Andover Golden Warriors Girls Track and Field '18

Mon, May 28, 2018 01:00 PM @ Andover
Team Final
Haverhill 4
Lawrence 3
Methuen 2
at Andover 1

Barbanti sets area record, leads Andover to EMass. Division 1 title

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Monday, May, 28 By David Willis
Staff writer

ANDOVER — Tears began to well up in Delia Barbanti’s eyes as she crossed the finish line, and was mobbed by teammates.

“I had no idea I could ever run a time like that!” said a stunned Barbanti. “My goal was to run close to 25 seconds. But to not only break the school record, but win the Division 1 title, I’m amazed. I don’t even know how to react.”

Barbanti, a junior, won the 200 meter in a blazing 24.85 at the Eastern Mass. Division 1 Meet on Monday.

That not only shattered the previous Andover High record — by Eve Bishop (25.14) in 2010 — it broke the all-time Eagle-Tribune area record of 24.94 set by Methuen’s Wileshka Samuel in 2015.

That victory helped Andover take its fourth straight EMass. Mass. Division 1 title. The Golden Warriors scored 87 points, outdistancing No. 2 Newton North (71.50). The meet was moved from Sunday due to rain.

“It feels amazing to win for the fourth year in a row,” said senior Ally Bennett. “It’s the perfect way to end senior year. We’ve been working for this since indoor season, so everyone is so excited.”

Barbanti may have set records, but she had to fight to the finish to win the 200. She had to lean in the final steps to beat Wellesley’s Anna Jordahl-Henry (24.93).

“I knew those girls were so fast and I wanted to get out as fast as possible,” said Barbanti, who was also a member of the winning 4x100 relay. “I felt her coming behind me, but I just tried to hold on at the end and lean. I couldn’t believe it.

“ Someone ran over and told me my time and I was astonished. I couldn’t believe it. Eve Bishop was so amazing, so to take her record is very special.”

A comeback for Kitchings

Haverhill’s Jayla Kitchings was furious as she left the Merrimack Valley Conference Meet a week ago, finishing third in the 110 hurdles.

“I did so bad at MVCs,” she said. “I messed up the blocks. Everything was bad. So I worked at practice so I could do better this week. I wanted to come back and really be stronger.”

Kitchings came back in a big way on Monday, winning the 110 hurdles in 14.98. It broke her previous PR — and Haverhill school record — of 15.01 set in trials on Monday.

“I really felt good going into the race,” she said. “About the third hurdle, I felt like I could take it. The girl in lane four (Lawrence’s Rosalinda Rosario) is really fast and I was able to get in front of her. It felt amazing to cross the finish line.”

Brink the difference

Asked what the turning point was on the way to the team title Monday, Andover coach Peter Comeau did not pick one of his winners.

“Having Kassie Brink come in third in the 100 hurdles out of the unseeded heat, securing those six points, I felt like was the turning point,” said Comeau. “We had so many great runners coming up, and for her to run that time after winning triple jump, she came up so big.”

Brink came out of nowhere — the third heat — to take third in the 100 hurdles in a personal best 15.48.

That came after she won the triple jump with a 38-1.5, defending her EMass. Division 1 title.

“It’s awesome,” she said of her triple jump win. “I knew I would have to be my best to win. I wanted to defend my title, and most important get all the points for my team I could.”

Andover dominates relays

The Golden Warrior girls delivered a pair of dominating performances in the relays.

First, the 4x800 relay of Emma Griffin, Nicole Major, Ava Trapp and Julianna Kennedy won in 9:32.26, far ahead of No. 2 Newton North (9:38.07).

“I am so proud of the whole team,” said Trapp, who gave the Warriors the lead on the third leg. “We were a little rattled when our warm-up was cut short. But we bounced back. The two runners ahead of me gave it to me in a great place.”

Added Kennedy: “I was in a great position, and I knew I would have to push it to maintain the lead. I pushed it because I wanted to give us a good finish.”

An event later, Andover won the 4x400. The team featured Hope Joel, Hannah Lansberry, Barbanti and Ally Bennett.

“I think we underestimated ourselves going in,” said Bennett. “But we had a lot of amazing times by the girls. I’m always so confident in the girls. The handoffs were great, and I just had to finish it.”

Machado wants more

Methuen’s Luana Machado finished third in the 400 hurdles in 65.87.

That was OK, she said, but she wants more at All-States.

“Last year I didn’t make it to All-States,” she said. “This year I earned an automatic bid. I’m hoping next week will be better. Now I’m angry and I’m going to channel my rage into next week at All-States, and it is going to be a very interesting race.”


Game Statistics:

Top team scores plus locals (32 teams scored): 1. Andover 87, 2. Newton North 71.50, 3. Natick 66, 4. Wellesley 58, 5. Franklin 52; Also: 15. Methuen 17, 16. Haverhill 16, 27 (t). Lawrence 3.50


POLE VAULT: 3. Kyra Morissette (Andover) 9-0, 5. Anna Livingstone (A) 9-0, 8. Jess Velasquez (Lawrence) 8-0; SHOT PUT: 6. Tony Kobelski (A) 33-8, 8. Abygaelle Silien (Methuen) 33-3; JAVELIN: 3. Laura Olson (A) 108-6; LONG JUMP: 3. Jayla Kitchings (Haverhill) 17-7.5; TRIPLE JUMP: 1. Kassie Brink (A) 38-1.5; 110 HURDLES: 1. Jayla Kitchings (H) 14.98, 3. Brink (A) 15.48, 7. Rosalinda Rosario (L) 15.61; 100 METERS: 5. Ally Bennett (A) 12.68; 4x100 RELAY: 1. Andover (Hope Joel, Hannah Lansberry, Delia Barbanti, Ally Bennett) 48.69; 400 METERS: 2. Hannah Lansberry (A) 58.28, 5. Julianna Kennedy (A) 59.83; 

400 HURDLES: 3. Luana Machado (M) 65.87; 800 METERS: 5. Sara Fragione (M) 2:16.53; 200 METERS: 1. Delia Barbanti (A) 24.85; 4x400 RELAY: 3. Andover 4:05.01; 4x800: 1. Andover (Emma Griffin, Nicole Major, Ava Trapp, Julianna Kennedy) 9:32.26, 3. Methuen 9:45.44 

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