Girls’ track prepared for memorable outdoor season

Apr 11, 2018 by

Warriors cruise past Burlington in first meet

Published in the April 11, 2018 edition

WAKEFIELD — The WMHS girls’ outdoor track and field team are once again talented, experienced and dedicated enough to be one of the best teams in the league, if not the state. 

The back-to-back Middlesex League champion Warriors have gone 5-0 in league play the past two years. It’s safe to say that Wakefield has the athletes to do it again.

“In my 21 years of coaching I don’t think I have ever had this much talent,” said Wakefield head coach Karen Barrett. “It should be a very exciting season.”

ALLEE PURCELL scored 15 points for the Warriors against Burlington on Monday with first-place finishes in the long jump, 100 and 400 meters. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

The Warriors have plenty of experience returning from last year’s team, with a good balance of leaders in both the track events and field events. 

Those leaders stepped up to help Wakefield start their season off with an emphatic 103-33 win over Burlington in their season and home opener at the Shaun Beasley Track and Field on Monday. 

“There were a lot of great performances,” said Barrett, who no doubt had a difficult time deciding where to begin. 

Sophomore Lillian Jones started it off with a win in the 400 hurdles with a time of 74.4. 

Wakefield then swept the mile with Olivia Lucey in the lead running a 5:46. Lucey was the team’s best miler last year as a freshmen and should certainly continue to improve this season. Freshmen Audrey Schopperle and Margaret Ritchie were 2nd and 3rd with personal bests of 5:57 and 6:07.

“That was a very impressive event for our underclassmen,” said Barrett.

Sophomore classmates Olivia Fetherston, Maddy Melanson and Adriana Minasian then swept the high jump for the Warriors. Fetherston (5’) and Melanson (4’11”) both qualified for states while Minasian took 3rd (4’9”). 

“I’m very excited for their track futures,” said Barrett.

MADDY MELANSON helped the Warriors sweep the high jump against Burlington. Melanson qualified for states with a personal best jump of 4’11”. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

Fetherston then teamed up with senior leaders Allee Purcell and Ana Lucas to sweep the long jump. Purcell jumped a personal best of 15’11”. 

New to outdoor track, senior Kaitlyn Murphy got 3rd in the triple jump to score Wakefield’s only point in the event. She also won the 100 hurdles with an 18.5, to complete what coach Barrett called “a very impressive first showing” in her debut meet.

Junior Caroline Herzog then took 2nd in the 100 hurdles with a PR of 19.2. 

Junior Eadeen Beck had a great day for the Warriors, winning the shot put and the discus, as she tossed a 34’5” in the shot and a 74’5” in the disc. Coming off an excellent season last year, Beck should contend for first in every meet this season.

Senior Samantha Nimblett also placed well in the shot put (3rd) and discus (2nd). 

In the javelin, Rachel Cook took gold with an 81’3”. 

“The throwers had a great showing today,” said Barrett.

Lucas (13.2) and Purcell (13.1) were back at again in the 100 meters as they teamed up with junior Ava Vaughan (13.6) to sweep the event. 

Purcell finished off her 15-point scoring day to win the 400 with a 64.7. The Warriors will count on the Merrimack College track commit to continue to score big points this season.

Sophomore Kaitlin Sweeney took 2nd in the 400 with a 65.9. 

Junior Isabella Kehoe and freshman Elina Olmedo took 2nd and 3rd in the 800 while both running 2:38. 

Sophomore Sarah Labiad had a great win in the 200 with a personal best 27.8. Lucas finished 2nd with a 28.1. New the outdoor track team this year, senior Olivia Cameron ran a great race to finish 3rd for the Warrior sweep with a 28.5.

Sophomore Retta Carroll and senior Gillian Russell took 1st and 2nd in the two-mile. Carroll ran a PR of 13:02.

Wakefield had two 4×100 relay teams. The A team was Cameron, Minasian, Vaughan and Labiad. They ran a 54.7 for first. The B team also beat Burlington’s A team. Mylan, Grant, Pudvah and Barbera clocked in at 56.7. 

“It was a great start for our team,” said Barrett, who is just impressed with the commitment of this team as she is with the talent. “Having 75 dedicated girls is fantastic for our program. The sky is the limit for this group if they stay focused and continue their great work ethic.”

Wakefield travels to Watertown on Friday.

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