By MAUREEN DOHERTY
LYNNFIELD — The boys’ track team posted some impressive performances in the first meet of the season against two much larger programs.
The tri-meet hosted by Masconomet with Lynnfield and Newburyport on April 15 was the first in the truncated spring schedule of combined meets due to poor track and field conditions throughout the Cape Ann League.
The highlight of the meet was the first place victory posted by the 4 x 100-meter relay team of Cam Rondeau, Andrew McCarthy, David Adams and Evan Battaglia in 46.4 seconds. The foursome beat their Chieftain opponents by just 3/10ths of a second (46.7) while they beat the Clippers by 2.1 seconds (48.5). This swift time qualified the team for the state meet. Their splits were: Rondeau (11.77), McCarthy (12.14), Adams (11.22) and Battaglia (11.18).
The five points the team picked up for their victory also represented the only double victory of the day for the Pioneers in a meet that was dominated by Masconomet, which won 116-20. The score was closer against Newburyport, which won 88-48.
Against Newburyport, the Pioneers posted victories in four out of 16 contested events. The 17th event, the pole vault, was not contested because the hosts were missing a collar for the pit, which is a new requirement this year.
Picking up victories against the Clippers were Rondeau in the 200 meters (24.4), Joe Donovan in the triple jump (35′ 7″), and Cam DeGeorge in both shot put (38′ 8″) and discus (104′ 5″).
Head coach Bill Wallace was especially pleased with the relay team’s effort.
“We’ve been working them pretty hard in practice. I have a sprinting coach who really pushes them, Emily Moresco. She is tough on them. But I give them credit. They do the workouts. They were so excited yesterday and the first thing you tell them is, ‘You earned it. If you work hard in practice this is where it gets you,'” he said. “Five weeks of practice is no fun, but if that means you perform that way in your first meet, it’s almost worth it.”
Wallace said that he is “expecting big things from those guys on the 4×1 team as well as individually in the sprinting events. That’s definitely the strength of this team.”
Cam DeGeorge is hoping to break 40 feet in the shot put and also qualify for states in discus, which requires a distance of 118 feet, Wallace said.
“I am still working on getting kids to vault. I had kids working on it today but that was their first day,” he said of the pole vault event, noting that it was the first time in his 14 years of coaching that there is an opening in this event. He was impressed that a freshman, Jack Madden, offered to try it out to fill that gap and he was working diligently on learning the approach at Thursday’s practice.
Among the Pioneers picking up second-place points against Newburyport was Brenden Bey, who scored in three events — the 400m hurdles (66.4), 110m high hurdles (19.2) and high jump (5′) for six team points. Also earning second place against the Clippers were Brandon Troisi in shot put (37′ 6″), Donovan in the long jump (16’9″) and Phil King in the triple jump (35′ 6″).
Third-place points against Newburyport were earned by Joe Pavao in the 110m hurdles (23.2), Battaglia in the 100m (11.8), Donovan in the 200m (24.6), Will Klotzbier in the discus (83’11”), McCarthy in the long jump (16’7″), Drew Balestrieri in the javelin (124’4″) and Tom Kearney in high jump (4’10”).
Against Masconomet, Bey also picked up second place in the 110m hurdles and third in the 400m hurdles while Battaglia, Rondeau, Troisi, Donovan and Balestrieri each earned third in their respective events.
The team travels to North Reading on Wednesday, April 29 to face both the Hornets and Amesbury Indians in the second tri-meet of the season.