By Nick Curcuru
---- — The Gloucester boys track program had a strong day both individually and as a team Saturday at the Northeastern Conference Championship Meet at Manning Field in Lynn.
The Fishermen, who polished off a 5-2 regular season, finished second with 81 points behind first place Peabody, the Northeastern Conference North champions in the regular season (121 points). Gloucester also finished ahead of Danvers and Marblehead, the two teams that bested Gloucester during the regular season. Swampscott (77), Salem (59) and NEC South champion Marblehead (54) took the next three spots on the boys side.
Individually the Gloucester boys also turned in four gold medal performances with the 4x400 relay team of James King, Calvin Kipruto, Matt Carpenter and Josh Rudolph setting the school record with a time of 3:31.33, a second ahead of the previous record time of 3:32.6 set just 17 days prior by Kipruto, Carpenter, Jacob Holscher and Everest Crawford.
Saturday was a big day for Gloucester relay teams as the 4x800 quartet of Dan Carpenter, Noah Mondello, Holscher and Crawford took home the gold with a time of 8:18.32. Crawford also chipped in a gold medal performance in the 800m with a time of 1:57.79, Carpenter was right behind him for silver with a time of 2:00.29.
Kipruto took home the gold in the 400m for the second year in a row with a time 50.94 while Holscher also had a strong performance in the mile taking home a silver medal with a time of 4:35.82.
On the girls side Gloucester finished sixth with 41 points sending three girls to the medal stand. Northeastern Conference North champion Peabody made it a clean sweep taking first on the girls side as well with 96 points followed by NEC South champ Marblehead and Beverly with 87 and 86 points respectively.
Bianca Giacalone led the way for the Gloucester girls with a silver medal in the 100m (13.04) and a fourth place finish in the long jump (16’6”). Fiona Davis finished third in the two-mile (11:42.53), Liz McCormack finished third in the discus (96’10”) with teammate Hannah Pastagal right behind her in fourth place (95’2”) and Elle Wierbicky finished fourth in the 200m with a time of 27.37.
“This is a big meet for the kids to compete well in and many of them did just that,” Gloucester head coach Jeff Destino said. “We take a lot of pride in finishing in the top two for the boys and the girls have continued to improve all season long.”
Gloucester now turns its attention to the Class A state meet on June 1 at Andover High School. Gloucester will have nearly 20 athletes competing against some of the top competition.
We now look to next weeks Class A State meet in Andover. We have close to 20 kids qualified on both sides and we look to score quality points and advance kids to the All-state meet.