Andover Golden Warriors Boys Track and Field '08

Vetere vaults to victory at Andover Boosters Invitational

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Friday, May, 16 By David Willis
Staff writer

The wind was whipping for most of the morning. But when Andover's Mark Vetere stepped up for his biggest vault, everything seemed to calm.

"The conditions got a lot better towards the end of the event," he said. "I felt like I got my hips up and had really good form. It just felt really good."

Vetere's feeling was right on. The Golden Warrior nailed a career-best 12-6 in the pole vault, which was good enough for first place at the 49th annual Collins-McIntyre Andover Boosters Invitational on Saturday.

"Any time you land a personal best you are surprised," said the sophomore, whose previous personal record was a 12-3. "I never want to think that I am not going to win. But I was surprised. It was suspenseful because two kids had to go after me. After they missed, I didn't want to show them up, but I did a little fist pump. I was really excited."

At 15 years old, Vetere has emerged as one of the top pole vaulters in the MVC. And he credits another sports for his quick success.

"I was a gymnast for five years," he said. "Gymnastics gets you really comfortable with being upside down and being high in the air.

"Some people will say (the pole vault) looks scary. But I don't think so. I have always thought that it was really fun."

Vetere competed for the Andover High gymnastics team as a freshman. But this season, he made the decision to concentrate on track.

That dedication has paid off. Vetere has demolished his personal best from his freshman season, 10-6. The vault also put him into a tie with Brenden Bice of Londonderry, N.H., for the best vault in the Eagle-Tribune area this season.
"He has extraordinary potential," Andover assistant coach Tim Thomas said.

Vetere followed up his win by teaming with Brendan Crawford, Connor O'Neil and Kerrick Stevens to place third in the 4x400 relay in 3:32.10.

Home of the relays
Andover is known for its relays, and last weekend was no different. The 4x100 team of Christina Muccio, Melissa Knapp, Kayley Pettoruto and Vanessa Singleton set an Andover Boosters Invitational record in 49.78. Knapp, Singleton and Muccio were all members of the 4x100 team that set the state record last spring.

On the boys side, Chris McConnell, Crawford, Stevens and Santi Costello placed second in the 4x100 in 44.35.
Odds and ends

McConnell just keeps making Golden Warriors fans thrilled he chose track over baseball this spring. The sophomore won the 100 in 11.09. ... Vanessa Singleton took Andover's lone individual first for girls, taking the 300 hurdles in 46.67. ... Andover placed fifth as a team for the boys (56 points) and girls (48 points).

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