Andover Golden Warriors Boys Indoor Track '09-'10

Andover's Vetere shows heart of a champion

ROXBURY — The Andover High track team won all those titles. So why did it feel so much like Adam Vetere lost it. It was last week at All-States, Vetere, trying a brutal double with the 4x800 followed two events later by the 4x400 relay. Vetere was the anchor, Mansfield made up a 10-meter lead, and upset the Golden Warriors for the title by less than a point. Vetere learned last night at the 23rd New England Championships just how much of a team Andover has. He and 4x400 teammates Mark Vetere, Connor O’Neill and Kerrick Stevens stared down Mansfield and beat the Hornets in convincing fashion, 3:22.71 to 3:24.21 to bring home a coveted New England title in their specialty. “It was really, really, really tough,’’ said an emotional Adam Vetere. “I felt a lot was on me. These guys convinced me it just wasn’t me. It brings the team together. They knew it was a rough day for me.’’ “Stuff happens,’’ Mark Vetere, Adam’s twin brother, said simply. That brotherhood the 4x400 quartet feels surged through as in unison Adam’s twin brother Mark and O’Neill explained, “It was right before the toughest double.’’ Adam did the 4x800 and 4x400 in a half-hour span. Two grueling races in 30 minutes with an All-State title on the line is a supreme physical and emotional challenge. There were some subpar  efforts earlier at All-States that were costly and coach Peter Comeau said maybe there was some juggling of the lineup which should have been done differently. The last week the pain lingered. “It was really difficult,’’ said Adam. “I felt it for a long time. The coaches convinced me everybody could have done more. This makes it awesome.’’ “It’s great,’’ said O’Neill. “Beating Mansfield and we were second in New England (indoor 2009, outdoor 2009) the last two times.” Cronin turns the tables The 4x400 relay team was one of numerous highlights for Andover, which enjoyed a spectacular meet. Andover junior Moira Cronin won the high jump with a 5-9 leap, beating Mansfield junior Kristen McDonagh on misses. That was the opposite of All-States when the Golden Warrior lost on misses to McDonagh. The soft-spoken Cronin is as much a sportsman as a champion When she cleared 5-9 on her final try, Cronin pumped her fist coming off the mat with the bar still shaking slightly behind her. About five seconds later, she gave a subtle double thumbs up to her Andover jumping teammate Jessica Salley. Yet, a minute later when the 5-foot-5 McDonagh soared 5-9 on her last try, putting a potential title in danger, Cronin sprinted to her rival and gave her a bear hug like you’d greet a long lost friend. “We’re really close. I was ecstatic,’’ said the 6-foot Cronin. They are close as friends and athletes. But this day, Cronin got the upper hand. “I’m sad for her but so excited for myself,’’ said Cronin. Down to potentially your last jump with the New England title on the line, that’s akin to being at the free throw line in the final seconds of a tie basketball game. “(I said to myself) It’s your last jump ever. I have to make this. I have to make a statement,’’ said Cronin. She almost made a statement heard around the country with a strong effort on a New England best attempt at 5-11. The meet record is 5-10 but the New England mark is 5-11, set by Heather Francis of Dartmouth, Mass., in 1995. “My first try I just nicked it ... I think with my leg,’’ explained Cronin, who is having some problems with her foot and will get an MRI today. “I’m really excited. You have to get your hips over it (the bar). That gives me hope for the next meet.’’ That would be the Nike Nationals at Reggie Lewis next weekend. Repeat after Golden Warriors Andover 4x200 relay runner Mark Vetere said matter of factly, “When you have four sub-23 (second) runners, it just comes out to a great team.’’ It’s tough to argue with that logic. Kerrick Stevens added, “It’s always ours to lose. We respect them, but we show them what we can do.’’ Leave everybody in their wake. Christopher McConnell, Vetere and Stevens are back from last year’s New England championship quartet. Connor O’Neill replaced graduated Brendan Crawford, who was in the stands rooting on the champs. Obviously, the four seniors were marked men. “We’re always under pressure,’’ said Vetere. “We practice so much it takes the pressure off.’’ A little levity never hurts either. They all got buzz cuts. That was a little strange for “Samson” Stevens, who had shoulder-length hair previously. But the Marine do didn’t hurt his speed. O’Neill admits to being as superstitious as they come. Don’t tell his parents, but he doesn’t wear his retainer for two days before a big meet. “It started out I couldn’t sleep,’’ he explained, adding he ran so well it became a tradition. Thankfully, when he flashed a smile it was the mega-watt smile of a champion. McConnell: The gold standard Every big race Christopher McConnell enters he has two formidable opponents ... an upset-minded field of speedy competitors and history. Every big race he seems to hold off an overmatched field and write another chapter to one of most storied sprint careers in Massachusetts indoor track history. Not content with his three All-State 55 meter titles, two All-State 4x200 titles and two New England 4x200 titles, McConnell blazed to his second straight New England 55 meter championship with a 6.39 clocking. “I didn’t expect to have to wait for three two-mile heats,’’ he sighed. When you are a lightning-fast athlete in a microwave world, waiting is the worst. Luckily for McConnell, he never has to wait long to hit the finish line. Given his extraordinary track career, sometimes people forget the sprint great was almost an undersized, brick-laying guard on the basketball team. “I bought basketball shoes before the season,’’ the UConn recruit recalled. “A lot of my friends said do it (track).’’ Apparently, the world didn’t need another marginally talented 5-8 guard. Well, actually, 5-71⁄2 he begrudgingly admitted. “I was good at defense,’’ he said. “I was probably too fast for basketball. I’d get a lay-up and overrun it.’’ So the hoop program’s minor loss was the track program’s historic gain. If he runs as expected in the spring, it will be difficult to argue that Christopher McConnell isn’t the greatest track athlete to ever wear the Blue and Gold. McConnell, who helped Andover to the 4x200 championship earlier in the evening, is still enjoying himself. “It never gets old,’’ he said, clutching the championship roses and plaque. “People say you should win, but it is always exciting.’’ This is how Hillies do it The Haverhill quartet of Rebecca Stabile, Elyssa Penney, Beth Fullerton and Mary Fullerton placed sixth, lopping six-plus seconds off a 29-year-old school record. “That’s the way we do it!’’ said Stabile with a big smile. New England Championships (Boys) Winners/area results: 55 meters: 1. Christopher McConnell (Andover) 6.39, 5. Byung Cha (North Andover) 6.53, 7. Jerickson Fedrick (Salem) 6.58, 14. Max Jacques (Salem) 6.68; 300: 1. Jarell James (Hope, R.I.) 35.17, 4. Francis Nova (Lawrence) 35.89; 600: 1. Steve Harshman (Merrimack, N.H.) 1:21.77, 6. Chris Wilbar (Central) 1:22.91; 1,000: 1. Nick Ross (E. Greenwich, R.I.) 2:29.46; Mile: 1. Will Geoghegan (Brunswick, Me.) 4:14.94, 5. Jake Hawkins (Pinkerton) 4:21.57, 11. Darryl Varney (North Andover) 4:26.91; 2-mile: 1. Chris Bendtsen (Wolcott, Conn.) 9:15.36 55 HH: 1. Greg Boursiquot (Stoughton, Ma.) 7.48; HJ: 1. Keron Stoute (Manchester, Conn.) 6-9, 16. Armando Bucciarelli (Central) 6-3, no-height Andrew Osborne (Andover); LJ: 1. Jonathan Williams (New Bedford, Ma.) 22-111⁄4; SP: 1. Dominic Filiano (Lebanon, N.H.) 60-21⁄4, 14. Brendan Burke (Austin Prep/Andover) 48-31⁄2 4x200: 1. Andover (Christopher McConnell, Mark Vetere, Connor O’Neill, Kerrick Stevens) 1:30.20, 2. Lawrence (Kelvin Severino, Francis Nova,Elvis Guilamo, Derek Molina) 1:32.54; 4x400: 1. Andover (Mark Vetere, Connor O’Neil, Adam Vetere, Kerrick Stevens) 3:22.71, 5. St. John’s (includes Brandon West of North Andover) 3:27.78; 4x800: 1. Hamden (Conn.) 8:01.27; 3. Methuen (Jared Reddy, Andrew Stamatopulos, Ben Pare, Cam Kelley) 8:03.20; 4. Andover (Chris Goodwin, Scott Waller, Adam Vetere, Simon Voorhees) 8:03.47 New England Championships (Girls) Winners/area results: 55 meters: 1. Teyanna Green (Danbury, Conn.) 7.14; 300: 1. Teyanna Green (Danbury, Conn) 40.24, 13. Melissa Higgins (Salem) 41.83; 600: 1. Cecilia Barowski (Bishop Guertin, N.H.) 1:33.71; 1,000: 1 Emily Grotz (Oliver Ames, Ma.) 2:56.40, 15. Hannah Kimball (Timberlane) 3:11.45; Mile: 1. Arianna Vailas (Manchester Central, N.H.); 4. Alanna Poretta (Pentucket) 5:01.66; 2-mile: 1. Lindsay Crevoiserat (Danbury, Conn.) 10:30.55, meet record 55 HH: 1. Deanna Latham (Triton, Ma.) 8.18, 13. Ginny Lavalle (Sanborn) 8.72; HJ: 1. Moira Cronin (Andover) 5-9; LJ: 1. Deanna Latham (Triton, Ma.) 18-43⁄4; SP: 1. Rachel Aliotta (Cheshire, Conn.) 41-6 4x200: 1. Danbury (Conn.) 1:41.47, 4. Andover (Eve Bishop, Kayla Baldwin, Vanessa Singleton, Emily Shields) 1:45.08; 4x400: 1. Tewksbury, Ma., 3:58.75; 5. Andover (Vanessa Singleton, Jessica Salley, Sydney Ebert, Eve Bishop) 4:05.67; 4x800: 1. Lincoln-Sudbury (Ma.) 9:16.51; 6. Haverhill (Rebecca Stabile, Elyssa Penney, Beth Fullerton, Mary Fullerton) 9:31.68

