Friday, March 16, 2018

Palin and Pietrasiewicz Wrap Up Indoor Season at NBIN

The long and cold indoor season came to a conclusion last weekend up in New York City. Competing in the historic NB Armory, Julia Palin and Isabella Pietrasiewicz competed in the 2018 New Balance Indoor National Championships, a culminating experience for the best high school track and field athletes across the country and Canada.

Friday, 6:55 pm: Emerging Elite 800 meter run

Palin wrapped up her indoor career as a Lancer competing in the Emerging Elite 800 meter run. Registration issues resulted in Palin's team name being "Gladiator TC - Ma" (?) but she still brought Lancer pride to the New York track in bringing home a stellar performance to cap her indoor track career. Running in the third heat of four, Palin paced herself and controlled her nerves through the first lap, ultimately landing her in last through the first two laps. Still avoiding trouble, she came through 400m at 1:07, Palin began to make moves on the field as the other competitors were reluctant to let the race string out.

Hitting the 600 at 1:42, and swinging out into Lane 3, Palin began to catch up to the front of the field. A valiant last lap effort, she lost no ground on the rest of the field and fought through a shove down the final straight away to cross the line in 2:16.48, a new school record (bettering even Palin's outdoor 800 record set last year!!). Palin's finish earned her fifth in the heat although the final results DQ'ed the competitor who shoved her down the straightaway. Therefore, Palin finished fourth in her heat and 15th overall in the division. An absolutely fantastic finish to a fantastic indoor season.

Full race can be watched here.

Freshman Mile: Sunday, 9:00 am

Toeing the line with the best freshmen in the nation, Pietrasiewicz was ready for another PR performance. The week leading up to Nationals was both strong and a struggle but she was ready to race her heart out when she got up to New York.

Heading into the race, Pietrasiewicz boasted the 14th fastest freshman mile time in the country (5:12.76) as well as being the top Massachusetts freshman miler. The pace went out quick...very quick! Running through the half mile on pace for 5:10, but still in the back, Pietrasiewicz fought through both exhaustion and nerves on the big stage. Her 5:22.53, though not a PR, was a hard-fought and well-enjoyed effort. Above everything else, while racing on a national stage for the first time, it's critical to savor the experience and gain knowledge from the experience. She crossed the line 13th in her heat, finishing in 20th overall in the freshman division. Her 5:12.76 still stands as the fastest MA frosh mile this year as well as the 19th fastest by a freshman across the country for the 2017-18 indoor track season.

Full race can be watched here.

Onto Outdoor!

More Julia Palin Media Coverage!

Leading up to NBIN, here are a few more media clippings about Norton's Julia Palin:

"Norton's Palin going the distance this season" - The Sun Chronicle, March 6, 2018

"MA trio takes 2-3-6 spots in girls' 1k" - MileSplitMA, March 3, 2018

Palin Finishes Sixth at New England Championships!

In the final tune-up to the New Balance Indoor National Championships, senior Julia Palin raced in her final meet at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Competing in her newly minted "marquee" event this year, she ran in the second seeded section of the 1,000 meter run.

Entered with the fifth fastest seed, the race went out to an uneasy start, as an impeding start from eventual winner Emily Phillippides of Greenwich, CT cut off Palin causing her to hit the track within the first 20 meters. Fortunately, a restart brought the race back and allowed her to regain her composure (full race video can be viewed here:

Back on track, Palin came through the 400m mark towards the back of the pack. After all the jitters started to wear off of her competitors, she began to weave in and out of the group to move up towards the front runners. Passing through 600 meters in the low 1:40s, Palin continued to make moves on fading runners, avoiding traffic and placing herself in position to kick for the finish. In fact, as all other runners faded, she maintained a consistent 34 second clip following the first lap.

Palin strides for the finish and All-New England Honors
She crossed the line finishing in 6th place in the third heat, and fastest, heat. Although she maintained pace throughout the last 800 meters, her consistency led her to break her school record, stopping the clock at 2:56.95. To put that into perspective, her time would have qualified her for the collegiate NEICAAA (or New Englands) indoor meet held at RLC the night of the TVL Championships.

Palin receiving her medal for All-New England Honors in the 1,000m run

UP NEXT: The Lancers close out their season over the March 9-11 weekend as both Palin (Friday, 6:55 pm - Emerging Elite 800 meter) and freshman Isabella Pietrasiewicz (Sunday, 9:00 am - Freshman Mile) compete at the New Balance Indoor National Championships at The Armory in New York City!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Palin Qualifies New England as Lancers Compete at MIAA All-States

After a thrilling Divisional Championships a week and a half ago, the Lady Lancers brought their talents to RLC to compete against the very best in the state at the MIAA All-State Championship Meet. Competing in fields comprised of the top runners in the state, Norton fared strong placing 37th out of the field of 53 scoring teams across Massachusetts. (Photo Credits to Hannah Getto of Bay State Running and Coach Kent Taylor)

Freshman Rookie of the Year Isabella Pietrasiewicz started things off for the Lancers in the Mile run. Running out of the first heat, Bella faced an intense and competitive "championship-style" racing, in which few runners wanted to actually take the race out and run a fast time. Coming through the halfway point in 2:40, Pietrasiewicz turned it on over the last 600 meters with each lap outsplitting the previous. Bella closed in a 35 second final lap to finish off a 2:35 second 800, just getting nipped at the line by Nauset's Terra Ellard. Pietrasiewicz's 5:15.48 earned her 10th place overall in the field and the first among freshmen. That, along with 5:12.76 from last week, earns her the unofficial title of Fastest Freshmen Miler in Massachusetts! She will next compete in the freshmen mile on March 11th at New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City.

Pietrasiewicz closes down the straightaway of the Girls Mile
Next on the track was Lancer MVP Julia Palin in the 1,000m run. Seeded 6th from last week's 2:58.10, Palin was forced with the difficult task of finally racing in a field of competitors. With Acton-Boxborough's Samantha Friborg sprinting away from the field in the first 100 meters, the rest of the field became hesitant to take out the race. The uncommon sight of four-five girls from Lanes 1-2 created a very packed and tight race. Palin's opening splits of 34.3 and 35.1 kept her out of trouble but as she moved into the pack she became trapped looking for space to open up. Despite the enclosing, Palin escaped with 200 meters to go to close in 33.3 in bettering her seed in a blanket finish. Palin crossed the line at 2:58.21 to finish 5th and to qualify for the New England Championships on March 3rd at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Palin, out in Lane 3, looking for space to move
The Lady Lancers closed their day on the track with the 4x800m relay. After winning the Division 4 Championship last week, the Lancers earned their seed into the second, faster heat of the race. Unfortunately, tired legs prevailed and the team of Katie Bradley, Pietrasiewicz, Hannah Delea, and Palin fought hard to the finish. In Bradley's last indoor race as a Lancer, the Division 4 Champions finished in 10:16.64 to place 23rd overall. The time, however, does not accurately reflect all the work and miles the quartet put in this winter and, although it was not the school record run last week, the four can still call themselves Division 4 State Champions.

Palin, Bradley, Pietrasiewicz and Delea wrap up an incredible season!
UP NEXT: Senior captain Mary Diestel will compete in the MIAA Pentathlon on Tuesday followed by the boys team of junior captain Peter Rivard, senior captain Pat Bingel, and Rookie of the Year Paul Wisnaskas competing on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Palin and Girls 4x800 Claim State Championships at MIAA Division 4 States!

Riding a season's best performances and personal bests at last weeks TVL Championships, the Norton Lancers headed back to Boston to compete in the MIAA Division 4 State Championships. On the heels of two state championships and several top finishes, the Lady Lancers placed 6th overall scoring 25 points while the Men of Norton overcame tired legs and illnesses to claim a 28th finish with 3 points on the evening.


