It was about as dramatic a finish as there could be in a track meet.
The Gloucester and Danvers went back and forth at the Benjamin A. Smith Fieldhouse Thursday night with the Falcons holding a 42-39 lead entering the final event of the night, the 4x400m relay. Whoever took the coveted five points in the relay would win the meet and essentially be in the drivers seat for a Northeastern Conference Small title.
Danvers took a big lead early but that gap would close thanks to a nearly heroic final leg from senior captain Bianca Giacalone. According to head coach Liz Moran, Giacalone erased a 100m deficit in 400m. The senior captain dove to the finish line just as the Falcons final runner crossed resulting in a photo finish.
The officials gave Giacalone the nod first but after a conference changed their minds and awarded Danvers the relay, and the dramatic 47-39 win. Gloucester falls to 1-1 on the season.
“Bianca’s leg was probably the best relay leg I had ever seen,” Moran said. “She closed 3/4 of a lap and almost pulled it off. The volume in the gym just got louder and louder as she closed the gap, it was an incredible performance.
It was a great meet all around tonight. We lost a tough one but Danvers is our toughest test of the season and after seeing what I saw tonight I think we can win every other meet this year.”
In addition to her performance in the 4x400 Giacalone came away with a first place finish in the 300. Kacie Quinn won the mile, Liz McCormack won the shot put and Chloe Kenyon won the hurdles. Moran also credited the performance of Kelly Foster and Melanie MacDonald, who finished first and second in the 2-mile respectively to force the winner take all relay. Kelly Hurd also shaved 20 seconds off of her best time in the mile.
“This was a very encouraging meet,” Moran said. “I was happy with the way everyone performed against a strong team.”
Gloucester boys fall
The Fishermen (0-2) were shorthanded Thursday missing five key guys, all point scorers in last week’s meet with Revere, due to injury and illness. As a result Gloucester was on the wrong end of a lopsided 61-25 loss to powerful Danvers.
Gloucester got first place finishes from Jacob Holscher in the mile (4:42), Everest Crawford in the 600 (1:30) and Noah Mondello in the 2-mile (10:37). Jared Marshall (hurdles, high jump), John Curcuru (dash) and Matt Ciaramitaro (high jump) all turned in personal bests.
Head coach Jeff Destino also praised the work of Alex Lucido, who stepped in and filled the gap in both the high jump and the hurdles.
“We were shorthanded tonight,” Destino said. “But on a positive note we had some good performances. Alex (Lucido) stepped up big this week with Josh Rudolph and Mike Sheehan out with injuries. Love his attitude and commitment to the team.”