Rebels Cannot Outrun Tigers

Walpole runner legs out Newton North

Walpole runner legs out Newton North

Aidan Lancaster

A Walpole runner tries to legs out Newton North. (Photo/Derek Caneja)

The Walpole Boys Indoor Track team came up short of an undefeated season, as well as the Bay State Conference title, when they lost to Newton North 46-43 last week.  In fairness to the Rebels, the Tigers have not lost a meet in over 14 years and for the Rebels to lose by only 3 points is an impressive feat.

Seniors Zach Ganshirt, Justin Connolly, Bryan Rockwood and Conor Murtagh knew it was their last indoor regular season track meet in a Rebels uniform, and using this thought as motivation, they delivered.  Ganshirt once again proved to the league that he can not be beaten in the 1000m.  Connolly has done very well for himself since his leg injury, coming in first for the 2 mile once again.  Senior Chris “Feast” Conley finished right behind, placing second.  Meanwhile, Rockwood’s race in the 600m turned out to be rather controversial.  Allegations have recently surfaced that apparently, a Newton North runner  tripped Rockwood on the second to last turn.  The officials took note of the incident but did not implement a foul.  If the foul was called, Rockwood would have been awarded first place and the Newton North runner would have been disqualified.  Instead, Rockwood finished second.  And as for Murtagh, although he didn’t quite match his performance during the soccer season, he still had an impressive year.  He finished second in the 55HH in his final race.  Senior Joey Petruzziello suffered an unfortunate end to his season, pulling his right hamstring at the very end of the 55m.  The remaining points for the meet came from the assorted underclassman.

Juniors Connor McCarthy and PJ Hayes are viewed as the future of Walpole Track.  These two combined for 25 out of the team’s total 43 points.  McCarthy has been competing since his freshman year and has progressed every year since.  He came in first in both the Long Jump and 55HH, and PR’d in the Long Jump with a distance of 20’5  1/2″.  He also came in third for the 55m with a PR 6.95 seconds.  Then there’s Hayes, who has been a storyline over these past couple meets.  Having never run track before this year, he was arguably Walpole’s best runner.  He did exceptionally well in every race he ran, obtaining at least one first place finish in each.  In his first attempt at running the 300m, Hayes ran a 36.27, coming just short of the school record.  Immediately after and without any rest, Hayes then hustled over to the 55m.  As expected, Hayes won it with ease. “It was a gutsy performance,” said Petruzziello in reference to Hayes’ efforts.

The Rebels Indoor Track season this year was an overall success.  Although they came up short of their goal of an undefeated season, their performance was certainly above average and they finished with a respectable record of 5-1, as well as a second consecutive Herget Championship.  Not only that, they have finished this season with high hopes and great prospects for next year’s team.