Heading into the meet as the lone freshman in the field, Michaela Whiteside concluded her stellar first-year campaign with a dominant showing in the shot put. Although she did not hit her PR, she demonstrated that her improvement has moved her standard to a higher level, continuing to consistently through upwards to 29-30 feet in the shot put. On the evening, Whiteside threw 29'-0.25", matching her seeding placement of 22nd place. The TVL 2nd-Team thrower will continue into the spring, looking to master the javelin and discus in addition to the shot for the Lancers Outdoor Track team.

Also rounding out the field events for the Lady Lancers, senior captain Mary Diestel wrapped up her single-event campaign this season by jumping her season's best of 4'-10". Like Whiteside, Diestel matched her seeding placement, finishing in a five-way tie for 10th place in Division 4. Diestel will still have one more competition left as a Lancer, as she plans to compete in the MIAA Pentathlon on February 27th.

Claiming the first points of the night for Norton, freshman Isabella Pietrasiewicz took to the track in the girls mile. Having ran a personal best in earning TVL 2nd-Team honors last week, Pietrasiewicz looked to earn a New Balance Indoor National qualifier for the freshmen mile. Needing to run six seconds off of her PR run less than a week ago, she left nothing to chance. Slightly under pace through 800 meters, Pietrasiewicz turned on a second gear, closing her last 400m in 1:13 and last 200m in 35 seconds. Her efforts were rewarded with a finishing time of 5:12.76, good enough for 4th overall in the meet. Not only did her time set a new school record by just under three seconds, but it currently stands as the 14th fastest freshmen mile time in the country, effectively qualifying her for the New Balance Indoor Nationals, to be held on March 11th in New York's Armory!

Following Bella's race, senior captain Katie Bradley took to the oval for a hotly contested 600 meter run. Though initially out slow, Bradley quickly caught back up to pace with a speedy and gutsy second lap. Holding onto a solid position at the bell lap, Bradley's quick second lap caught up to her as she had to settle for third in her heat and 12th overall. Her time of 1:44.16 was only a second and a half out from scoring. But she still had one race left in her legs later in the night.

The Lancer's first state champion of the night came on the heels of another record-breaking performance by senior captain Julia Palin. Being patient through 400m of the 1,000m run, the TVL Champion and NBIN qualifier went through in 1:11, closely following Burlington's Julia Hovasse. While slightly being challenged for the first time this season in the 1,000, Palin bided her time and began her move with roughly 500 meters to go. The back-and-fourth race through the first two laps quickly faded as Palin took control with 400 meters to go, splitting 35.85 heading into the bell lap. With nothing but the clock to beat, Palin kicked to a 33.5 final 200 meters to win the 1,000m run in a time of 2:58.10. In winning by nearly five seconds, Palin bettered her NBIN seed and school record by just under a second, claiming the 7th and 32nd fastest time in the state of Massachusetts and the nation respectively, according to

As the lone individual sprinter for the Norton squad, Kylie Dion represented the Lancers well running to a quick 45.04 to claim a 19th finish in the meet.  She would later close out the meet with Diestel, Carly Murphy, and Hannah Kubinski as the quartet ran in the 4x400m relay. In just missing their seed time by a few seconds, the four ran stellar splits with excellent handoffs to place 14th overall in a time of 4:24.30. Not to be outdone, a young Lancer 4x200m relay showed that the future is bright for the Lancer sprinters. Sophomore Eve Rodriguez joined juniors Julia Newell, Alexa Sousa-Shumosic, and Kirsten Loring in another display of flawless handoffs and quick splits. Finishing a close second in their heat, the girls ran to a 17th place finish in the field of 23 schools, crossing the line in 1:54.84.

And in the second state championship performance of the evening, the trio of Bradley, Pietrasiewicz, and Palin doubled up to join Hannah Delea in the 4x800m relay. Knowing that they had the second seed heading into the race, it was certain to be a close contest between the Lancers and Grafton HS. The same team to edge them out at Division 4 State Relays weeks earlier, the Lady Lancers were ready for their rematch. With Katie Bradley splitting her strongest 800m of the season, the Lancers were out in front at 2:27.9 at the exchange of the baton. Handed off to Bella Pietrasiewicz, the young Lancer was tested right from the handoff by Grafton's second leg. Staying with in reaching distance of Grafton, Pietrasiewicz pulled off her fastest split of the season, handing off to Delea after 2:28.8 in a close second place. A back-and-fourth leg for Delea came down to the wire. Fed up with passing and being passed, Delea fought hard to close the gap leading into the anchor leg. Her 2:34.9 season's best was all the Lancers needed with Palin receiving the stick. Patiently reeling Grafton's fourth leg back into range, she excellently maneuvered her kick to coincide with the drafting of a lapped runner. With 300 to go, Palin passed Grafton, who was caught behind a slower runner, leaving all but the curve and the bell lap to go for the title. Heading into the final curve, the Lancers rejoiced as Palin's 2:23.2 final split brought the Lady Lancers a second state championship on the evening. The final time of 9:54.76 also set a new NHS record in the process.

Delea, Bradley, Pietrasiewicz and Palin celebrate an NHS State Championship!

With an equally strong contingency on the boys side of the track, the boys quickly took off to a quick start on the inside oval. TVL 2nd-Team honoree Paul Wisnaskas led the hurdles crew to a respectful showing. Running out of the very quick third heat (where three individuals qualified for the finals), Wisnaskas ran to a strong fourth place finish. His time of 8.54 seconds led him to a 15th place finish overall. Following suit, junior Corey Stalters ran a hard-fought race finishing in 9.16 seconds, good enough for 29th place overall. Immediately following the hurdles, junior captain Peter Rivard also competed against an equally strong heat, ultimately finishing in a time of 7.07 seconds for 23rd place overall.

Hitting the oval, senior captain Pat Bingel led off the distance events portion of the evening. Having just squeezed into the Division 4 State Meet with the last automatic-qualifying time, Bingel again patiently ran his own race, not being caught up in the hoopla of athletes turning over too quickly. Although running most of the race from behind, Bingel fought back in the closing lap to split an unofficial 29.9 in catching several athletes and leaving them in his wake, as he closed to a 4:48.55, bettering his seed position for a 17th place finish in the field. The TVL 2nd-Team honoree would later go on to match that finish in the high jump, again bettering his seed position and earning a tie for 17th place in jumping 5'-8".

In the next event, DJ Nihill lead off the Lancer 1,000 meter showing in the first heat. In a back-and-fourth race, Nihill once again came through at the bell lap, splitting an unbelievable 28.43 last lap to pass roughly six athletes in the last 200 meters. His valiant effort brought him to within fractions of a second of his personal best, as his 2:47.75 finish earned him an 18th place showing. Following Nihill's lead, TVL 2nd-Teamer Austin Carroll went out to a very odd 1,000m race. With each one of his five splits ranging from 32.0-32.4 seconds, Carroll ran a very rare consistent race, fighting through a crowded pack of runners hesitant to make any dramatic move. Though his 2:41.33 was off his goal of 2:39, it still helped claim the Lancer's first point on the evening, as he finished in 8th place overall.

Joining up for the boys 4x800m relay, Carroll, Nihill, Bingel, and Ethan Tetrault all ran on tired but inspired legs in facing the quick field. With each athlete running slightly off their personal best splits, fatigue became the clear factor to overcome in the race. Still, the Men of Norton managed to put together one of their top times this season. Their collective 8:46.97 ended up claiming them a 9th place finish out of the field of 23 teams.

