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Freshman Chokureva sets two state records, leads Andover to sixth strait Division 1 title

CAMBRIDGE — One is a freshman, already rewriting the state’s record books.
 
The other is a senior, who already contributed to three state champions, set on closing her career out with a bang.
 
On Sunday, both delivered dominant days to keep Andover firmly atop the Massachusetts swim world.
 
Freshman Michaela Chokureva set two state records, senior Emily Clements added two more individual titles and they teamed for a pair of relay victories, as Andover High surged to its sixth straight MIAA Division 1 Swim Championships title on Sunday at MIT.
 
The Golden Warriors cruised to the crown — their first since legendary head coach Marilyn Fitzgerald retired following last fall — with 456.5 points, far out-distancing No. 2. Needham (256 points).
 
“It’s amazing!” said Clements. “Our senior class finished 60-0. It never gets old winning state titles. The emotions of the team really get you excited. When everyone, no matter what they did, comes together to celebrate a title, it’s is so special.”
In her first state meet, Chokureva delivered a historic day. 
First, the youngster set the state record in the 50 freestyle with a 22.18, breaking the previous mark set by former Andover star Rachel Moore in 2011 (23.37).
Less than an hour later, Chokureva again etched her name to the record books, setting a new state mark in the 100 freestyle in 50.09, breaking the old mark of 50.19.
“I am very shocked!” said Chokureva. “I had no idea I could set a state record, and definitely not two. But it feels so good. I was very confident, because I felt like I could swim my best times. But not set records. 
“In the 50 free there was a mishap (with the starting gun) at the beginning. But that motivated me to swim faster. When they announced it was a state record, I was shocked. In the 100 free, I really wanted to get my best time. I was so happy about swimming a 50.19, but I had no idea it was going to be a state record.”
While Chokureva may not have been anticipating a record, first-year co-head coach Patty Barrett was less surprised.
“We knew early on, when she first joined the team, that she was very strong,” said Barrett. “Looking at the meet program going into today, I did tell her I thought she had the chance to break the records. She was unbelievable.”
Also adding a huge day was four-year varsity standout Clements, who won titles in the 200 IM (2:06.57) and 100 backstroke (56.29).
“As a sophomore I won the 200 IM and 500 freestyle, but I didn’t win last year,” said Clements. “I definitely wanted (an individual title) this year. As a senior, I wanted it a little more. I had never own a title in the 100 backstroke. Me and my teammate, Emily Ma (second, 2:10.48), did it together, so that was really special.”
Chokureva, Clements and Ma also teamed with Polina Malinovskaya to win the 400 freestyle relay (3:33.84) and Charlotte Moulson to take the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.50).
 “The girls really stepped up with great swims and great dives, and it’s great to celebrate another title,” said co-head coach Becky Pierce, a longtime Andover assistant. “Michaela was absolutely incredible, Emily works so hard, and we are so proud of her. Everyone did so well, and it really never gets old.”
AMUAN SETS RECORD
Defending Eagle-Tribune MVP Malia Amuan of North Andover was back in record-setting form on Sunday.
The sophomore won the 200 freestyle in 1:48.32, breaking a 1-year-old state record (1:49.00 by Ashley Loomis of Franklin).
Amuan then showed off her versatility by setting a meet record in the 500 freestyle in 4:53.56, beating the No. 2 finisher by 15 seconds.
“It feels really good to win,” said Amuan, who won the 200 and 100 freestyles last year. “I’ve really been focusing on the 200 and 500 frees this high school season to try to get best times. I was very excited with the results.”
Is it tough for her to follow her MVP season of a year ago?
“I don’t want to worry about pressure,” she said. “High school swimming is about fun for me, and doing it with my team. It was a good day.”
SIMARD RULES DIVING
After finishing third as a freshman, Haverhill sophomore Cailey Simard won the Division 1 state title in the diving.
Simard finished with 450.25 points, well ahead of No. 2 Ellie Wilson of Needham (387.65).
“It’s super exciting,” said Simard. “It’s been a lot of hard work. I felt like I could win, but you never know what’s going to happen. So I’m really happy.”
Simard controlled the meet from the start. She led by 27 points after the preliminary round, and 35 points following the semifinals.
“My dives were really clean,” she said. “I think my inward dive the was the best. After the first five dives I felt like I had it. It was so much fun and so exciting. All the hard work paid off.”
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Girls Swimming, 11/17/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Whittier runs all over Salem

 

HAVERHILL — Whittier Tech senior back AJ Espinal spent the third quarter and half of the fourth quarter on the sideline Saturday morning as the Wildcats' reserves got their chance to show off.

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Football, 11/16/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Injury-depleted Central falls to St. John’s in North title game

LAWRENCE — For the second straight season, Central Catholic could not find an answer for St. John’s Prep with a trip to the state title game on the line.
 
