Five qualify for Nationals

Published May 16, 2019

NORTH READING — The girls’ outdoor track and field team culminated their regular season with an impressive double victory over Lynnfield (116-29) and Triton (83.5-61.5) to bring their record to a perfect 8-0 for the season. The victory makes the Hornets the Cape Ann League Champions for a sixth straight year and brings their regular season record to 48-1 over the last six seasons.

Ali Grasso led the team to victory with a whopping 36 points followed by Lindsay MacLellan (20), Katelyn Gorgenyi (17.5), Megan Lawlor (16.5), Jessica Hill (13), Grace Hadley (11.25), and Abigail Martin (10), Isabella Parrett (10), and Kerry O’Brien (10). These nine athletes scored 144.25 of the teams’ 199.5 points across both meets, which was 72% of the team total.

SENIOR boys and girls on the NR track and field teams were honored before the final home meet of the regular season on May 8. (John Friberg Photo)

Going into the meet the Hornets knew they needed to move some athletes around in order to compete against a strong Triton running and throwing squad. The biggest change came with Ali Grasso moving from the Long Jump to Shot Put in order to compete against three Triton athletes who had been throwing over 29 feet and sweeping teams in the event. Ali moved into the event for the day and heaved a personal best of over three feet to 29’ 4” to take second place in the event. She then went on to win the 400 Meter Hurdles (1:06.70) and the Triple Jump (37’ 4.75”) with new school record setting performances in both events. Katelyn Gorgenyi also made a move into the throwing events and picked up a solid 3rd place with a toss of 74’ 1” in the discus throw, and moved out of the 100 Meter Hurdles into the 100 meters to take first place in a time of 12.80. In the end, it was the versatility of the team, which allowed them to overcome their opponent in this meet.

Event winners included the following: Ali Grasso (400 Meter Hurdles, 100 Meter Hurdles, and Triple Jump), Kerry O’Brien (High Jump), Jessica Hill (Pole Vault), Abigail Martin (Javelin), Lindsay MacLellan (One Mile and Two Mile), Katelyn Gorgenyi (100 Meters), Grace Hadley (800 Meters), and the 4×100 Meter Relay team made up of Meredith Martin, Talia Monteleone, Megan Lawlor and Katelyn Gorgenyi. The goal for the team this year was the win the state relay championship, win the Cape Ann League championship, the Cape Ann League Open Championship and the State Championship. Two down and two to go!

The team competes this weekend on Saturday, May 18 at Triton Regional High School for the Cape Ann League Open Championship. At this meet, the top 18-24 athletes in the league for each of the eighteen events contested in the sport will compete for individual and team championships. Come cheer on your favorite Hornet squad or look for that story in next week’s Transcript.

SENIOR Mia DeNofrio runs the first leg of the 4×400 meter relay during North Reading’s final home meet of the season. (John Friberg Photo)

National qualifying performances

The track and field team had a couple of national qualifying performances this past weekend at the Andover Boosters Meet and Glenn Loucks Games. Lindsay MacLellan, Ali Grasso, Katelyn Gorgenyi, Isabella Parrett, and Megan Lawlor qualified in their respective events and will compete on June 14 and 15 at North Carolina A&T State University at the national championship.

At the Glenn Loucks Games in White Plains New York, Lindsay MacLellan competed in the 2000 Meter Steeplechase with her eyes set on achieving a national qualifying mark of 7:15.00. Lindsay has trained for the event with hurdle drills and plyometric box jumps in preparation of seeking to take on the grueling task of running five laps around the track with five barriers in the way, one of which is followed by a water pit. If you have not seen the event contested before, google it, it is quite a sight. Lindsay ran a great race and finished the last lap with a tremendous kick to run a 7:10.24 and qualify for the national championship.

Ali Grasso had a stand out performance at the Andover Boosters meet, where she improved by nearly two feet in the triple jump breaking her own school record with a leap of 39’ 3.25”. The mark not only set a school record but got her first in the event at set a new meet record as well. She had a total of six jumps in the event and all where improvements on her previous school record, which was 37’ 4.75”.

Ali also qualified in the shuttle hurdle relay along with Isabella Parrett, Megan Lawlor, and Katelyn Gorgenyi with their meet winning time of 1:04.43. As Ali and Isabella are juniors, Katelyn a junior and Megan a senior who just started working on the event this year, the team’s potential for improvement is high.

With the National Championship a month away, these girls have some time to train and improve their skills leading up to the big event. Go Hornets!