As the lone representative in the 300m run, senior TVL 1st-Team sprinter Ian Pereira rose to the occasion and still delivered a noteworthy time. Though not his best, his 37.30 was still strong enough for an 8th place finishing medal. Pereira would later close the meet with Wisnaskas, Rivard, and Aidan Lerner. With tired legs and Lerner battling a cold, the Lancers still managed to produce their second fastest time of the season. Their splits all showed tremendous determination in grit in producing the final medal performance of the meet, as their time of 3:39.28 earned them an 8th place finish to cap off the majority of their seasons.

UP NEXT: The Lancers continue their post-season competition heading into the MIAA All-State Meet, with the girls' 4x800m relay and Julia Palin (1,000m) having qualifying times for February 24th's all-Massachusetts contest. Following the All-State Meet, a select group of Lancers will compete in the MIAA Pentathlon, to be held through February 27-28.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Track Calendar Raffle Winners!

Please check back daily to see if you've won the Track Calendar Raffle Fundraiser brought to you by the Norton Track & Field Boosters!

February 1st: Aiman Janineh ($25 Starbucks GC)
February 2nd:Wayne Day ($20 CVS GC)
                       Sue Deady ($15 TGI Fridays GC)
February 3rd: Cathy Wilkerson ($30 Homeplate GC)
                       S & V McGovern ($25 Sabatinos GC)
February 4th: Bill Secher ($25 Chipotle GC)
                       Kristen Berthao ($15 Starbucks GC)
February 5th: Leeann LeClaire ($25 Honey Dew GC)
February 6th: Wendy Dion ($10 Target GC)
                       Trixie Sousa ($20 Home Depot GC)
February 7th: Alexa Sousa-Schumosic ($25 Panera Bread GC)
                       Coach Gretchen Stalters ($10 Target GC)
February 8th: Newell Family ($20 Speedway GC)
                       Rob Diestel ($10 Dunkin Donuts GC)
February 9th: Kubinski Family ($25 Bed Bath & Beyond GC)
February 10th: Kim Barboza ($25 Chateau GC)
                         Rob Pickett ($10 Trader Joe's GC)
February 11th: Kim Bray ($15 Cold Stone GC)
                        Karen La Camera ($10 Stop & Shop GC)
February 12th: Dale Ransom ($25 T J Maxx GC)
February 13th: Amy Pereira ($15 Starbucks GC)
                        Alanna Nardone ($10 Speedway GC)
February 14th: Leigh Anne Palin ($30 Homeplate GC)
February 15th: Daniela Bouley ($15 iTunes GC)
                         Jana Regan ($10 Honey Dew GC)
February 16th: Dawn Schepis ($25 Subway GC)
                         Leslie Kurland ($25 Chipotle GC)
February 17th: Thelma McNeil ($25 GC)
                         Rob Meyer ($10 Dunkin' Donuts GC)
February 18th: Terence Brogan ($30 Homeplate GC)
February 19th: Kristie Sanders ($20 Speedway GC)
                         Kevin Hutchinson ($10 Honey Dew GC)
February 20th: Michael McKenney ($25 Dick's Sporting Goods GC)
February 21st: Marilyn Smith ($15 Dairy Queen GC)
                         Laura Bamford ($10 Target GC)
February 22nd: Laura Owens ($25 Fandango GC)
                         Kim Bartnick ($10 Norton House of Pizza GC)
February 23rd: Paul and Ginny O'Brien ($15 Panera Bread GC)
                         Jody Sears ($10 Amazon GC)
February 24th: Keith Murphy ($25 Bertucci's GC)
                         Jamie Laliberte ($15 iTunes GC)
February 25th: Anne Marie Holloway ($25 American Eagle GC)
                         S & V McGovern ($15 Starbucks GC)
February 26th: Peter Theuerkauf ($25 Cheesecake Factory GC)
February 27th: Dalila Byrnes ($15 Subway GC)
                        Tom Jackson ($10 Amazon GC)
February 28th: Donna Dolack ($50 Cash!!)

Congratulations to all our winners so far and thank you for everyone for their continued support of the Lancers Track & Field program!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Palin Qualifies for New Balance Indoor Nationals & Pereira is Crowned 300m Champion at TVL Championships

On a busy Saturday night, the Lancers crammed into the Reggie Lewis Center as their post-season hunt began at the Tri-Valley League Championships. Despite the meet being delayed an hour, the Lancers pounced at the opportunity to claim some titles. Led by a trio of scoring distance runners and a young thrower, the Lady Lancers grabbed a 6th place finish in the league, scoring 27 points. For the Men of Norton, an even distribution of points across all disciplines compiled a hearty 3rd place finish, scoring 48 points.


With the TVL meet concluding in less than three hours, there was little time for athletes to prepare in between events. But the Lady Lancers still fought hard to a large degree of success! With the 55m hurdles kicking off the night, Lily Holloway led the charge with her 9.64 time to claim 10th overall in the event. Both senior captain Mary Diestel and Julia Newell ran to season-best identical 9.79 times, earning 14th and 13th place finishes respectively. Diestel would later join Holloway in the high jump, reaching the height of 4'-8" to claim a 7th place finish as Holloway jumped 4'-4" to earn 22nd. Following the hurdles, Newell doubled-back to run a personal best 7.98 in the 55 meter dash, placing 13th overall. Close behind her were teammates Alexa Sousa-Schumosic (8.00; 14th) and Carly Murphy (8.02; 16th), both running or matching their personal bests set earlier this year.

As the sprints were occuring, oval action started with the girls' mile being the first final of the night. Racing down to grab a quick time, Isabella Pietrasiewicz found herself running through the pack halfway through the race. But with one lap to go, and leading the chase pack, she took control and closed in a 37-second 200 to run a personal best by five seconds. Her time of 5:25.86 earned her a 3rd place finish in her first TVL Indoor Track Championship. She would later join Diestel, Kylie Dion, and Katie Bradley to run a season-best 4:21.49 in the 4x400 meter relay, finishing in 7th place and improving their state-qualifier in the process.

Following a coaching-error, senior captain Katie Bradley was tasked to run a fast 600 meter race despite being placed in the slower section. Making up the stagger in her heat less than 100 meters in, Bradley fought against the clock for the entirety of the race, running a season's best 1:43.32. Winning her heat by three seconds, Bradley narrowly missed the runner-up finish by only 0.02 seconds. She wasn't the only Lancer in the 600 meter run, however, as Murphy came back from the 55 meter dash not too long earlier to place 10th overall with a 1:51.09 showing.

Bradley closes the finish of her heat in the 600 meter run
With a small field for the freshmen mile, Hope LeClaire was the Lancers lone representative shooting for one last personal best time to close the indoor season. On pace through 800 meters, LeClaire closed her last 200 with her goal in sight to break 7:00. In the end she would do just that, running 6:58.35 to earn 3rd in the freshmen mile.
LeClaire holding strong during the freshmen mile
Concluding the girls sprints on the night, teammates Kylie Dion and Kirsten Loring compete in the 300 meter run. With both Lady Lancers saving the best for the TVL Championships, both ran to season-best times with Dion's 45.05 earning her 12th and Loring's 46.02 earning her 14th in the 24-girl field.

The Lady Lancers earned their lone TVL Champion of the night in dominant fashion. Aiming for the New Balance Indoor National standard of 2:58.6, senior captain Julia Palin went out with the field through 400 meters before she started to pull away. From there on out, it was a race against the clock. Leaving her nearest competitor in her wake, Palin pulled away to win the TVL Championship by five seconds. But most importantly, her time of 2:58.51 set a new NHS school record, TVL Championship meet record, and qualified her for the Emerging Elite division of the New Balance National Indoor Track and Field Championships!

