Bishop Guertin girls claim championship
HANOVER — Around the halls of Bishop Guertin High School, these girls will always be considered a “perfect 10.”
OK, so nobody is perfect, but what the Cardinals pulled off here at Leverone Fieldhouse on Sunday was nothing short of spectacular.
With only 10 athletes competing, BG claimed the Division I Indoor Track State Championship in the most thrilling of fashions.
“That was crazy,” said junior sensation Caroline Fischer. “We did not expect to come in and win. All of us together, we pulled it off.”
Nursing a six-point lead into the final race of the day, the 4×200, Bishop Guertin got an absolutely heroic performance on the final leg by senior Julie Nigro, who was passed in the stretch by Sydney Lewis, only to fight back to outlean the Nashua South sensation by the slimmest of slim margins — .01 seconds.
That allowed BG to claim its first indoor championship since 2014 — all by itself — denying Exeter a share of the title by a 68-66 score.
“I got Nashua South by .01!” exclaimed Nigro, who did yeoman work in running the 600 (fourth), 4×200, 4×400 and 4X800. “(When she went by) I knew I had to get it back. It was all in my lean. The adrenaline gets to you. This is a huge deal, BG used to always win this (12 straight titles at one point). It’s nice for my senior year to end it with a solid win that everyone contributed to. We’re literally wearing our cross country jerseys, that’s how small our team is.”
What a day it was for the Cardinals, who won four individual titles, including the grittiest double of all by Caroline Towle, who captured both the 1500 and 3000 meters.
“I was ready. I was so excited,” said Towle. “It feels so good.”
With a 10:25.56 clocking in the 3000, Towle blitzed the field, winning by an impressive margin of 4.54 seconds.
Her 4.51.69 in the 1500 was just enough to KO her Cardinals’ classmate, Fischer, who sped home for second in 4:53.44.
Fischer, the defending outdoor 800 champ, was the mark of courage on the day as she wasn’t completely healthy.
Still, there was plenty in the tank to win the 1000 meters in 2:59.33.
“I knew after the 1000 I really had to run the 1500 and I wasn’t going to (because of health),” she said. “But for the team I would do anything. It was worth it.”
Cameryn Nichols crushed the field in the 55 hurdles for BG’s fourth championship.
The top-seeded senior mauled her preliminary heat with an 8.96 clocking, then amped it up in the final, rolling in 8.86.
Two other area girls claimed championships.
Nashua South’s Lewis, a UMass Lowell commit, was the lone girl to clear 5-2 in the high jump, nipping North’s Sarah St. Pierre, who posted a mark of 5-feet.
Lewis, per usual, was a scoring machine, grabbing third in the long jump at 16-1.75 and fifth in the hurdles.
In the shot put, Nashua North’s Kathryn Lynn made quick work of the state’s top throwers.
After posting a season-high a week ago of 32-2.25 at UNH, Lynn left another message, throwing 33-9.25 for the championship.
South finished fourth with 46 points, and North was sixth with 27.5 points.
Top efforts were turned in by South’s Julia Zhang, who was second in the long jump at 16-3.75, and sophomore Cali Coffin, who in only her second race of the winter due to injury, was third in the 1500 with a solid 4:57.87 clocking.
North got fourth-place finishes from freshman Olivia Mazerolle, who cleared 4-10 in the high jump and Arianna Braccio with a 10:46.75 in the 3000.
Merrimack’s lone placer was defending 55-meter champ Johanna Koroma, who was fourth in this year’s event. Alvirne got a sixth from Jessica Fontaine in the 3000.
In Division II, the Milford High girls delivered a strong third-place effort with 54 points.
Sophomore Renee Wilson was the lone Spartan champ, soaring 16-10.5 to win the long jump. Wilson added a sixth place in the 300 as well.
Milford’s top scorer showed amazing heart as senior Lauren Robinson wrapped up her indoor career with two seconds and a third.
The UAB-bound senior was second in the 1000 at 3:07.25, second in the 3000 at 10:08.03 and third in the 1500 at 4:52.31 in a long afternoon.
High-jumper Leslie McGrath was third (5-feet) and shot-putter Robyn Krafft was third (35-7.75).
The Spartans 4×400 team of Meg Sawyer, Ashleigh Matsis, Jona Velasquez and Wilson was second as well.
Souhegan was ninth with 16 points. Saber sprinter Hannah Rowe was fourth in the long jump and the 55 meters. Freshman Chloe Trudel took third in the 3000 at 10:23.47.