THE SENIORS have led the NRHS girls’ track and field team to another fantastic season. The Hornets won their 9th consecutive outdoor CAL championship with their win over Newburyport last week. Pictured are seniors, front row from left to right, Ava McIntyre, Jenna Mahoney, Kayla Budny and Abigail Gerber. In the back row from left is Annalise Butler, Kylie Gettings, Maggie Fortin, Tiara Lamont and Karleigh Budny. (NRHS Track Photo)



NORTH READING — On Wednesday, May 10, the NRHS girls’ track and field team hosted Newburyport in a matchup of the two undefeated Cape Ann League teams. Both the Hornets and the Clippers were 3-0 going into the meet with both teams winning their respective MSTCA Divisional Relay Championships as well. The Hornets won D5 and the Clippers D4.

With the home track and field advantage, the Hornets were the favorite and they did not disappoint, besting their rivals 88-57.

The victory marks the ninth straight Cape Ann League Championship for the girls’ outdoor track and field program, which head coach Sotirios Pintzopoulos credits to a top notch coaching staff unlike any other in the state, a supportive administration and a town and community of young student athletes who are passionate about the sport and put in the hard work it takes to become champions.

Leading the team to victory were top scorers Giuliana Ligor (15 Points), captain Ava McIntyre (11.25), Madison Vant (11), Hayden MacLellan (10), Abigail Lilley (10) and captain Kayla Budny (9.25) who each won their respective event/events.  Pitching in valuable points was Abigail Gerber who had three 2nd place finishes to add 9 points to the team total.

The meet started with Ligor taking the 400 Meter Hurdles (1:05.05) to bring the Hornet lead to 5-4. The Clippers quickly responded by sweeping the One Mile and taking the lead 13-5. The Hornets did not let this disappoint them as they knew the Clippers were strong in the distance events and would take the lead after this event.

MacLellan won the 100 Meter Hurdles (16.54) to bring the Clipper lead to 17-10. The Hornets then went 1-2 in the 100 Meters with McIntyre (12.73) and Kayla Budny (13.03) to tie up the meet at 18-18.

At this point, the field event results were coming in and the Hornets took over. In the first wave of events which included the Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump and Pole Vault the Hornets outscored the Clippers 29-7 to bring their lead to 47-25.  They did not let up the lead from here.

In the Long Jump, McIntyre (17’ 8”) and Vant (17’ 6.5”) went 1-2.  The Hornets swept the shot put with Lilley (34’4”), Gerber (32’10.25”) and Sabrina Mini (29’10.25”). The Hornets also swept the Pole Vault with MacLellan (9’6”), Julia DeAngelis (9’0”) and Jenna Mahoney (7’0”). Giuliana Auciello (4’8”) picked up a valuable 2nd place in the High Jump.

The second wave of field events was no different with the Hornets outsourcing the clippers 24-3. In the Discus, Lilley (103’ 6”) and Gerber (94’ 0”) went 1-2. In the Javelin, Vant (116’0”) and Gerber (112’3”) went 1-2. And in the Triple Jump Kayla Budny (35’3”) and Vant (34’8.5”) also went 1-2. At this point, the Hornets were up 71-28 and they only needed 2 points to seal the deal.

The Clippers went 1-2 in the 800 meters to shrink the Hornet lead but it was too little too late. Quinlan Kelly took third with an impressive 2:34.86 in her debut performance at the event. Giuliana Ligor sealed the victory for the Hornets winning her second event in the 400 Meters (58.97) holding off two speedy Clipper sprinters that went 59 and 60 respectively. The 4×100 Meter Relay (51.14) remained undefeated for the season with Kayla Budny, Georgia Robarts, McIntyre and Julia DeAngelis. Annalise Butler picked up another distance point for the Hornets, taking 3rd in the Two Mile (12:00.84) having just come back off of the injured list. Ligor won her third event in the 200 Meters going 26.62. The Clippers took the 4×400 Meter Relay uncontested as the Hornets fielded two all senior relay teams who celebrated their victory and final home meet as seniors in a special moment for the team.

The Hornets will compete for the Cape Ann League Open Championship against all 8 CAL Schools, Kinney Division and Baker Division on Saturday, 9 a.m. at Newburyport Fuller Field and Track.