Teammate Mary Diestel embraces Palin after she qualifies for NBIN!
Wrapping up the girls' distance events on the evening, Hannah Delea returned back to the two mile for one last performance on the indoor season. Despite her shoe nearly falling off and having to run the entire race with it untied, Delea fought back from a hard start and ran a season-best 13:06.98, good for 10th overall in the field.

And last but certainly not least, the Lady Lancers saved one last podium finish for the last event of the night in the girls shot put. After Erica Ransom threw 24'-8" to finish 15th in the field, freshman Michaela Whiteside qualified for the final and finished in 3rd place with a massive PR toss of 30'-11". Her throw was the top freshman throw in the TVL as she improved on her previous personal best by nearly two feet. Although Whiteside did not reach an automatic state-qualifier, the young Lancer will wait to hear if her throw will qualify her as an at-large bid to compete in the Division 4 State Championships next week.


With high seeds in numerous events, the Men of Norton took to the oval to grab a podium finish in the Tri-Valley League Championship. Starting off strong from the beginning, the hurdling duo of Paul Wisnaskas and Corey Stalters once again had their best performances on display. The two qualified for the finals in personal best fashion, running 8.20 and 8.70 respectively. Teammate Jacob Peers just missed the finals, running 9.91 for 16th place overall. As the only freshman in the finals, Wisnaskas ran head-to-head with Medfield's Ryan Eng, losing a close battle but clearing the rest of the field, as his 8.27 grabbed him the runner-up finish in the finals. Although the finals were only 15 or so minutes following the trials, Stalters rallied back to place 8th in the final in 9.24 seconds.

To the dash, senior captain Ian Pereira returned to running the 55m dash as he had one of the top seeds in the Tri-Valley League this winter. Joined by junior captain Peter Rivard, the two cruised to the final in 6.91 and 7.02 respectively. Pereira's new personal best would be replicated in the final as he ran 6.91 again to earn a 3rd place finish in the field, with Rivard running 7.05, just 0.04 seconds away from scoring, in a 7th place finish. The pair along with Wisnaskas and Aidan Lerner would close the night teaming up for the 4x400 meter relay. With the fastest seed in the league, all four guys ran incredible splits to keep it neck-and-neck to Hopkinton. Fighting them off back-and-fourth, along with a couple of impeding shoves, the Lancers would have to "settle" for an incredible season-best performance to place 2nd to the Hillers. The Lancers finishing time of 3:36.39 improved their state-qualifier by over four seconds as they broke 3:40 for the first time this season.

Adding to the scoring, senior captain Pat Bingel had another busy day for the Lancers. In his final TVL Indoor Track Championships, Bingel ran a personal best and state-qualifying time in the mile, finishing 4th in 4:48.37. He would then go to the high jump with teammate Alex Wisnaskas. Though both had off-days, they managed to clear opening height amidst the nerves of their last TVLs. Wisnaskas would finish at 5'-2" for 13th place while Bingel would grab two points at 5'-8" for 5th place. And doing his best to help his Lancers catch back up to Medfield and Hopkinton, Bingel threw himself into the two-mile trying to scrap together every last point. However, his exhaustion caught the best of him as he still ran a respectable 11:05.61 for 10th place, capping off a busy and successful night on the track.
Bingel mid-run during his 4th place finish in the Mile
Meanwhile in the shot circle, the Men of Norton sent three "Throws Bros" representatives to finish off their season on a high note. Nick Denham led the way with a 19th place finish, putting the shot 29'-11". Freshman Ryan Carroll and senior captain Chris Dennehy finished not too far behind him with throws of 26'-8" and 26'-0" to finish 22nd and 23rd respectively. Though the weather and implements put the throwers at a disadvantage this season, they fought hard through the season and trained equally hard in the weight room to improve their selves heading into the outdoor season.

Going up to the mid-distance events, senior captain Aidan Lerner led the Norton contingency in the 600 meter dash. Running through heavy legs, Lerner just missed his season's best as he ran a 1:31.71 for 9th place in the field. Sophomore teammate Ben Pescod also missed his personal best by just 0.2 seconds, finishing in 1:37.32 for a 16th place finish.
Pescod sprints to the finish in his heat of the 600 meter run
Headlining the lone "freshman" event of the night, Sean Wynne and Nick Janineh led the Lancers of the future in the freshmen mile. With a crowded mix-gender field, both had to fight in-and-out of lapped runners to stay on pace. But both still fought furiously to a hard finish for their indoor seasons. In chasing the lead pack at the bell lap, Wynne sprinted to a personal best 5:04.74 finish for 4th place. Janineh also ran a hard last lap to catch back up to the field, crossing the line at 5:24.54 for 10th place.

Pereira returned back to the track for the 300 meter run following his third place finish in the 55m dash. Coming out of the curve strong and heading into the final straight, Pereira trailed only Ryan Sofoul of Holliston. But showing his 55 meter turnover, Pereira kicked it into high gear and edged Sofoul at the line. Winning by 0.08 seconds, Pereira claimed the 300 meter TVL Championship in a state-qualifying and personal best 36.82. 

And in the last scoring event of the day, the Lancer distance squad lined up in the 1,000 meter run. All out of the same heat, junior Austin Carroll led the charge. Hoping to break the school record, Carroll quickly fell off pace as the race resorted back to traditional championship tactics. Eric Linden of Dover-Sherborn controlled the race, dictating how fast he wanted it to go out. Carroll settled in the pack and waited till 300-400 meter to go to establish himself as a contender and fought through the final lap chasing Linden. Not far behind him, teammates Dj Nihill and Ethan Tetrault fought fights of their own to pick off those falling off the chase pack. Running past several fading runners, Nihill secured a 5th place finish in a personal best time of 2:47.48, just five seconds behind Carroll's runner-up 2:42.98. And continuing his personal record improvement throughout the winter, Tetrault crossed the line in 9th place in a time of 2:52.54, shaving another three seconds off his personal best time.

Carroll put down the chase on D-S's Linden

UP NEXT: With the conclusion of the TVL Championships, the qualifying Lancers will be heading over to the MIAA Division 4 State Championship meet on Valentine's Day. Entry lists will be sent out once they are accepted by the meet director.

-Coach Al

Sunday, January 28, 2018

School Records Fall as Lancers Compete at Coaches Invite

In their final tune-up before the TVL Championships, the Lancers faced some of the top competition in the state at the MSTCA Small School Coaches Invitational at the Reggie Lewis Center. A non-scoring event, many athletes came away from the meet with season's bests and confidence boosters heading into the championship post-season next week.


Junior hurdler Lily Holloway led off the day for the Lady Lancers competing in the 55m hurdles. Competing in the sixth heat, Holloway got out quick and hit the finish line in 9.77, good for third overall in the heat. She placed 24th overall in the field of 45 girl field, as she still maintains the 7th fastest hurdles seed heading into the TVL Championships.

In the dash, the Lancers had two entries on the day in freshman Carly Murphy and junior Julia Newell. Competing in the ninth heat, Murphy ran 8.16 to place sixth in the heat and 69th overall. One heat later, Newell matched her season's best in 8.04, also placing sixth in the heat and 53rd overall. Murphy would return to the track a few events later to compete in the 600 meters. Despite not racing the event in two weeks, she ran a respectable 1:51.01 to place 35th in the field. With a little more mileage, her transition to mid-distance will be complete!

For the first distance event of the day, senior captain Katie Bradley ran in the seeded heat of the girls' mile. A large 20-girl field split, forcing Bradley to chase the lead pack solo while runners slowly crept up on her. She went for the time fought through a hard second 800 to finish in 5:32.13, placing 16th overall in the event.

