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Suzies shine way to third.

Byline: Rich Garven

BOSTON -- Some of the success of the Sutton girls' indoor track and field team was anticipated -- that would be you, Olivia Reinhold -- and some was unexpected -- hello, Julia Malenchini.

But when all the athletic achievements were tallied, the end result was a gratifying, third-place finish for the Suzies at the Division 5 state championships Tuesday at the Reggie Lewis Center.

And it was a case of quality over quantity as the small Sutton squad collected 441/2 points, or half a point less than Old Rochester. Ursuline Academy in Dedham finished first for a second straight year, this time with 55 points.

"I think in total we brought six girls here today, so to know out of that we can place third and come that close to second is crazy,'' Reinhold, a senior captain, said. "It's just an honor to be a part of this team. These girls have worked so hard.''

The Suzies won four of the meet's 13 events, setting two meet records, while all six of their athletes netted at least one medal.

Malenchini was the first to top the podium, winning the 55-meter dash in 7.47 seconds. She posted a 7.52 in her qualifying heat, both times coming in under the meet record of 7.56 established by Oakmont's Julia Rembetsy-Brown last year.

"I'm shocked,'' said the junior speedster, whose previous best in her first season of indoor track was 7.66. "I've been working at trying to keep improving my time, but I was seeded low (ninth) so I wasn't expecting this. It's just amazing.''

Malenchini later teamed with juniors Elizabeth Charity, Paige Vigliotta and Greta Watkins to win the 800 relay in a meet-record 1 minute, 48.47 seconds. Charity, who was sixth in the 300, and Watkins, who tied for eighth in the high jump, then joined Reinhold and junior Jenna Light to win the 1,600 relay in a meet-record 4:10.16

That performance delivered a second gold medal to the top-seeded Reinhold, who won the high jump by leaping 5 feet, 2 inches. That was short of her indoor best of 5-4, which she has cleared about half a dozen times this winter, so there was a touch of disappointment there.

"I wasn't happy with the height I jumped,'' Reinhold said, "but I was happy with the place and getting the 10 points for my team.''

The top four finishers in each event automatically qualified for the All-State Meet here at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, so Reinhold won't have to wait long to get opportunity to raise the bar.

Oakmont and Littleton tied for fourth. The Tigers were buoyed by a win in the 3,200 relay, giving Central Mass. a sweep of the relays, while the Spartans picked up points in five events and also supplied the pre-meet singer of the national anthem in junior Tess Rembetsy-Brown.

Eighth-graders Alyssa Madden and Jessica Ciesluk finished second and seventh, respectively, in the 300. Madden is generally the faster of the two, but she attributed some of that to Ciesluk's company.

"She really pushes me in the meets,'' Madden said. "And in practice, we always run together, so that really helps.''

Sophomore Kaylin Ciesluk, Jessica's older sister, ran an intelligent, well-paced race to place third in the 600 after finishing fifth here a year ago. The Spartans also placed second in two relays, including going under the previous meet record while taking second to Sutton in the 800.

St. Peter-Marian sophomore Gianna Mastromatteo led until the final lap of the 1,000 before she succumbed to a nasty chest cold and settled for second. Douglas senior Makenzie Cyr, who is headed to Stonehill, was second in the 2 mile and, like Mastromatteo, in a race in which a meet record was set.

Lunenburg junior Sophia Holman was second in the meet's first event, the 55 hurdles, in a personal-best time of 8.89.

"The season has gone well, and I've worked hard building up to this, so I'm very proud of myself,'' said Holman, who improved four places over last year.

Three athletes doubled up with impressive results.

Hopedale junior Rita Maurais was second in the mile (5:06.17) and came back about 15 minutes later to finish fourth in the 1,000 (3:02.29), using a late charge down the stretch to ensure she'd qualify for All-States in both events.

"I gave everything I had left in the 1,000, so I'm happy,'' Maurais said.

Gardner senior Felicia Banda, who will attend Hofstra on athletic and merit scholarships, was third in both the mile (5:06.93) and the 2 mile (11:32.92). Like Maurais, she isn't sure if she'll double up at All-States but is intrigued by the idea.

Uxbridge junior Emily Roxo had an especially quick turnaround, finishing eighth in the 55 hurdles and then hustling right back to the starting line for the 55, which she also took eighth in.

Grafton junior Molly Dewar was justifiably pleased after placing fourth in the shot put, seeing as how she came in seeded 13th and has been dealing with a sore right throwing shoulder for the past week.

And her effort of 31-111/2 was a personal best by just over half a foot.

"There was nothing to lose,'' Dewar said, referring to her seeding, "so I just went for it.''

Contact Rich Garven

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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Garven, Rich
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 18, 2015
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