Warriors return many veterans, hope to defend their M.L. title

ABBY HARRINGTON, a senior captain, returns to run the 400 meter hurdles and compete in the jumping events this spring for the Warriors. (Donna Larsson Photo)

ABBY HARRINGTON, a senior captain, returns to run the 400 meter hurdles and compete in the jumping events this spring for the Warriors. (Donna Larsson Photo)

Published in the April 7, 2017 edition.


WAKEFIELD — If the old saying, “heavy is the head that wears the crown” is true, then the Warrior girls’ outdoor track team doesn’t mind the burden one bit.

Wakefield wrestled the Middlesex League Freedom division championship away from Burlington after three tries last spring and it would like nothing more than to repeat as league champs after posting a 5-0 dual meet record a year ago.

However, 10th year head coach Karen Barrett knows that it take a yeoman’s effort on the Warriors’ part to repeat as M.L. champs.

“As far as the team, I think we will be competitive,” said Barrett. “We lost two huge point scorers with (Sam) Ross and (Julia) Derendal graduating. I am confident we will continue to work hard and keep improving. I think every meet will be close. I am hoping we come out on the winning end of them.”

Wakefield will be led by its five senior captains. They are Abby Harrington, Cassie Lucci, Alex Rollins, Brigid Scanlon, and Christina Freni.

Harrington, a league all-star, returns to run the 400 meter hurdles and she will be compete in the jumping events.

“She was a standout last season and looks fantastic this season,” said Barrett.

Lucci returns to run the 800 and the 4×400 relay.

“She is looking really strong at practice,” said Barrett.

Rollins returns to the throw the javelin and discus.

“We are hoping she picks up where she left off last season throwing really well,” said Barrett.

Scanlon returns to run the sprinting events and to compete in the high jump.

“She is looking strong at practice in both events,” said Barrett.

Freni is veteran who will be hurdling and high jumping.

“She is looking really strong running the hurdles,” said Barrett.

When speaking about her five captains, Barrett stated, “These five captains have shown great leadership the first few weeks of practice.”

The other returning seniors include Jordan Stackhouse, Maeve Conway, Theresa Fallon, Marissa Hoffman, Jen Smith, and Meghan Pescatore.

Stackhouse was a standout distance runner with the cross country team and she will run the two mile, while Conway, also a member of the cross country team, will run distance as well.

Fallon and Hoffman both will be running the hurdles and competing in the jumping events.

Smith will be running distance and Pescatore will be in the throwing events.

Among the junior class are returning standouts Allee Purcell and Ana Lucas. Purcell returns to the jumps and sprints while Lucas will be running the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Both were league all-stars last spring.

“I think she (Purcell) is going to do great things this season. She is working really hard,” said Barrett. “Ana Lucas will be running the 100 and 200. She looks fantastic at both events right now. I know she will have a great season.”

Wakefield also has standout thrower, Eadeen Beck, who is back to throw the shot put and discus. Beck was an all-star as a freshman.

The Warriors also have a freshman distance runner, Olivia Lucey, who ran both cross country and indoor track, and who was a league all-star in both sports.

“Lucey is running fantastic. I think she will have a fantastic spring season,” said Barrett.

Wakefield scrimmaged Woburn on Wednesday at the Shaun Beasley Track and Field facility which gave Barrett and her assistant coaches a chance to evaluate the talent of the 60 girls on the roster this season which is about the same number the Warriors had last year. Among that group are some promising freshmen besides Lucey.

“There are a lot of talented freshman that are new to track,” said Barrett. “I am really impressed with the effort and attitude they are putting forward. There is a lot of potential.”

Wakefield is scheduled to open up the season on Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. when it takes on Stoneham in the M.L. Freedom division opener at Stoneham High School.