Heading back to the 600 meters, senior captain Julia Palin took to the track with the top seed in the field. Racing in the fast section, Palin patiently waited in the pack through 200 at 31.95. Making moves at 260, moving through the field, Palin found herself up to leader Elise O'Leary of Milton. Hitting the bell lap at just over 1:04, she flew with O'Leary down the back straight fighting for the lead. Unfortunately, running out of space down the front stretch it became a race to the clock. O'Leary won in 1:36.52 with Palin a tad over a second later in 1:37.69. Her runner-up time not only betters her state's auto-qualifier and establishes a new personal best, but also sets a new school record, previously held by teammate Katie Bradley from the 2014-15 season.

Kylie Dion was next on the track to compete in the girls 300 meters. Finishing a close third her heat in 45.44, Dion finished 39th overall in the field. As Dion sprinted, teammate and senior captain Mary Diestel competed in the high jump, easily clearing the opening height of 4'-9". Looking to match her season's best, Diestel also cleared 4'-10" before having to leave the event to compete in the 4x200m relay. Despite a clean clear at 4'-10", exhaustion from the 4x200 set in and forced Diestel out at 4'-11", with her 4'-10" earning her a tie for 15th place in the event.

In the 4x200m relay, Diestel teamed up with Dion, Newell and Kirsten Loring in hopes of posting a state-qualifying time. Facing the outside lane and almost running into slower legs, the Lady Lancers still managed a season's best, running a collective 1:53.41: less than a second off the automatic state-qualifying mark of 1:52.87.

Kirsten Loring heads down the straightaway during the 4x200 relay
Wrapping up school records on the day, freshman Isabella Pietrasiewicz had her eyes set on Katie Bradley's (2014-15) school record in the two-mile of 11:48. Gunning for 11:45, Pietrasiewicz came through the mile at 5:47, well on pace to break it. With fatigue setting in the second mile, she began to fall off. With 600 meters to go, she picked up the pace while Littleton's Sarah Roffman began to lap the entire field. As Roffman passed Pietrasiewicz with 400 to go (only 200 for Roffman), Bella turned on the afterburners as she heard the bell lap go off. Although it was for Roffman, Pietrasiewicz remained her composure following the penultimate 200 and closed in a respectably hard 41.65 to finish as the second freshman in the field and the 9th runner overall. Her total time of 11:37.05 broke Bradley's school record by 11 seconds and repositions her to second place in the TVL Rankings heading into the league championships.

To close out the day for the Lady Lancers, a new face joined the girls 4x800m relay as Murphy replaced Pietrasiewicz's leg after her two-mile run. Receiving from Bradley after a dominant opening leg, Murphy ran a strong second leg handing over to Hannah Delea who split her best 800 of the season (2:34.92 unofficially) passing the stick over to Palin. Despite Palin too not having fresh legs, she negative splitted her 800 leg (1:17-1:12) to close in a 2:29 giving the girls a solid 10:18.59 finish, placing 8th overall in the field of 19 teams.

Palin mid-4x800 at Coach and Meet Director Kent Taylor looks on


The hurdle duo of Paul Wisnaskas and Corey Stalters once again starred on the infield at the Reggie Lewis Center to start off the meet for the Men of Norton. Both running out of the first heat, Wisnaskas broke the tape first in another personal best time. His 8.32 bettered his previous personal best by 0.15 seconds and left him just 0.03 seconds off from qualifying for the final, leaving him to finish in 9th place overall. Stalters ran another clean race, clearing nearly all the hurdles smoothly, running a superb 8.88 in his lead up to the TVL Championships.

Not to be out-done, junior captain Peter Rivard joined the hurdle boys in the infield for the 55 meter dash. Coming in with a 7.14 seed time, Rivard ran exactly that out of the first heat, placing 44th overall in the field of 72 runners. Rivard will take his 55m dash to the TVL Championships as he currently sits 9th overall in the TVL Rankings.

After setting a personal best earlier in the week, senior captain Pat Bingel earned one of the final seeds in the boys mile. Waiting patiently in his heat, Bingel hung on to the back of the pack, on pace for another personal best. With 200 meters to go, Bingel made his kick passing four runners in the process to place 38th overall in another personal best of 4:48.74; just a third of a second off the automatic qualifier for Division 4 states.

In the 600 meters, Wisnaskas returned to the track with teammate and senior captain Aidan Lerner. In Heat 3, Lerner ran near-even splits while moving through the field in the later 400 to finish in a hard-fought 1:31.66 to place 30th on the day. Wisnaskas, racing out of the following heat, fought through a tight field that gave him no room to maneuver his speed. Caught up behind competitors and fighting the railing, Wisnaskas raced to a somewhat contained 1:31.09, earning him a 27th place finish in the field of 40.

Coming off a fresh personal best and near school record, junior Austin Carroll lined up for the 1,000 meters with the school record of 2:39.08 on the line. Having the speed ready, Carroll was unfortunately tasked to do so out of the slower heats. With no one willing to take the race out, Carroll was immediately off-pace and forced to fight for the time himself. Closing in a hard 31.57, Carroll placed second in his heat with a hard-earned 2:44.26. His time was still strong enough to place him 10th overall in the event.

Capping off the individual events, senior captain Ian Pereira returned back to the 300 meters looking to improve his time before the TVL Championships. Already with the top time in the league, Pereira bettered it by a half second, placing third in his heat and 9th overall in a personal-best time of 37.11.

The Lancer Boys did pull off a podium finish on the day. The boys 4x800 meter relay has been consistently improving their collective time in preparation for Division 4 States and continued to do so on Saturday. Leading off, Carroll ran another reliably quick split handing off to teammate Ethan Tetrault. In another superb race, Tetrault went out hard and held together in a PR split of 2:12. Bingel seconded that effort to run another even 2:12 split during his third leg before handing the baton to anchor Dj Nihill. Fighting off a charging Catholic Memorial, Nihill ran a season's best split of 2:10 to close the 4x800 to a strong fourth place finish. His split brought the Lancers to an 8:40.38 time, a six second improvement from their previous season's best on State Relays.

Another podium finish for Carroll, Bingel, Tetrault, and Nihill!

UP NEXT: The Lancers begin their championship conquest this Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center as they compete in the Tri-Valley League Championships. The meet will begin at 4:00 pm; bus departure will be determined this week.

-Coach Al

Thursday, January 25, 2018

UPDATED: TVL Top 15 Rankings

Heading into the final weekend of competition before the league championships, here is where our Lancers sit in the TVL Top 15 rankings. Other schools' athletes were omitted for easier scrolling access:


Shot Put

5th. Michaela Whiteside - 29'-1"
7th. Erica Ransom - 27'-4"

High Jump

T-5th. Mary Diestel - 4'-10"

55m Hurdles

7th. Lily Holloway - 9.59
15th. Mary Diestel - 9.88


6th. Kylie Dion - 43.37
12th. Julia Palin - 44.33


1st. Julia Palin - 1:40.96
4th. Bella Pietrasiewicz - 1:45.4
6th. Katie Bradley - 1:45.6
15th. Carly Murphy - 1:47.74


1st. Julia Palin - 3:00.7
5th. Katie Bradley - 3:11.59
7th. Bella Pietrasiewicz - 3:13.69


T-5th. Katie Bradley - 5:31.0
T-5th. Bella Pietrasiewicz - 5:31.0

2 Mile

3rd. Bella Pietrasiewicz - 11:49.42
10th. Katie Bradley - 12:22.7

4x400m Relay

4th. Norton - 4:21.7


High Jump

T-4th. Pat Bingel - 5'-8"
T-14th. Alex Wisnaskas - 5'-4"

55m Hurdles

3rd. Paul Wisnaskas - 8.47
7th. Corey Stalters - 8.77
12th. Jacob Peers - 9.25

55m Dash

5th. Ian Pereira - 6.96
10th. Peter Rivard - 7.08
16th. Sam McGrath - 7.20


1st. Ian Pereira - 37.37
11th. Sam McGrath - 39.64
13th. Aidan Lerner - 39.75


4th. Paul Wisnaskas - 1:29.92
5th. Ian Pereira - 1:30.0
8th. Aidan Lerner - 1:30.9


1st. Austin Carroll - 2:40.6


6th. Austin Carroll - 4:47.13
7th. Pat Bingel - 4:49.7

2 Mile

10th. Austin Carroll - 10:52.2
12th. Pat Bingel - 10:53.4
T-15th. Dj Nihill - 11:01.0

4x400m Relay

1. Norton - 3:40.18

Norton Indoor Track Honors Class of 2018

This past Tuesday, the Norton Indoor Track team honored the Senior Class of 2018 while taking on Hopkinton and Medfield in their final TVL meet of the season. In closing out the regular season, the girls tied Medfield 43-43 while dropping to Hopkinton 57.5-28.5. For the guys, it was another split decision as the 4x400 once again clinched a win against Hopkinton 44.5-40.5 but was too little too late in a loss to Medfield, 51-29.

