Who said track meets aren’t fun to watch?
Those fond of track and field know that there is nothing more exhilarating than deciding a meet during the relay events, bringing the team aspect of the sport to life and those watching to their feet. Old Rochester took this approach Saturday afternoon at GNB Voc-Tech, coming away with the half-point victory and claiming the SCC meet championship title for the third year in a row.
The meet came down to the wire, with SCC rival Apponequet holding a 1.5-point lead over Old Rochester going into the 4x400 meter relay, the final event of the day.
Old Rochester head coach Bill Tilden knew what his team had coming up schedule-wise, and had to plan accordingly.
“We have our division championship on Wednesday, which is much closer than you would like,” said Tilden. “So if it it wasn’t that close, like if we had knew had already lost or knew we had already won, we had another relay team already set to go so we could at least put a team out there that would have been some of the young kids that weren’t moving on. But we ended up having to use (the A team) to make sure we locked this up, but it was worth it."
It was worth every point, or in this case, half a point.
The Bulldogs relay team of Chandler Goulart, Geoffrey Noonan, Anthony Childs and Adam Sylvia took the reigns of the final event, running a time of 3:51.90, which was nearly three seconds faster than Apponequet’s relay team (3:54.30), meaning that Old Rochester grabbed two more points than the Lakers, pushing past them with a total team score of 63.5-to-63.
Though Tilden was happy with the win, he had an inkling that the championship would come down to the wire.
“One of our top guys (Will Garcia) who was ranked in the 55 today couldn’t make it because of the Berkeley Jazz festival, we have a school team in that and he’s the only drummer in it,” Tilden said. “We knew that could have been the deciding factor of today, and I think the other kids knew that. We said, 'Listen, we need to grab points where we weren’t expecting.' We had a lot of underclassman step up big today.”
MORE LOCAL WINNERS: Old Rochester's Harry Smith won the 55 hurdles in 7.93 seconds, Apponequet's Aiden MacSeeney won the 1-mile (4:57.97) and Sam Ferreira won the high jump (6-0) and Wareham's Bradley Harunkiewicz won the shot put (52-9.75).
WHAT’S NEXT: Old Rochester will compete in the MIAA Div. 4 Championship on Wednesday, Feb. 4th at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, MA.
ORR COACH CINDY TILDEN ON BOYS' CLOSE VICTORY: “We knew it would be close on the boys side between ORR, Dighton-Rehoboth, Case and Apponequet. I think they were very excited. (Garcia) was ranked highly in the 55, so I think it’s a nice ego boost to realize they can do it when they are missing someone that important.”
MEANWHILE: GNB Voc-Tech sprinter Djeury Amado finished third at the New Balance Grand Prix with a time of 6.91 seconds on Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center.