Haverhill Hillies Girls Indoor Track '17-'18

Fri, Feb 16, 2018 04:30 PM @ Andover
Team Final
at Andover 48
Methuen 13
Haverhill 12
Lawrence 7

Kitchings, Cespedes, Kennedy win track gold

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BOSTON — There were some fine local performances Friday night at the Division 1 State Meet at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Methuen senior football-track star Saul Cespedes lived up to the family history begun by his father and his uncle at Lawrence High. Cespedes soared 6-4 to take the high jump crown. 

Haverhill junior Jayla Kitchings sped to the title in the 55-meter hurdles, breaking the tape in 8.56 to best Newton North's Natalie Marshall (8.64).

Andover scored 48 points, which a lot of times gets you the title, but this year Wachusett Regional of Holden (65.2) and Newton North 52 went 1-2.

Andover's middle-distance runners were in championship form with Julianna Kennedy winning the 600 meters by over a second with a time of 1:35.40 and Grace O'Hara taking sixth in the 1,000. Kennedy ran on the winning 4x400 team (4:03.81) while Hannah Lansberry ran on the winning 4x200 and 4x400.

Lansberry, Hope Joel and individual event placers Ally Bennett (6th, 55 meters) and Delia Barbanti (4th 300) ran a superb 1:43.84 in the 4x200. Golden Warrior coach Peter Comeau said that ranks seventh all-time in Massachusetts. 

Lawrence's RosaLinda Rosario placed in the hurdles for the second year in a row. She took sixth just behind Andover's Kassie Brink.  

Methuen's scholar-athlete duo of Sara Fragione and Luana Machado showed their athlete side yesterday. Fragione ran a school record 3:02.82 for fourth in the 1,000 meters while Machado took fourth in the 600 in 1:37.88.
They teamed with Alexa Bergeron and Stephanie Ceballos for a sixth in the 4x4 relay.

Methuen was the top local boys' squad, tying for 11th with 18 points. Cespedes was the big star with his high jump title and teaming with Matthew Fahey, Roan Marcano and Stanley Hanci to take fourth in the 4x400 in 3:28.55.
Andover had a couple top efforts from 55 hurdler Alec Pascoe (2nd, 7.75) and 1,000 runner Devin Connell (4th, 2:33.92).

Hillie coach Mike Maguire believed Kitchings was the first Haverhill girl to win a Division D1 state crown since Natasha Stevenson in the 300 in 2003.

Kitchings already broke the school record held by Kaitlyn Wallace last year and she's shaved another 0.21 seconds off it this year. The new mark was her 8.55 at the conference meet and she just missed that Friday.

 Maguire said, "She starts really well. She really attacks that first hurdle. This is real special. Last year she was sixth or seventh. The last month she's been much more consistent doing the little things: workouts, stretching, cooling down. She's stronger and more motivated."

Hillie Gabby DeRoche had an 8-second personal best to grab a seventh in the mile in 5:20.16.


Game Statistics:

Division 1 State Meet
Team scores (26 scored): 
1. Wachusett 65.2, 2. Newton North 52, 3. Andover 48, 16. Methuen 13, 17. Haverhill 12, 20.tie Lawrence 7

Area placers (top 8): 

55 meter dash: 6. Ally Bennett (And) 7.44; 300: 4. Delia Barbanti (And) 42.01; 600: 1. Julianna Kennedy (And) 1:35.40, 4. Luana Machado (Meth) 1:37.88; 1,000: 4. Sara Fragione (Meth) 3:02.82, 5. Rodelina Kingsley (Law) 3:02.96, 6. Grace O'Hara (And) 3:04.38; Mile: 7. Gabby DeRoche (Hav) 5:20.16
55 hurdles: 1. Jayla Kitchings (Hav) 8.56, 5. Kassie Brink (And) 8.82, 6. RosaLinda Rosario (Law) 8.84; 4x200: 1. Andover (Bennett, Hannah Lansberry, D. Barbanti, Hope Joel) 1:43.84 1:43.84; 4x400: 1. Andover (Lansberry, Grace Dunn, Kennedy, Emma Joel) 4:03.81, 6. Methuen (Fragione, Stephanie Ceballos, Machado, Alexa Bergeron) 4:11.54; 4x800: 6. Andover (O'Hara, Nicole Major, Ava Trapp, Emma Griffin) 9:55.72

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