The NHS Indoor Track Class of 2018

Girls (5-3-1)

Despite the team results, the Lady Lancers were still hotly competitive in their penultimate meet prior to the TVL Championships. Leading the way on Senior Night was, ironically, a pair of seniors. After being paced by teammate Lily Holloway (2nd vs. MF; 55m H - 9.59) through the hurdles, Mary Diestel (3rd vs. MF; 55m H - 9.88) picked up an individual win in the high jump (1st vs. MF, T-3rd vs. HOP; HJ - 4'-8"). Both Diestel and Holloway have a Top-15 TVL seed in the hurdles while Diestel's high jump seed, 4'-10", currently places here in a tie for 5th in the league.

Senior Captain Mary Diestel and her family
In the unofficial "race of the day", senior captain Julia Palin (1st vs. MF/HOP; 1,000m - 3:00.7) literally ran away from the field in the 1,000 meter run. With the school record on her mind, Palin blew away from the pack, which included HOP's Schuyler Gooley who was, at the time, the TVL leader in the 1,000 meters at 3:04.28. By the first 60 meters, Palin had separated herself into a race against the clock. Hitting splits below 36 seconds per lap, she obliterated the school record winning by nearly 10 seconds (unheard of in the mid-distance 1,000). Her time of 3:00.7 bests teammate Katie Bradley's 3:05.5 from 2015-16, skyrockets her to the top of the TVL standings, qualifies her for Division 4 States and puts her just two seconds behind the 2:58.6 standard to qualify for New Balance Indoor Nationals.

Senior Captain Julia Palin and Mom and Dad
However, Palin was not the only senior to score in the 1,000m. Teammate and fellow captain Ali Whitman (3rd vs. MF/HOP; 1,000m - 3:26.8) also squeezed into scoring against both teams while saving her best for her last TVL league meet. While splitting her time between throwing and mid-distance, Whitman's 3:26.8 turned out to be a personal best, a wonderful finish to her career on the Wheaton College indoor track.

Senior Captain Ali Whitman and her parents
Both Palin (69.28) and Diestel (63.87) comprised half of the 4x400 team, along with teammates Isabella Pietrasiewicz (1st vs. MF/HOP; Mile - 5:32.2) and Kylie Dion (3rd vs. MF; 300m - 45.35 - PR). With Bella splitting 68.38 and Dion running 66.14, the Lancer Ladies easily won the 4x400 relay over Medfield and Hopkinton in 4:27. The final senior competing on the day, Katie Bradley (1st vs. MF, 3rd vs. HOP; 2 Mile - 12:22.7) opted to race the long distance event for her last race in Wheaton. Although training through mid-distance throughout the year, Bradley still fought hard through the grueling 16-lap race, never giving up despite the constant weaving in and out of lanes to pass slower runners. A valiant effort that did not go unnoticed.

Senior Captain Katie Bradley with her parents
Unfortunately, not all seniors were able to compete today as Abbey O'Brien suffered a muscle rupture at Monday's practice, forcing her to withdraw from Tuesday's meet. However, still coming to support the Lancers from the infield, O'Brien's enthusiasm and positive spirit will be missed next year as she heads to Keene State College.

Senior Abbey O'Brien with her parents
Of course, the night was not all about the senior class as plenty of other Lancers performed well in the conclusion of the regular season. Freshman Michaela Whiteside (1st vs. MF, 2nd vs. HOP; SP - 29'-1") threw a massive five inch personal best in the shot put. Her 29'-1" throw now puts her at 5th overall in the TVL. Right behind her at 7th in the league, teammate Erica Ransom (2nd vs. MF; SP - 26'-1.5") also scored against Medfield, leading the charge into TVLs. Lastly, the 600m and short sprints rounded up the varsity scoring on the night as Hannah Kubinski (1st vs. HOP, 2nd vs. MF; 600m - 1:54.4) paced teammate Ashley Schepis (2nd vs. HOP; 600m - 1:58.5) to earn her varsity letter while Carly Murphy (3rd vs. MF; 55m - 8.06) ran just 0.04 seconds shy of cracking the TVL Top 15.

Non-scoring Results

Shot Put
Whitman - 23'-5"
Landry - 21'-6"
S. Kubinski - 18'-9.25" (Personal Record!)

High Jump
Holloway - 4'-2"
LeClaire - 3'-10"

55m Hurdles
Delea - 10.7
Newell - 10.06
MacDonald - 11.3
Dolack - 11.89 (Personal Record!)

55m Dash
Newell - 8.11
Sousa - 8.16
Rodriguez - 8.03 (Personal Record!)
McKenney - 8.47
Shea - 8.7
Whiteside - 8.75
MacDonald - 8.77
Jill Perkins - 8.8
Dolack - 8.8 (Personal Record!)
Nardone - 8.9
Julia Perkins - 9.9

LeClaire - 7:05 (Personal Record!)

H. Kubinski - 1:54.4
Schepis - 1:58.5

Murphy - 46.4
Loring - 47.02
Shea - 49.56
Nardone - 52.66
Jill Perkins - 54.29

S. Kubinski - 3:58

Boys (6-3)

Just like the girls, the Lancer senior boys led off the meet with a bang with plenty of superb performances to complement the near conclusion of their high school indoor track careers. Across the board, however, one man made the most of his Wheaton meet: senior captain Pat Bingel. To start off the night, Bingel went out with the front pack in the mile and held on throughout, delivering a monstrous kick to the finish to PR by nearly seven seconds (1st vs. HOP, 2nd vs. MF; Mile - 4:49.7). Immediately following, Bingel made his way to high jump where his 5'-2" best had him on the cusp of the TVL's Top 15. However, riding the adrenaline from his Mile best, Bingel cleared an additional six inches (1st vs. HOP, 3rd vs. MF; HJ - 5'-8"), moving himself the TVL list in a tie for 4th in the league. And to finish off his busy night, Bingel decided to also run a victory two mile race. And in continuing to ride the high of his Senior Night, Bingel delivered running a third PR on the day (1st vs. MF/HOP; 2 Mile - 10:53.4) capping off a brilliant evening on the track.

Senior Captain Pat Bingel with his parents
Not to be outdone by his high-jumping and long-distance running teammate, Alex Wisnaskas also had a career night at Wheaton. Although his high jump was not on its best game (T-3rd vs. HOP; HJ - 5'-0"), it was likely due to all his efforts being channeled into his Mile run. After facing illness and setbacks all season, Wisnaskas seized the track confidently from the minute the gun went off to the bell lap. He put himself in a position to succeed and did just that. In a massive 10-second lifetime best, "Wis" crossed the line in a 5:28.5 mile, a stellar time for a stellar young man.

