Walter Berkowicz, who is in his 14th year as the Spartans' coach. "Shepherd Hill has been the dominant team the last four or five years, as far as the league (championships) goes."

Uxbridge faced some of its stiffest competition during the first week of the season when it defeated Millbury, Tantasqua and Shepherd Hill.

Berkowicz said the Spartans' highlight was earning their first win at the MSTCA Division 4 state relays on Jan. 23 at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center. Uxbridge doesn't participate in that meet every year, but Berkowicz thought his team had a great opportunity to have a strong showing. The Spartans totaled 40 points, nine better than Hamilton-Wenham, which edged Lunenburg for second.

Lunenburg, in Berkowicz's opinion, should be the favorite at Saturday's Central Mass. Division 2 meet.

Bromfield is the defending champion, but Sutton, which came in third last year, is always a force.

"We're going to score as many points as we can," Berkowicz said. "We're going to be competitive. We're a little short-handed in some of these meets, but we're going to give it a shot anyway. We seem to be moving in the right direction for the Division 4 (state) meet."

Uxbridge is led by versatile senior captain Samantha Copeland, who paced the Spartans in scoring at last weekend's Bob McIntyre Elite Relays. Copeland's personal best in the high jump is 5 feet, and she can run any distance from the 300 to the 1,000. Senior captain Sarah Zeis is the defending CMass champion in the 55 hurdles. Zeis also runs the dash and the 800 and 1,600 relays.

Other contributors include senior captain Laura Sarrasin (high jump, hurdles); seniors Jennifer Rosa, whom Berkowicz calls a jack-of-all-trades; Samantha Cogliandro (mile, 1,000); and Lisa Copeland (shot put); juniors Stephanie Seagrave (dash, 300, relays) and Chelsey Peso (mile, 1,000); sophomore Jessica Drane (distances, relays); and freshmen Emily Cahill (dash, 300, high jump, relays) and Debora Lopes (dash, 300, relays). Cahill is the top high jumper in the SWCL, with a personal best of 5-2.

Running to Brown

So what can Brown do for you? If you're Westboro senior captain Jeff Bush, it can offer you a spot on its cross-country, indoor and outdoor track teams.

"It was my first choice," said Bush, who signed his letter of intent to the Ivy League school last week.Although Bush hasn't won a state title in his premier event, the 2 mile, coach Jeremy Nute doesn't hesitate to say Bush, Byron Jones and 2008 grad Dave Brown, now at Bucknell, are the best he has seen at Westboro. Jones was named 2009 T&G Cross-Country Runner of the Year.

At the MSTCA Elite Meet, Bush won the 2 mile in 9:22.89. The two-year captain and four-year varsity runner wants to prove he's one of the best, not only in the state, but in New England. Bush's ultimate goal is to qualify for nationals, which are at Reggie Lewis next month.

Algonquin relies on depth

For the Algonquin Regional girls' team to finish in the top three at the CMass championships, the Tomahawks will have to utilize their depth, something coach Lisa Danielson and assistants Ken Petersen and Ken Morin take pride in.

Last year, Algonquin finished third with 64 points.

"We'd like to be in the top three, and I think that will be a realistic and attainable accomplishment for our team," said Danielson, who is in her 14th season as head coach.

The Tomahawks went 6-1 this season, their only loss coming to Wachusett, which also won last weekend's Mid-Wach A championships. Algonquin was second.

Algonquin is led by five senior captains, UMass-bound Nicole Bishop, Emily Lemmerman, Holy Cross-bound Liz Crowley, Cassie Short and Tiffany Daley.

Bishop finished second in the 1,000 at the Mid-Wach A championships in 3:10.55 and was part of the winning 3,200 relay team. Daley, who competes in the high jump, 300 and 800 relay, is a four-year letterwinner and has been the Tomahawks' MVP for three years. Danielson said Daley is her most versatile athlete.

Junior Haley Laird is Algonquin's top high jumper. Her personal best is 5-5, a school record, but her 5-3 was good enough to win at the Mid-Wach A championships.

Another junior, Haven Jones, took first in the 55 dash at the Mid-Wach A meet and was a member of the victorious 800-relay team.

Others to watch include senior sprinter Heather McDonald, who will be playing lacrosse at William & Mary next year; juniors Paige Livolsi, the anchor of the 800 relay; and Allison Kenney, who won the shot put at the Mid-Wach A championships with a personal best 31-6; and freshman Gaby DiGiovanni (800 relay).
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 11, 2010
Words:825
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