BOSTON — Every year during the second to last weekend in January the best track and field athletes meet at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury to take part in the kick-off meet of the state-level competitive season – the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association (MSTCA) Invitational.
The meet has come to be known by its shorter name, the Coaches Invitational. And that is exactly what it is – an invitational requiring athletes to hit qualifying marks in order to compete. But it’s also a meet in which the coaches determine whether or not to bring their athletes. With the last regular season dual meet for the Hornets scheduled for the following day, Coach Sotirios Pintzopoulos chose to only bring those athletes running in events with distances of 300 meters or less in order to keep the distance runners rested for the meet the following day.
In this meet both Kerri-Ann Donovan and Ben Hui lowered their personal best marks in the 300 meters to 44.27 and 38.97, respectively. Both runners are now currently ranked amongst the top 10 in the Cape Ann League and Donovan is also ranked ninth overall in Division 5 at the state level.
Kyle Bythrow and Jackson Hastings both competed in the 55-meter dash and lowered their times to 7.13 and 7.07, respectively. “Kyle is currently ranked in the top 10 amongst all ninth graders in the state of Massachusetts, while Jackson is ranked amongst the top 10 in the Cape Ann League,” Pintzopoulos said.
Tori Brown (8.18) and Payton Baker (8.11) both competed in the dash as well, but failed to lower their personal best times, which they hit earlier this year at 7.96 and 8.06.
In the 55-meter hurdles both Olivia DeMonico (9.86) and Jenna Raffael (9.92) continue to break the 10-second barrier, but they are still training to lower their times to the top 10 range in Division 5 of 9.60. Greg Landry lowered his personal best in the hurdles from 8.69 to 8.68 and is currently ranked in the top five in the Cape Ann League.
Godzinski breaks own record
The standout performance of the meet was Cole Godzinski’s second-place finish in the 55-meter hurdles. She ran a time of 8.83 seconds in the preliminary rounds and qualified to compete in the eight-person final heat.
In that final heat, she lowered her school-record personal best mark of 8.69 to 8.63, finishing second to Isabella DiMare of Notre-Dame Hingham. “Isabella and Cole are currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the state amongst all divisions. Cole’s time also ranks her first in Division 5 by about three-tenths of a second and first in the Cape Ann League by about a half second,” Pintzopoulos said.
Both the boys’ and girls’ indoor track and field teams will compete in the Cape Ann League Open Championship on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury. “Come cheer on the team as they battle for the Championship trophy with all 11 teams in the league,” Pintzopoulos said.