Senior Alex Wisnaskas and his father and teammate/brother Paul
Also running the mile this evening was senior Sean Smith. After running a fantastic cross country season and making varsity, Smith's devotion and commitment to succeed in winter track ultimately burned him out a little bit. Despite the strength of his 5:34.2 ran on Tuesday night, the time says little about the work and effort he has put into making himself a stronger runner. A leader and friend to everyone, Smith's presence on the team next winter will be missed but we will still have him for one last season of outdoor track 😉

Senior Sean Smith and his sister and mother
In the throwing circle, senior captain Christopher Dennehy improved tremendously this season. For the time being, Dennehy has furthered his shot personal best to 30 feet even. But in the process, Captain Chris has earned the respect of everyone on the team as a leader and a promising young man. He will still have one more opportunity to improve on this past Tuesday's result (25'-9.5") as he will compete at the TVL Championships on February 3rd.

Senior Captain Chris Dennehy with his parents
On the sprints, senior captain Aidan Lerner (2nd vs. MF; 600m - 1:31.9) returned to the longer sprints after racing the 300m over the past few weeks. His endurance and speed showed: despite being boxed in and forced to race out in lane two, Lerner made moves around the field that would have earned him a higher finish against Hopkinton had the race not been only three laps. Regardless, his teaming up with Peter Rivard (1st vs. HOP; 55m - 7.08), Jack O'Brien, and Ian Pereira (1st vs. MF/HOP; 300m - 37.38) produced an exciting 4x400 relay win over Hopkinton and Medfield in a respectable 3:42.44.

Senior Captain Aidan Lerner with his entire family!
And finally, the aforementioned Ian Pereira showed he is ready for the TVLs. He claimed a dominant win in the 300m, only one-hundredth of a second off of his state-qualifying time in December. But he came back for the 4x400 relay ready to show off his wheels. After O'Brien (58.89) handed off to Rivard (55.43), the senior sprints duo of Lerner and Pereira took over. Lerner took over the lead with a lap to go (55.16) passing the baton to Pereira who faced stiff competition in the anchor leg. But Hopkinton was left in Pereira's wake as he split (52.86) to bring the victory back home to the Lancers.

Senior Captain Ian Pereira celebrates another 4x400 relay win with his parents on Senior Night
Aside from all the senior highlights, the Men of Norton were also paced by fresh legs and arms of the future. Both brothers of Alex Wisnaskas and Aidan Lerner showed they're ready to continue the family tradition of Norton Track dominance. Freshman Paul Wisnaskas (2nd vs. HOP, 3rd vs. MF; 55m H - 8.47. 1st vs. MF, 2nd vs. HOP; 600m - 1:30.6) improved his state-qualifying 55m hurdles time. His 8.47 also moves him up to 3rd overall in the TVL while teammate Corey Stalters (3rd vs. HOP; 55m H - 8.83) follows suit sitting in 7th in the league. The pair continue to enjoy their hard-working breakout seasons. Likewise, Zach Lerner (3rd vs. HOP; 55m - 7.43) is beginning to emerge in the short sprints, grabbing another varsity point.

In the distance events, junior Austin Carroll (1st vs. MF/HOP; 1,000m - 2:40.6) seized the TVL lead by dominating the strong field in the 1,000 meters. His time of 2:40.6 is only a second and a half off of the school record time set by Billy Sullivan during the 2013-14 season. Additionally, junior Dj Nihill (3rd vs. MF; Mile - 4:58.7) ran another sub-5:00 time while being caught in a difficult position in the race forcing him to race himself and the clock. Yet, his consistent performance earned him another varsity point on the season.

Non-scoring Results

Shot Put
Rivard - 32'-7"
Weaver - 31'-7.5"
Denham - 27'-3.5"
Dennehy - 25'-9.5"
R. Carroll - 25'-6.5"
Barrick - 23'-5"
Kurland - 23'-1"
Brogan - 21'-7"

55m Hurdles
Peers - 9.37
Bamford - 11.25

55m Dash
Diestel - 7.77
Kubinski - 7.3
Stalters - 7.5
Lebel - 7.7
Adams - 7.8
Bamford - 8.2
Deady - 8.3
Berthao - 8.9
Shea - 9.4

Wynne - 5:08.6 (HUGE Personal Record!)
Janineh - 5:17.6 (Personal Record!)
A. Wisnaskas - 5:28.5 (HUGE Personal Record!)
Smith - 5:34.2
Wilson - 5:35.6
M. Anderson - 5:56
Denham - 6:12.3

Pescod - 1:37.1 (Personal Record!)

O'Brien - 40.46
Kubinski - 41.6
Z. Lerner - 42.34
Owens - 45.72 (Personal Record!)
Deady - 47.2
Lebel - 49.1
Shea - 59.13

Tetrault - 2:56.2
Morabito - 3:04
McNeil - 3:20.4
T. Anderson - 4:20.6

UP NEXT: The Lancers race their last regular season at the Reggie Lewis Center this Saturday to compete in the Small School Coaches Invitational.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Girls 4x800/DMR and Boys Shuttle Hurdles Reach the Podium as Lancers Compete at D4 State Relays

The Lancers Indoor Track and Field team showed that they are in championship season form as they took to the Reggie Lewis Center to face off against the best in the MIAA's Division 4 in the State Relays on Saturday. Despite fielding a rather small group of athletes compared to other schools, Norton still made its presence felt, medaling in six events and claiming a 7th place finish on the girls' side and a 13th place finish on the boys'. Click here for complete results.


In the first event of the day, the Lady Lancers took to the alternate-facing 50-yard shuttle hurdle relays. Competing in Heat 3, the relay team, consisting of Lilly Holloway, Mary Diestel, Hannah Delea, and Julia Newell obliterated their competition, running a combined time of 32.61, a second and a half better than the next closest team in their heat. The Lancers would have to wait through four more sections before a team bested their time, ultimately placing 9th out of the field of 34 teams. This finish was even more respectable considering their solo-effort in their heat.

It did not take long for the girls to grab their first points on the morning as the 4x800 meter relay team sought to improve their seed time heading into the championship portion of the season. Leading off in the second heat, Julia Palin ran away from the field splitting a 2:25 leg to hand the baton off with the lead. Isabella Pietrasiewicz came through to keep the Lancers in contention with the lead through her 2:30 leg while Delea, doubling back from her shuttle hurdle relay, ran a gutsy 2:40 to give the baton to senior captain Katie Bradley through a sea of lapping the field. Chasing Grafton, the race was never ever until it was over, as Bradley ran out of room to catch the leaders, running a speedy 2:30 flat 800 split to get the Lancers a runner-up finish in 10:06.52, fractions of a second off their seed time.
Grafton chases as Delea controls her leg of the 4x800
Doubling back less than an hour later, Palin returned to the track for another 800 leg, this time with the sprint medley relay. During a confusing and bizarre turn of events, it was clear from the beginning that Norton's squad had been seeded to slow. Palin seized the lead in the 800 leg of the SMR and comfortably paced the field before the 400 mark. On her way to splitting 2:28, 200 meter leg Newell attempted to get to the triangles to receive the baton, as Palin began lapping other 800 runners. An official got in her way causing for a hectic scene essentially forcing Newell to force her way onto the track to receive the baton, as she too began to lap 800 meter runners on their final lap. Handing off the baton in 29.60 despite the confusion, Kirsten Loring took control and weaved in and out of runners, only to find trouble handing off the baton again to 400 meter anchor, Kylie Dion. This time, with officials still confused as to how far along the Lancers were, Dion ran alongside Loring as she finished her 27.96 leg and received the baton to begin the final leg of the relay. When all the confusion finally settled, Dion sprinted her way to a 67.04, winning the heat for the Lancers by almost 13 seconds. Unfortunately, with no competition to pace with, Norton's 4:32.19 was less than 3 seconds away from scoring, as they had to settle for 9th place out of the 39 team field.

