The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) boys and girls indoor track teams won tight contests Tuesday afternoon against Barnstable High School in a Cape & Islands League meet.
MVRHS improved to 4-1 on the season. The boys are tied for the C&I lead, and the girls are second, with the C&I championships upcoming.
The Vineyarder boys won 52-47, and the girls 53-47, at Wheaton College in Norton. This was a contest in which every point counted against a Barnstable squad that showed up in both distance and speed events.
For example, Peter Burke ran first in the two-mile, but Barnstable runners ran second and third to match the Vineyarder points. In field events, Daniel DaSilva’s third place in the 600-meter run and Braden Sayle’s victory in the long jump over Barnstable competitors were important points in a five-point team victory.
In indoor track and field dual meets, the first three finishers earn points for their teams on a sliding scale, three points for first, two for second, and one point for third. So Zach Utz and Isaac Richards’ 1-2 finish in the one-mile run provided extra margins. Notably, Kieran Karabees came in fifth place.
Annabelle Biggs had a big day for the Purple. Biggs dominated the long jump in her win, took second and beat Barnstable in the 300m, and won again over Barnstable, finishing third overall in the 55m dash and high jump for 12 team points. Eloise Christy won the 1000m, and placed second in the 600m, with Yayla DiChiara fifth.
Paige Pogue and Charlotte Packer won the shot put, finishing second and fifth respectively. Catherine Cherry provided points in distance events with top-four finishes in all.
On the JV side, Madison Packish won the 300m, with Sophie Nevin (third) and Kayla Dow (fifth) just behind. In the 55m dash, Shantavia Whyily was second, and Molly Menton placed third.
MVRHS boys and girls indoor track teams got a tuneup for the Barnstable dual meet and their first taste of Division 5 statewide competition Saturday with confidence-building results at the midpoint of the winter indoor track season.
The victory was especially pleasing for Coach Joe Schroeder. “We were missing a lot of kids due to injury and exams. Braden Sayles was huge, beating Barnstable in his first-ever long jump. Annabelle [Biggs] has been a major point-getter all season. Zach Utz set a personal record in the mile, and Adrienne [Christy] set a personal record in the high jump. Very impressive,” he said.
Both squads finished eighth among 32 D5 teams at the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association (MSTCA) Relay Invitational at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. The Purple visited the winners podium with a first-place finish in the boys distance medley and a third place in the sprint relays.
The girls went to the winners circle for shot put, 4x800m shuttle dash, and the sprint medley, while the boys also received points for their dash-medley performance.
In girls shot put, Paige Pogue finished 11th and Charlotte Packer, 16th, in a field of 75 throwers. The Vineyarder teams combined for four top-ten team finishes in the gathering of the elite. The girls took eighth in the sprint medley and 10th in the 4x400m relays and were 11th in the 4x200m. The boys were ninth in both the 4x200m relay and the 4x800m relay event.
MSTCA had a record turnout for the annual event. According to The Boston Globe, more than 4,000 athletes from 278 Massachusetts high schools took part in the competition.
A key element in looking at Vineyarder performance is that points for individual competitors are aggregated to provide team totals. Placing in the top eight spots in an event generates points. Each Vineyarder squad amassed 16 points on Saturday to break into the Top Ten.
“We had a good mix of upperclassmen and freshman and sophomores. For example, the girls shuttle quartet included Tyla Packish (senior), Shantavia Whylly (freshman), Nicole Menton (freshman) and Annabelle Biggs (sophomore).
Regarding statewide D5 competition observed on Saturday, Schroeder said, “There are some bigger goals we’re setting. Littleton surprised us a little, they are strong. We always watch teams like Dover-Sherborn and Parker Charter. Our kids were definitely happy with their performance at a big meet,” he said.