Published in the January 18, 2018 edition

ANDOVER — The boys’ track and field team moved to 2-1 on the season, beating previously undefeated Masconomet in a close 46 to 40 meet on Wednesday, January 10 at Andover High School.

The Hornets took a quick lead, 11-7 after the first two events, going 1-3 in the 55 meter hurdles and taking first in the 55 meter dash. Billy Lord (7.8) and Andrew Crotty (8.8) started things off in the hurdles while Matt Dovale (6.5) took the dash.

In the field events, Masconomet outscored the Hornets 11-7 to tie things up. James Garniss and Joe DiSanto came up big in the shot put with huge personal bests, throwing 40’ 2” and 38’ 8” respectively for 1st and 3rd place.

FOR THE WIN. Freshman Sam Capobianco gives it everything he’s got to edge out his Masco opponent at the finish line to win the 2-mile run and clinch the meet for the Hornets. (John Friberg Photo)

In the high jump, Bill Lord also had a state qualifying personal-best mark of 5’ 9” to take 3rd place against two strong Masco jumpers. Masco’s strength in the 300 meters allowed them to go 1-2 in the event while Nick Carpenter took third for the Hornets in 41.2.

The Hornets came back strong in the 600 meters, sweeping the event with Jake Doucette (1:33.4), Andrew DeBenedetto (1:35.6) and Kevin Brown (1:37.9). The score was now 28 to 26, with the Hornets in the lead. Masco took the 1000 meters with their best runner on the team while Jack Murphy (3:03.6) and Zach Rinaldi (3:04.9) took 2nd and 3rd bringing Masco to within one point.

The one mile run opened things up for the Hornets as Justin Hong (5:12.0) and Casey Robarts (5:13.0) went 1-2 and brought the score to 40 to 32.

With 44 points needed to win, all the pressure was on freshman Sam Capobianco in the two mile run. A first place finish would give the Hornets a victory; anything less meant that the meet would come down to the 4×400 meter relay, where Masco was the favorite due to the strength of their top two 300 meter runners and 1000 meter runner. Sam lead the pack from start to finish with the Masco runner on his heels the whole time. Sam said he could hear him and even felt him clip his heals a few times. With one lap to go, the two runners were in an all-out sprint, having already run 21 laps on the Andover track. Sam gave it everything he had and held off his opponent in a photo finish victory of .1 seconds winning with a time of 11:08.6.

“It was one of the most exciting two mile races I have seen on that track” said Coach Pintzopoulos.

With that victory, the 4×400 meter relay team of Andrew DeBenedetto, Nick Carpenter, Jack Murphy and Jake Doucette could relax and coast to a 4:00.2 losing to Masco by only half a second. The Hornets next regular season meet is scheduled for Monday, January 29 against Triton at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury at 5:30 p.m.