The top-seeded Raiders, forced to play the second half without injured star QB Ayden Pereira, were limited to just 66 yards of total offense, falling to the No. 2 seed Eagles 14-0 in the Division 1 North championship game.
 
“It was a tough one,” said Central head coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “That’s a very good Prep team. I’m proud of my team. The defense played well, and it hurt not having our QB. It’s tough to lose a game at this point in the season.”
 
Both losses for Central Catholic (8-2) this fall came against St. John’s (9-1). The Prep also beat the Raiders 21-0 last fall in the North title game, on the way to winning the Division 1 state championship.
 
Central’s potent offense — which entered Saturday averaging 38.6 points per game  — was dealt a massive blow with the loss of their budding superstar sophomore quarterback.
 
Pereira attempted to play Saturday with a separated right, throwing shoulder suffered in last week’s win over Everett. 

The Eagle-Tribune area’s leader in passing yards (1,587) and passing TDs (20) started for Central, but was clearly slowed by the injury,
which forced him to leave the game in the second half.
 
“Our QB played with a really rough injury,” said Adamopoulos. “He gave it a whirl and played very tough.”
 
Central opened fast, marching to the Prep 14-yard line on its first possession of the game, before the drive stalled. The Raiders drove to the Eagles’ 32-yard line two possessions later, but turned the ball over on downs.
 
A drive after that, Central’s Dom Tritto intercepted a pass and moved it into Prep territory. But Central was again stopped.
 
“We had some good field position early, because our defense was playing their butts off,” said Adamopoulos. “But we couldn’t take advantage.”
 
Central’s defense dominated early, limiting the Prep to just two first downs and 53 total yards, including no pass completions, on its first six possessions of the game.

 
But the Eagles grabbed the lead with 1:34 left until halftime, on a 5-yard touchdown by Pat Nistl. Central responded quickly when Tritto returned the following kickoff to the Prep 30, but the Raiders could not take advantage.
In need of a spark, Central seemed to find it when Nick Donatio intercepted a pass in the end zone to squash the Prep’s first drive of the second half. But the Raiders again turned the ball over on downs.
The Eagles then turned the game over to its rushing attack to close out the victory.
“We couldn’t throw the ball, so we turned to our run game to grind it out,” said Prep head coach Brian St. Pierre. “It just became a slug fest, and we were bigger and tougher. We wanted to hold the ball and tire them out. We called the same play (halfback dive) 30-plus times, and they couldn’t stop it.”
St. John’s delivered a 15-play drive that ate approximately eight minutes off the clock and ended with a Matt Crowley QB sneak touchdown. The Eagles then forced Central to punt, and needed eight run plays to finish off the clock and earn a second straight state title game berth.
Leading the Central defense were Dom Pedi (10 tackles), Brendan Cesati (10 tackles) and Michael Finneran (8 tackles), who also played quarterback in the second half.
Haverhill’s Matt Duchemin had three pass breakups for St. John’s.
Central Catholic will now turn its attention to Thanksgiving, when it takes on Lawrence High (2-8).
“We have one game left to play, and we’ll get after that one,” said Adamopoulos. “We will take a few days, regroup, and focus on Lawrence.”

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Football, 11/16/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Injury-depleted Central falls to St. John’s in North title game

LAWRENCE — For the second straight season, Central Catholic could not find an answer for St. John’s Prep with a trip to the state title game on the line.
 
The top-seeded Raiders, forced to play the second half without injured star QB Ayden Pereira, were limited to just 66 yards of total offense, falling to the No. 2 seed Eagles 14-0 in the Division 1 North championship game.
 
“It was a tough one,” said Central head coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “That’s a very good Prep team. I’m proud of my team. The defense played well, and it hurt not having our QB. It’s tough to lose a game at this point in the season.”
 
Both losses for Central Catholic (8-2) this fall came against St. John’s (9-1). The Prep also beat the Raiders 21-0 last fall in the North title game, on the way to winning the Division 1 state championship.
 
Central’s potent offense — which entered Saturday averaging 38.6 points per game  — was dealt a massive blow with the loss of their budding superstar sophomore quarterback.
 
Pereira attempted to play Saturday with a separated right, throwing shoulder suffered in last week’s win over Everett. 

The Eagle-Tribune area’s leader in passing yards (1,587) and passing TDs (20) started for Central, but was clearly slowed by the injury,
which forced him to leave the game in the second half.
 
“Our QB played with a really rough injury,” said Adamopoulos. “He gave it a whirl and played very tough.”
 
Central opened fast, marching to the Prep 14-yard line on its first possession of the game, before the drive stalled. The Raiders drove to the Eagles’ 32-yard line two possessions later, but turned the ball over on downs.
 