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Boys Indoor Track, 03/06/10 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Mansfield's late kick stuns Andover at All-States

ROXBURY — Heavily favored Andover seemed to be putting the finishing touches on an historic repeat All-State meet championship when disaster struck. Mansfield anchor Kyle Kilduff made up 10 yards — earlier in the race Andover had led by as much as 25 yards — to edge Andover (3:23.18-3:23.99) and pull out the improbable victory. The difference between first and second place is two points and that put the Hornets over the top 35-34 1/3. “I don’t think I’ve ever had the sickness in my stomach like I do tonight,’’ said Andover coach Peter Comeau. “I’m sick.’’ Kilduff, who earlier placed third in the 300, said,  “It’s a thrill. I used the crowd’s energy. We had the top time in the state but it was about a month ago. Coach pulled us aside and said, ‘This is it. You deserve it.’’’ Andover anchor Adam Vetere put up a fight but he was winded from running on the third-place 4x800 45 minutes earlier. The speedy Kilduff had just enough to overhaul him in the final straightaway. The Golden Warriors were attempting to make history. In the 22-year history of the modern state meet, Newton North (2004-05) is the only boys team to repeat. Comeau said in retrospect maybe he juggled the lineup too much and that several factors contributed to the upset. That it certainly wasn’t just the final relay. McConnell’s 3-peat Andover senior Christopher McConnell is arguably the most successful sprinter in Massachusetts indoor track history. The UConn recruit overwhelmed the field to capture his third straight 55-meter championship. He placed fourth as a freshman. It would have been nice to set the state record, but he missed by a hundredth of a second. No matter, the old mark (6.34) was set by him last winter. “I can’t get upset,’’ the unbeatable McConnell began, not realizing his pun. “It’s my best this year and I have New Englands (here next Friday). I’m going to enjoy being a three-time state champ.’’ He can still enjoy a record. He ran his typical eyepopping opening leg and Mark Vetere, Kerrick Stevens and Connor O’Neill delivered after him as the Golden Warriors broke the tape in 1:30.04 to repeat as 4x200 champs. They beat the old meet standard by over a half second. Second title in 30 years After all the breaks seemed to go against him in past years, this winter everything seemed to go Chris Wilbar’s way. The Central Catholic senior won the 600 meters by just nine hundredths of a second over Durfee’s Steve Souza, 1:21.96-1:22.05. “I was always on the other side of those hundredths,’’ said Wilbar, whose career had been hampered by injuries and tough breaks. “I wasn’t sure I had it. ... In the final straightaway I put it in the extra gear. We passed (the line) at basically the same time. I decided to make it my race and I did it.’’ When the Derry resident puts his mind to something, he usually isn’t denied. That’s why he’s ranked No. 2 in his class and scored an 800 on his math SATs. And now he’s an All-State champ. According to Central coach Sully Grella, Wilbar is only the second Raider boy All-State indoor champ in 30 years, which dates back to his mentor, the late Pete O’Sullivan’s, tenure coaching the Red, White and Blue. Ned Finneran won the shot put in 1996. “State champion is more than I could ever dream of,’’ said Wilbar. “I was just happy to win the MVC title. I’m just so grateful.’’ First rate in second heat Veteran track official Carmen Iannuccilli was a bit taken aback after he saw Lawrence senior Francis Nova win the 300 while coming out of the second heat. “Normally that doesn’t happen,’’ said Iannuccilli, who deep down had to be pleased as he was the former Lawrence High athletic director. But not much about Nova is normal. He wasn’t even a 300 runner until a couple weeks ago. He settled for fourth last week at Division 1 States. There would be no settling yesterday as the seventh-seeded Nova lived up to his name. He was the brightest of shooting stars, running a 35.83 to post the upset. “I was thinking top six,’’ he said. “I didn’t think of first. I thought I had to get to the break line (at about the midpoint) first. I gave it my all to the break line. He ran a fine race, but it’s not often the winner comes from outside the top-seeded race. But Nova is the exception to the rule. When asked about being a state champ, he said, “I don’t want to brag. If I win New Englands, I’ll brag. But I always want to the best. You have to do the extra things.’’ He was talking about his lucky baby blue socks, when somebody suggested he looks better in navy blue, Lawrence colors. He flashed his gold medal and said with an ear-to-ear grin, “I look better in this!’’ All-State Meet (Boys) Team scores (52 scored): 1. Mansfield 35, 2. Andover 34 1/3, 3. Central Catholic 20; 6. North Andover 14 1/3, 8. Lawrence 12, 19.tie Methuen 8 Winners/local results (top 6 score): 55 meters: 1. Christopher McConnell (Andover) 6.35, 3. Byung Cha (North Andover) 6.55, 4. Jayson Martin (Central) 6.57; 300: 1. Francis Nova (Lawrence) 35.83, 15. Nicholas Capezzuto (North Reading) 36.90; 600: 1. Chris Wilbar (Central) 1:21.96, 21. James Lawlor (North Reading) 1:27.73; 1,000: 1. Byron Jones (Westboro) 2:29.90; Mile: 1. John Bleday (Xaverian) 4:20.34, 2. Darryl Varney (NA) 4:21.15, 7. Ben Pare (Methuen) 4:25.14, 17. Andrew Stamatopulos (Methuen) 4:36.89; 2-mile: 1. Coby Horowitz (Nashoba) 9:26.59; 10. Jared Reddy (Methuen) 9:40.22; 14. Tyler Sullivan (Methuen) 9:56.36; 23. Liam Cregan (North Reading) 10:27.13 55 HH: 1. Greg Bourisquet (Stoughton) 7.50; HJ: 1. Corey Fairfield (Millis) 6-7, 5. Armando Bucciarelli (Central) 6-4; 6.tie Andrew Osborne (Andover) 6-2, Andrew Bernardin (North Andover) 6-2; 15. Pat Morrow (Andover) 6-0; LJ: 1. Jackson MacDonald (Hamilton-Wenham) 23-3, 8. Mark Vetere (Andover) 20-10; 16. Stevens (Andover) 20-1 3/4; SP: 1. Ryan Davila (Lowell) 57-4, 6. Brendan Burke (Austin Prep/Andover) 50-8 1/4; 7. Zach Borrelli (Central) 50-8 4x200: 1. Andover (McConnell, M. Vetere, Kerrick Stevens, Connor O’Neill) 1:30.04, meet record; 4. Central (Martin, Wilbar, Trae Musumarra, Luis Penzo) 1:32.81; 5. Lawrence (Kelvin Severino, Nova, Elvis Guilamo, Derick Molina) 1:32.85; 4x400: 1. Mansfield 3:23.18, 2. Andover (M. Vetere, Stevens, O’Neill, Adam Vetere) 3:23.99; 4x800: 1. Gloucester 8:04.71; 2. Methuen (Steve Lilja, Ben Pare, Andrew Stamatopulos, Cam Kelley) 8:05.91; 3. Andover (Will Ossoff, Scott Waller, A. Vetere, Simon Voorhees) 8:06.24 All-State Meet (Girls) Team scores (scored): Newton North 32, 2. Mansfield 26, 3. Bishop Feehan 25; 5.tie Andover 18, 22.tie Haverhill 6 Winners/local results (top 6 score): 55 meters: 1. Molly O’Dea (Hingham) 7.20, 14. Kayla Baldwin (Andover) 7.45; 300: 1. Cory Ryan (Norwood) 41.06; 600: 1. Kendall Knous (Franklin) 1:34.52, 5. Rebecca Stabile (Haverhill) 1:35.81; 1,000: 1. Margo Gillis (Newton North) 2:55.41, 12. Lanie Jowett (Central) 3:07.09; Mile: 1. Kathy O’Keefe (Newton South) 4:57.61, 7. Alanna Poretta (Pentucket) 5:05.41; 14. Maggie Mullens (Andover) 5:17.67; 2-mile: 1. Carolyn Stocker (Westfield) 11:06.36 55 HH: 1. Deanna Latham (Triton) 8.24, 12. Katie Lafrance (Central) 8.89; HJ: 1. Kristen McDonagh (Mansfield) 5-8, 2. Moira Cronin (Andover) 5-8; 10. Jess Salley (Andover) 5-2; no-height Rosie Forster (Andover); LJ: 1. Carla Forbes (Newton North) 18-8 3/4, 10. Brittany Angiolillo (North Reading) 16-5 3/4; SP: 1. Jessica Masse (Somerville) 40-9 1/2; 14. Meg Donegan (Central) 32-11 1/4; 23. Candace Waldie (North Andover) 31-4 1/2 4x200: 1. Boston Latin 1:43.75; 3. Andover (Eve Bishop, Baldwin, Vanessa Singleton, Emily Shields) 1:44.70, 17. North Andover 1:50.42; 4x400: 1. Tewksbury 4:00.34; 4. Andover (Singleton, Sydney Eberth, Salley, Bishop) 4:05.05; 4x800: 1. Lincoln-Sudbury 9:30.06; 4. Haverhill (Rebecca Stabile, Elyssa Penney, Beth Fullerton, Mary Fullerton) 9:38.91; 16. Central Catholic 10:07.18