Meanwhile in the field, Norton put together a solid performance in the shot put circle. With a mixture of senior and underclassmen talent, the trio of Michaela Whiteside, Erica Ransom, and Ali Whitman took to the circle to throw a collective shot put relay. Whiteside again showed up with her premier strength, throwing 28'-1", while Ransom and Whitman struggled slightly, tossing the shot 25'-0" and 23'-1" respectively. Though not on their best game, the three Lady Lancers stood their own against Division 4's finest, throwing 80'-10.25" together, good enough for a tie with North Reading for 10th place overall out of the 26 team field.
Norton's Shot Put Relay consisting of Whiteside, Ransom and Whitman
Back on the track, the girls distance medley relay also reached the podium. A strong 1,200 meter leg from Bradley (4:05) moved the baton near the front of the pack to Diestel who, in her first 400 of the year, split a strong 62.87 before handing off to Whitman. Fresh from the shot put circle, and also in her first 800 on the year, Whitman continued to lead the chase pack after both Amherst-Pelham and Nauset Regional took to the lead from the start. Handing off amidst a pack of three teams after 2:40 on the track, Whitman got the stick to Pietrasiewicz who patiently stuck with the pack through the first half of her 1,600 meter leg. Coming through the 800 in 2:49, Pietrasiewicz began to rally back and chase down Groton-Dunstable for third. With 400 to go, her legs started turning and produced a powerful last lap sprint to bury G-D and finish her 1,600 meter leg in 5:30, securing the Lady Lancers a third place finish in 13:17.85, just ten seconds off the school record.
Diestel, Bradley, Pietrasiewicz and Whitman celebrate the Girls' DMR third place finish

And finally, to wrap up the the girls events on the day, a young Lancer 4x200 meter team took to the track to improve their seed, set back at WinterFest in December. Experienced was gained as Alexa Sousa-Shumosic ran her first ever 200 race, leading off the Lancers in a 29.21. Breah McKenney took off following a smooth handoff to pass onto Eve Rodriguez after a 29.75 leg. From there, Rodriguez split 30.79 with anchor Ashley Schepis bringing the girls home in a hard-fought 31.18, giving the Lancers a 2:00.69 time on the day, just missing their WinterFest time by less than three seconds. Nevertheless, the Lancers still placed near the front half of the field, finishing 38th out of 60 competing teams.


Once again, the Men of Norton struck quickly once the meet began. In what has been a recurring theme, the Lancer sprinters have continued to improve, both in form and in performance. The shuttle hurdle relay of Corey Stalters, Jacob Peers, Pat Bingel, and Paul Wisnaskas took to the inside oval with a seed time from their slightly longer race at the East Coast Invitational in Providence. Competing now in 50 yards rather than 55 meters, the Lancers destroyed the preliminary "slow" heat, winning by nearly three seconds, in a race less than 30 seconds long. With arguably the best form and technique that the quartet has delivered all season, the Lancer's 28.89 spoke true to the tradition of strong Norton hurdlers, as it earned a strong third-place finish; only 0.34 seconds out of the first place position.

Flashing the hardware is the Shuttle Hurdlers (P. Wisnaskas, Stalters, Bingel and Peers)
The boys' 4x800 meter relay picked up the effort where the shuttle hurdles left off. Unfortunately missing the fast heat, the Lancers made sure to prove they belonged. Hitting the first race on the track, Austin Carroll went out quick with a speedy 2:05 800 split handing off the baton to Ethan Tetrault. Fresh off a 1,000 meter PR this past week, Tetrault continued his acceleration PRing in the 800 during the relay, splitting 2:14. Handing off to Bingel, with already one medal on the day, no exhaustion was shown as Pat dead-sprinted the last lap clawing to better the boys' 4x800 seed heading into championships. Bingel's 2:12 leg placed Dj Nihill in position to claw back in the heat. Reminiscent of his final 200 in the two mile on Monday, Nihill blew away Norwood in the final lap to take the heat for Norton. Nihill's 2:12 led Norton to an 8:46.65 finish, an improvement on their state-qualifying seed, and a 6th place finish in the field of 32 teams.

Another state-qualifying time by Bingel, A. Carroll, Nihill and Tetrault
Another "first" on the day occurred in the boys' sprint medley relay as Paul Wisnaskas came back from the shuttle hurdles to run his first 800 meter race. Appearing to not miss a beat from his shorter 600 meter specialty, Wisnaskas came through 800 meter in 2:11.76, handing off to junior captain Peter Rivard who took off in the 200 leg at 24.40 speed. With Sam McGrath a late scratch, the second 200 meter leg went to senior captain Aidan Lerner, who showed off his versatility and splitting 25.57. Heading into the final 400 leg, too much ground was left for senior captain Ian Pereira to make up, though his split of 52.85 showed that he is ready for championships season. The collective time of 3:54.71 was just over five seconds off the school record, good enough for an 11th place finish out of 45 teams in the rarely-run SMR.

Competing in the field, the Norton throwers did their best to stick up with the top throwers of Division 4. With both Ryan Carroll and Chris Dennehy competing at Reggie Lewis for the first time, nerves were definitely a factor. Both were slightly off on the day, throwing 23'-7" and 24'-9" respectively, while junior Nick Denham threw 27'-7", adding up to the Lancers' total score of 76'-3.75", good for 18th out of 20 teams. Nevertheless, the added experience and practice will contribute moving forward into Tuesday's regular season finale against Hopkinton and Medfield.

Similarly, the boys distance medley relay faced similar adversity through their race. With three-fourths of the team doubling back from the 4x800 meter relay, the race ultimately became a difficult double that still worked out well as additional speed and mileage for the boys. Tetrault led off the DMR with a 3:46 split in the 1,200 meter leg. Transitioning to Jack O'Brien in the 400 meter leg, the Lancers moved back into the race following a strong 56.56 showing. Handing off to Nihill, the Lancers DMR shower guts and determination to not let the race get too far out of hand. Still, Nihill split a 2:17.57 as he passed the stick to Austin Carroll for the final 1,600 meter leg. Still slightly tired from the 4x800 relay, Carroll stuck onto the end of the pack weaving through lapped runners, ultimately splitting 4:54. Despite the exhausted legs, the collective time of 11:57.09 was still good enough to place 11th out of the field of 29 teams.

Traditionally wrapping up the meet for the Norton boys, the 4x400 meter relay showed that they still had more in the tank after the SMR. In tripling up on the day, Paul Wisnaskas returned to the track one last time for a quick two laps to lead off the Norton Lancers out of heat three. Showing little to no fatigue, Wisnaskas caught up to the lead four teams during the exchange, splitting 55.16. Onto Peter Rivard, who wasted no time picking off runners, the Lancers moved back into the top three following 55.93 seconds. Another clean exchange between Rivard and Aidan Lerner helped the Lancers fight back to the top two teams. Lerner's 55.85 split gave anchor Ian Pereira plenty of room to work with as he overtook the lead less than 100 meters into the race and blew it open for the Lancers. Pereira's 53.12 final leg won the heat for the Lancers as the 4x400 clocked in at a state-qualifying and TVL-leading 3:40.18. After displacing teams from the last two heats, Norton grabbed its final set of medals on the day, placing 5th overall out of 43 schools.

UP NEXT: The Lancers return to Norton for their final home meet on the season, as they honor their seniors at Wheaton College on Tuesday afternoon in a tri-meet between Hopkinton and Medfield.

-Coach Al