But earns gold medal at State Relays

Published May 3, 2019


MELROSE—The Melrose High girls’ outdoor track team had both a good week and bad week as they entered their fourth week of the season. On Saturday, April 27 they had an excellent showing at the MSTCA Div. 3 Relays in Pembroke, placing 7th out of 24 teams, and crowning a Div. 3 relay champ in the 4×1600 thanks to the work of Charlotte Tysall, Kate Bidgood, Katie Duffy and Alex Cutugno. 

Melrose is 3-1 on their season, and had been undefeated going into a possible league-take-all scenario against rival Wakefield, who Melrose normally battles for league titles. On Tuesday, Melrose traveled to Shawn F. Beasley track at Wakefield High to battle the also-undefeated 3-0 Warriors. 

Unfortunately, Melrose fell by just a few heartbreaking points, 67-65, reminiscent of last year’s competition, much to the frustration of Melrose coach Shannon Kane. 

FIRST PLACE medalists (from left) Charlotte Tysall, Kate Bidgood, Katie Duffy and Alex Cotugno took the 4×1600 at the Div. 3 Relays on Saturday. (courtesy photo)

“Wakefield is always good,” she said. “They always bring their best when they need it the most, and that is why they have been such a dominant force in the League for so many years. We really respect them as competitors. Moving forward we will need to work on staying confident, especially under pressure.”

Melrose started with some big upsets in the mile, coming in first and second (Charlotte Tysall followed by Alex Cotugno – running a 5:20, and a 5:25 respectively). And in the 800, Melrose’s Ella Fleming and Kate Bidgood took first and second (2:27, 2:28) with Jenna Fracasso close behind in 4th place.

In both relays, Melrose took first at the last possible second which helped keep the score so close, and in triple jump, Nia Kovacev came up huge jumping a 34″2′, her furthest jump of the season, securing first place in the event, but all in all Melrose just fell short. 

Standing out in the meet were Alex Cotugno and Charlotte Tysall in the mile and the 4×400, Brooke Barriss and Nia Kovacev in the 100 (Brooke), 200 (Nia), triple jump and 4×100, Kate Bidgood and Ella Fleming in the 800 and 4×400 (Bidgood), Ciara Smith in the hurdles and triple jump, Julia McAree in the high jump, Taylor Pesce in the hurdles and Sabrina Gardner in the javelin, who threw her best of the season at 72″.

And while the effort didn’t result in a win, Melrose has still qualified many athletes to States including Chelsea Otaluka in the discus, Nia Kovacev in the triple jump, Brooke Barriss in the 100 dash, Charlotte Tysall, Katie Duffy and Alex Cotugno all in the mile, Katie Duffy and Charlotte Tysall in the 2 mile, Ciara Smith in the hurdles, Giovana Machado in the 400 hurdles an both 4×100 and 4×800 relay teams, with plenty more expected to be added. 

According to Kane, Melrose’s performance at the MSTCA States has been a highlight of the season. “The 4xmile was amazing to watch. They all ran under 5:40 mile times and raced perfectly beginning to end. It was close at the beginning but they really pulled away half way through the race and held the lead the entire time.”

Along with those first place champs were the efforts of Kaiya Thompson, Grace Donahue, Taylor Pesce and Ciara Smith in the shuttle hurdles, the 4×800 relay team of Jenna Fracasso, Kate Bidgood, Alex Cotugno, and Charlotte Tysall who placed 8th, the 4×200 team of Nora Daly, Nia Kovacev, Nicole Nzui, and Giovana Machado who placed an impressive 5th. 

Melrose looks to pick up another league win when they host Burlington on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at Pine Banks Park.