After great showing at league, Melrose travels to States

Published in the February 12, 2016 edition

THE MELROSE girls' indoor track enter this weekend's State finals in a great place after a solid showing at the Middlesex League meet. (Donna Larsson photo) 

THE MELROSE girls’ indoor track enter this weekend’s State finals in a great place after a solid showing at the Middlesex League meet. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE — It’s been a solid season for the  Melrose High School girls’ indoor track team, who finished regular season at 3-2 and qualified a number of athletes to represent Melrose on Friday at the MIAA Div. 4 track meet at the Reggie Lewis Track Center in Boston. And Last Saturday the team competed in the Middlesex League Meet at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston and saw several top spots earned, including a league title in the long jump by Melrose’s Anne Morrison.

Morrison reached a 16-9 jump that topped all competition while also enjoying a good day in the 55 dash, advancing to finals where she finished sixth. Additionally, it’s been another outstanding season for senior Liz Hirsch, who has mastered the two mile at this point in her career. According to her coach Trevor Rudolph, “Liz has qualified a minute over the standard qualifying time. She’s just blowing out competition. She used to run two seasons out of the year and now that she’s up to three, it’s the best thing she’s done – she’s just killing the field and having the best two mile season I’ve seen as long as I’ve been coaching.” On Saturday, Hirsh placed second in the league meet behind Lexington’s Paige Lawler and will look to earn a medal this weekend.

Other fine performances on Saturday included a second place finish by Haley Moss in the high jump, a fourth place finish by the team’s 4×200 relay team, and a sixth and seventh finish in the 55 hurdles by Haley Moss and Sarah Denning, respectively. Overall, Melrose finished a solid fifth among 12 ML. teams.

Melrose should be a contender for a medal or two at this weekend’s Div. 4 State Finals. Among those qualified to compete on Saturday are: Liz Hirsch (two mile), Anne Morrison (300 meter, long jump, 55 dash), Haley Moss (high jump), Sarah Herron (600 meter), Emily Donovan (1000 meter), the 4×400 relay team of Anne Morrison, Sarah “Boom” Herron, Emily Donovan and Liz Hirsch and the 4×200 relay team of Anne Morrison, Emily Bertolaccini, Liz Perrella and Lauren Pedrini (a/k/a “the better Pedrini,” according to her coach).

So much of the team’s success this season comes thanks to the leadership of their senior captains: Haley Moss, Emily Donovan, Sarah Denning and Emily Bertolaccini. Coach Rudolph refers to Haley Moss as a “dual threat,” while Donovan “does it all.” He also credits to the leadership of hurdler Sarah Denning (“an incredible leader) and Emily Bertolaccini (a “quiet, stealth athlete who leads by example”).

Among those stepping up this season, according to the coach, are Mykayla Olwert in the two mile, who is helping in distance events with Hirsch, Kate Bidgood (1000) Bridget McDonald in the mile and sprinter Liz Perella in 300, along Emily Healy. “We have a lot of talent in underclass, freshman who are learning the sport and really taking off.” Meaning, only good things remain ahead for the fleet-footed bunch.

Div. 4 State Finals takes place Friday evening at 4:30 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.