The deep, talent-laden girls track team at did something it hasn’t done in 10 years. And it is hoping that during the next couple weeks it can duplicate more recent accomplishments.
The Generals finished its regular season with a sparkling 10-0 mark, including undefeated in the Cape Ann League to capture that title. It was the first time since back-to-back unblemished records in 2000 and 2001. The 79-66 win over rival Ipswich capped the perfect season.
The boys - a young and inexperienced team - finished the season at 0-10.
Now Hamilton-Wenham has the on Saturday at . A slew of athletes have qualified for the event, enhancing the girls squad’s chances of finishing on top.
Coach Steve Sawyer said he was both surprised and not so surprised about his team’s perfect record.
“It is very, very tough in the Cape Ann League to go undefeated when there are big schools like Triton, North Andover and Masconomet,” he said. “On paper we looked good (at the beginning of the season) and we pulled it off.”
The Generals will have a representative in every event except the 400-meter hurdles, and expect the distance runners - Kerry Phelan (2 mile), Meg Blatchford (2 mile), Alison Lanois (800 meters, mile), Emily Horgan (mile) and Sarah Duffy (mile) and Claire Pacione (800) - to lead the way.
“The kids are confident and are going in (to the CAL meet) with a good attitude,” Sawyer said. They know they did well all year. We always do well in the big meets and we are confident we will do well Saturday.”
“All of the kids will compete well and have good time and that is what important.”
The rest of the team that will be competing is: Lauren Knopp (shot put), Kristen Adams (shot put), Jessa Hattebaugh (javelin), Ellie Irish (discus), Leslie Bynum (discuss), Natalie White (long jump, 100 hurdles), Camilla Worsfold (triple, high jump), Tyler Parady (pole vault, 100 hurdles), Caroline Heppner (pole vault), Robin Doroff (100, 200) and Evie Unsworth (100, 200). Three relays - 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800 – will also line up.
Sawyer feels the championship will come down to Hamilton-Wenham, North Andover and Ipswich.
The following week is the State Class Meet – for both boys and girls – beginning Friday, May 27, at . He said the same competitors should be participating in that meet.
The girls captured the CAL and the State Div. 4 meets last year.
The boys probably won’t be battling for a title at the CAL meet with little depth, but some very strong runners and field competitors could result in some first-place finishes.
“Our boys team has very little depth but we have some quality athletes who will do well and score points in some events,” Sawyer said. “Our boys team is young and lacks experience and basically this has been a building year for us.”
Conor Lyons has excelled the entire season. He will be participating in the 800 and will be a part of the 4x800 relay team with Ian MacLean, Chris Benevento and Jon Hills.
“(The relay) team is a very strong and should do very well,” Sawyer added.
Hills will also be in the 800 meters with Lyons, with Connor Adamik (discus), Tyler Mulley (triple jump), Kendrick Poulin (pole vault), Ben Clemenzi (pole vault), Alex Schlecht (pole vault), Jake Namaroff (100), Alex Green (200), 4 x 100 relay and 4 x 400 relay also penciled in to compete.