A drive after that, Central’s Dom Tritto intercepted a pass and moved it into Prep territory. But Central was again stopped.
 
“We had some good field position early, because our defense was playing their butts off,” said Adamopoulos. “But we couldn’t take advantage.”
 
Central’s defense dominated early, limiting the Prep to just two first downs and 53 total yards, including no pass completions, on its first six possessions of the game.

 
But the Eagles grabbed the lead with 1:34 left until halftime, on a 5-yard touchdown by Pat Nistl. Central responded quickly when Tritto returned the following kickoff to the Prep 30, but the Raiders could not take advantage.
In need of a spark, Central seemed to find it when Nick Donatio intercepted a pass in the end zone to squash the Prep’s first drive of the second half. But the Raiders again turned the ball over on downs.
The Eagles then turned the game over to its rushing attack to close out the victory.
“We couldn’t throw the ball, so we turned to our run game to grind it out,” said Prep head coach Brian St. Pierre. “It just became a slug fest, and we were bigger and tougher. We wanted to hold the ball and tire them out. We called the same play (halfback dive) 30-plus times, and they couldn’t stop it.”
St. John’s delivered a 15-play drive that ate approximately eight minutes off the clock and ended with a Matt Crowley QB sneak touchdown. The Eagles then forced Central to punt, and needed eight run plays to finish off the clock and earn a second straight state title game berth.
Leading the Central defense were Dom Pedi (10 tackles), Brendan Cesati (10 tackles) and Michael Finneran (8 tackles), who also played quarterback in the second half.
Haverhill’s Matt Duchemin had three pass breakups for St. John’s.
Central Catholic will now turn its attention to Thanksgiving, when it takes on Lawrence High (2-8).
“We have one game left to play, and we’ll get after that one,” said Adamopoulos. “We will take a few days, regroup, and focus on Lawrence.”

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Football, 11/16/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Sachems rough up Bedford

Pentucket rolls

Pentucket football made short work of Bedford on the road Friday night, beating the Buccaneers 42-19 after quarterback Peter Cleary threw for four touchdown passes and Keegan O’Keefe accounted for four total scores.

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Football, 11/15/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Diaz steals show as Reggies hammer No. 1 Manchester Essex in North final

MANCHESTER — Manchester Essex head football coach Jeff Hutton could only tip his cap to Greater Lawrence after Friday’s Division 7 North Final.

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Football, 11/15/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Methuen wins in overtime

 

METHUEN — Connor Bryant came back at quarterback, Zac Bergeron had a huge game running the ball and Methuen snapped a five-game losing streak with an exciting 28-20 victory over Chelmsford.

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Football, 11/15/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Brown, Andover stun Everett

ANDOVER — While his second touchdown run Friday night might not have been as dramatic as his 45-yard game-winner as time expired against Lowell three weeks ago, Scott Brown once again displayed some late-game heroics.

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Football, 11/15/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover wins 11th straight North title

Behind a dominant performance by Emily Clements, Andover swimming made it 11 straight North titles Sunday night.

Clements won four goal medals, leading the Golden Warriors to the team title at the North Sectional Swim Meet at Boston University. A year after winning the North crown by just 11 points, Andover rolled to 463 points this fall, besting No. 2 Central Catholic (256 points).

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Girls Swimming, 11/11/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover wins 11th straight North title

Behind a dominant performance by Emily Clements, Andover swimming made it 11 straight North titles Sunday night.

Clements won four goal medals, leading the Golden Warriors to the team title at the North Sectional Swim Meet at Boston University. A year after winning the North crown by just 11 points, Andover rolled to 463 points this fall, besting No. 2 Central Catholic (256 points).

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Girls Swimming, 11/11/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover heads to North finals

 

LOWELL — Given a second chance, Andover captain Olivia Schwinn-Clanton was right on the money Monday afternoon.

Her free kick from about 30 yards out early in the second half curved beautifully over the head of the Acton-Boxboro goalie and into the back corner of the net to give the Golden Warriors what proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 Division 1 North victory.

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Girls Soccer, 11/11/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Andover volleyball's Eduardo Machado

Eduardo Machado is a standout for the Andover volleyball team — he leads the team in assists and kills — and is also a star in the classroom. He is ranked in the top 10 percent of his class, scored a 2,170 on his SATs and will be attending RPI.

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05/17/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Salem runner Eric Tahtamoni

Salem runner Eric Tahtamoni talks about his new love of hurdles, and his hopes to break the school record in the 400.

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05/11/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Haverhill runner Mike McNaughton

Haverhill's Mike McNaughton talks about his career as a runner.
 
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05/04/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Andover lax star Jaymi Cohen

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05/04/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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