THE NRHS boys’ track and field team huddles with head coach Ryan Spinney after a heartbreaking loss to Newburyport last week. The Hornets, who came up just short in the final event, will travel to Newburyport’s Fuller Field on Saturday for the CAL Meet. (Eric Evans Photo)


NORTH READING — Senior Day at Arthur J. Kenney Field. The league title on the line between undefeated North Reading and Newburyport.

It came down to the very last attempt. The very last one.

The CAL title for the Kinney Division was decided with the Pole Vault. As both Nicolas Johnson of NR and Dan Kolman of Newburyport, both of which had huge personal bests in the event, finished their last attempts at 12 feet, the meet came down to misses at previous heights. Unfortunately, for the Hornets, it went in favor of the Clippers. As the event closed, the Hornets perfect season came to an end. It was certainly not due to the lack of effort.

“Our team stepped up all across the board today,” said Hornets head coach Ryan Spinney. “One thing in any event goes our way, we have a different result. I am so proud of the way we competed and fought hard all the way through. The end result is hard to take, but we gave it all we had today.”

The Hornets were once again led by Senior co-captain Nathan Miller who completed his personal undefeated season, as he once again won the 200 Meter (22.69), 400 Meter (51.67) and Long Jump (21′ 8″) to score 15 points for the Hornets cause. He ends the regular season with a perfect 60 out of 60 points.

“Nathan Miller is a serious candidate for league MVP,” said Spinney. “Very few could accomplish what he did this spring, which was to be undefeated across the board in all of his events. That shows how talented he is and how he will not quit.”

Senior Rocco Tammaro won the 400 Meter Hurdles to set the tone for the Hornets in a time of 1:02.75.

“Rocco wanted to win his last 400 Meter Hurdle race at home and he was able to squeak it out. He has been such a huge part of the program during his career and for him to go out with a win in his event is so deserving,” said Spinney.

Senior Michael Hemme continued his incredible spring as he took 2nd overall in the 1 Mile (4:35.42, 6th all time in NRHS history) and 2nd overall in the 800 Meter Run (2:07.52), to give Hornets massive points in the distance events against the premier distance program in the eastern part of the state.

“I have said it many times this year, Michael Hemme is one tough competitor. He knew he would have to step up for us today and he did, against extremely talented competition nonetheless. He is a true talent and team player.”

Freshman Otto Indelicato and Leo Romanski led sweeps in their events as Indelicato, Senior David Poirier and Senior Owen Delano swept the Shot Put with throws of 40′ 2.5″, 39′ 4.5″ and 38′ 9″ respectively. In the Discus, Romanski threw a state qualifying throw of 120′ 11″ to win the event, followed by Senior Trevor Miller in 113′ 8″ and Senior Kyle McCormack in 109′ 11″.

“Leo and Otto are extremely special young men,” said Spinney. “They work so hard and for them to win these events as freshman, it just shows that their trajectory for success in this sport will be very high.”

Senior Brodie Mann topped the field in the 100 Meter Dash with a time of 11.67, a win by .03 over Newburyport’s Ryan Miles. He also chipped in with a 2nd in the 200 Meter behind Miller in a time of 23.53. Mann also anchored the winning 4 x 100 Meter relay team of Freshman Seth Evans, Sophomore Kieran Miller, and Senior co-captain Caleb Sands with a time of 44.82.

“Brodie is one of those athletes that is just so talented but he flies under the radar. He is so consistent and so important to our program. He delivers every time he competes and he is just a great kid,” said Spinney. Sands also chipped in with a 3rd in the 100 Meter Dash with a 11.94.

Senior co-Captain Jacob Duval continued his steady season as he took 3rd in the High Jump with a leap of 5′ 6″. Sophomore Kaio Pancini continued his strong spring as he took 2nd in the 110 Meter Hurdles in a time of 17.48 and Junior Noah Schifano has emerged as a major factor for the Hornets as he took 2nd in the Triple Jump (40′ 10″) and 3rd in the Long Jump (19′ 6″) to keep the Hornets in the hunt. Senior Brady Miller stepped up for the injured Senior co-captain Garrett Arden as he took 3rd in the Javelin with a season best toss of 132′ 7″. Although he didn’t score points, Junior James Dillon had a major breakthrough in the 2 Mile as he was the 1st NR runner to break 11 minutes in the event this spring as he hit 10:54.24 in the event.

The final event was the Pole Vault and the score was 69-67 in favor of Newburyport. The Hornets needed to go 1st and 3rd to take the meet. There were three vaulters, Johnson and Senior Vincent Pastore of North Reading and Kolman of Newburyport left in the competition. Pastore finished in 3rd as he tied his previous best of 11′ 0″. Both Johnson and Kolman set personal bests as they cleared 11′ 0″ and moved on to 11′ 6″. They cleared that height as well, setting personal bests once again. They both had valiant attempts at 12′ 0″ but neither cleared. As Kolman had one less miss, Newburyport took 1st in the event and the title.

“Nico and Vinny were amazing today,” said Spinney. “Vinny was consistent and fought hard to get third. Nico had his best day ever in the event. You can’t ask for more than that. I am so proud of both of them and our entire team. Lots to be happy about today regardless of the score.”

The Hornets now move on to the CAL Open on Saturday in Newburyport where they will try to take down the Clippers on their own track.

Senior Captain Nathan Miller was a very busy Hornet on Saturday. He ran the 100 Meter Dash trials and finals, the 200 Meter Finals and the 4 x 100 Meter Relay at the Andover Boosters Meet. He delivered another standout performance.

Miller ran 11.21 in the preliminary round of the 100 Meter Dash which places him 2nd all time in the event in NRHS history He is only .07 behind record holder Sotirios Pintzopoulos (2001). His 11.43 in the finals placed him 4th overall in the event.

The 4 x 100 Meter Relay team of Senior Brodie Mann, Sophomore Kieran Miller, Senior co-captain Caleb Sands and Miller, finished 5th overall in the event in a season best time of 44.46, which is top in the Cape Ann League this spring. Miller also capped off his day with a solid 23.12 in the 200 Meter Run.

Senior Brady Miller improved his personal best as he took 6th overall in the Javelin with a throw of 133′ 4″. Senior Kyle McCormack was the top Discus participant as he improved to 115′ 8″ this spring. Overall, it was a good tone setter for the Hornets as they look to next week at the CAL Open.

“We had a few kids compete today in order to prepare for CALs on Saturday,” said Spinney. “A solid day overall and we are hopefully going to be healthy and ready to go on Saturday.”