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Boys Indoor Track, 02/28/10 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

No stopping Andover at MVC meet

ROXBURY — Andover, which won the All-State title in spring and winter track last year, has shown no signs of easing up.

The Golden Warriors cruised past runner-up Central Catholic (107-64) to capture the Merrimack Valley Conference meet. Andover's relays were again untouchable as the Blue and Gold brought home the gold in the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800.

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Boys Indoor Track, 02/12/10 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Vetere wins 6000

Andover's Mark Vetere won the 600 meter run in 1 minute 23.03 seconds and helped lead the 4X200 and 4X400 relay teams to victory at the Massachusetts State Coaches Invitational. 

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Boys Indoor Track, 01/31/10 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover 52, Central Catholic 34

Andover's Patrick Morrow in the boys high jump at their meet with several area schools on Wednesday afternoon in Andover. 2 Photos

 Andover continued its dominance, staying undefeated at 6-0 as the Warriors cruised past Central Catholic 52-34. 

"We closed out our dual meet season undefeated, so that's always a good feeling," said head coach Peter Comeau. "We're really performing very well." 

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Boys Indoor Track, 01/27/10 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover boys win Massachusetts Relays

The Andover boys team won the Massachusetts Relays at the Reggie Lewis Center by posting first place finishes in the 4x200 meter relay, the 4x400, the 4x800 and the 1,600 sprint medley. The team scored 52 points while Lowell came in second place with 23 points. Meanwhile, the Andover girls team placed second in the girls  Massachusetts Relays with 41 points behind Newtown North's 50 points.

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Boys Indoor Track, 01/25/10 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Only winners for the Warriors

Winning every event, Andover ran past Chelmsford, 74-12. Andrew Osborne excelled for the Golden Warriors in their opener, winning the dash (5.8 seconds) and the high jump (6-0).

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Boys Indoor Track, 12/22/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars