THE NRHS girls’ track and field team sent six representatives to New Balance Nationals in Philadelphia. Pictured from left to right is Madison Vant, Ava McIntyre, Giuliana Ligor, Kayla Budny, Hayden MacLellan and Abigail Lilley. (NRHS Track Photo)
PHILADELPHIA — The North Reading Track Club sent 11 individuals to Franklin Field on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia June 16-19 to represent North Reading at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Track and Field Championship.
The boys’ team had Garrett Arden in the Javelin Throw (166′ 6″) finish 20th in the nation in the Championship Division, while the boys 1600 Meter Sprint Medley Relay (3:47.35) finished 32nd in the Rising Stars Division. Alex Carpenter led off with a 200m leg followed by Ryan McGuire (200m) and Spencer Beane (400m) with Aidan Nadeau anchored with an 800m leg.
The girls team was led by freshman phenom Giuliana Ligor who won the Freshman 400 Meter Hurdles (1:03.48) with a stellar second half of the race in which she moved up from 6th place to claim the national title. This marks the first time in program history that an athlete has earned a Gold Medal at the National Championship.
What made the feat even more remarkable is that Ligor’s flight out of Boston to Philadelphia was cancelled the previous night and she had to drive down at 4 a.m. the following morning to get to the track by 11 a.m., one hour before her race. She clearly did not let that setback or the lack of sleep hold her back.
Congratulations Giuliana on the national championship!
Ligor came back the next day and won another medal finishing 6th in the Freshman 400 Meters (1:01.22) in extremely windy conditions. Despite winning the medal she was not satisfied as she had run 57.52 earlier in the season in less windy conditions.
Ligor let that fuel her into her final two races, the 4×100 Meter Relay and 800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay which she ran along with Ava McIntyre, Madison Vant and Kayla Budny.
The 4x100M Relay was .5 seconds off of their season best and finished 21st in the Rising Stars Division with a time of 50.71.
The 800M SMR ran one full second faster than their seed time, going 1:51.64 and finishing 13th in the nation in the Championship Division with a remarkable anchor leg from Ligor coming back from 3rd place to win the first heat of the competition.
Abigail Lilley competed in the Discus Throw but unfortunately threw three fouls outside the sector. Undefeated the past two years in Cape Ann League competition with a personal best of 112’ 1” look for Lilley to improve going into her junior and senior years.
Hayden MacLellan vaulted 10’ 0” in the Freshman Pole Vault for 11th place. This makes her the 6th girl in program history at NRHS that has vaulted 10’0” and only the 3rd freshman in school history to do so.
It was a great ending to a stellar season for both programs. All athletes and coaches are looking forward to some well deserved time away from training and competition but will be back at it following July 4 with their pre-season training going into next year.