Walpole boys win Herget fourth year in a row; girls defeat Wellesley for first time ever


A Walpole runner fights for a lead against their Herget foes, the Wellesley Raiders.

Amanda McManus

A Walpole runner fights for a lead against their Herget foes, the Wellesley Raiders.

The boys and girls track team faced Wellesley recently, which proved to be a stressful, but incredible peak in the season for both teams. The boys won the Herget Division with a final score of 58-37, and the girls team came in second for the Herget, but more importantly, beat Wellesley against all odds for the first team in at least a decade. The girls watched each event tensely, jumping for joy with a final score of 53-42.

The boys began the season with a goal of winning the Herget again this year as they had last year. Head coach Kevin Butera says, “We have a great group of guys that all work hard in their individual events and it shows every week when we compete together.” The team collectively achieved 19 personal records that night, many of them by sophomore athletes. In the varsity mile, sophomore Anthony Divirgilio PR’ed by two seconds as a season personal record and overall personal record with a time of 4:50.48 and sophomore Mike Van Der Linden achieved an overall personal record with a time of 5:09.67. In the 600m race, sophomore Jimmy Martin ran a time of 1:41.58, PR’ing by 3 seconds. In the 1000m race, two sophomores, Pat Connell and Jon Kelland, had personal records of 3 seconds.

As for the upperclassmen, junior Kevin Delaney managed to break 11:00 for the first time in the 2 mile race, finishing at 10:54.37. Junior Connor McCarthy, who has been having a particularly successful season, PR’ed in both the high jump and long jump. Junior PJ Hayes also had a personal record in the 55 meter dash of 6.62, of which he surpassed the following weekend, sprinting a 6.60 55m while breaking the school’s 55m record.

A Walpole runner places second in the mile race.

The girls also had 19 personal records across the team. Nine of these PR’s occurred in the varsity and junior varsity miles. Walpole also did well in the 1000m race, with sophomore Gina Conti placing first and sophomore Gabbi Petruziello taking third and qualifying for states by tenths of a second. Petruzziello showed unrelenting competition against Wellesley’s top 600m runner who placed second, enough to tire her our for her 55 meter hurdles race, giving Walpole an advantage. Junior Megan Jenkins also had a personal record of 1:54.51 in the 600m.

Though the girls shot put only saw one personal record, thrown by junior Jaime Dalton, much of the victory can was on their shoulders. Shot put swept Wellesley, giving Walpole 9 points much needed to ease everyone’s tensions because of the near-tie before that event. Following shot put, the girls watched Walpole take an incredible lead in the 4×4 relay, the last race of the day, and the win over Wellesley was definite.

The boys enter the meet against Newton North with a 5-0 record, yet Newton North has proven to be a difficult opponent for the team in the past. Butera says, “Newton North is one of the best coached teams in the state and always does extremely well in the States level in the championship season but we will definitely do our best to give them a run for their money.” As for the girls, they’ve had a nearly perfect season of 4-1 and have high hopes of beating Weymouth. After the long-awaited win against Wellesley, the girls have confidence in their team’s ability as a whole.