Walpole Track and Field Team Excel at Massachusetts Invitationals


Two Walpole runners race in the 2 mile.

Gina Conti

Two Walpole runners race in the 2 mile.

The Walpole Boys and Girls Track and Field team has just begun the core of their season with invitational meets every weekend.  The Division II State Relay meet, the Freshman Sophomore meet and the Weston Twilight meet have started the perpetual meets throughout April and May.

The Division II State Relay Meet was held on April 29, at Whitman Hanson Regional High School.  The boys had a successful day with a first place on the track, a new school record, and a total of 3 medals.   Juniors Connor McCarthy, PJ Hayes, Kemble Lindh, and Billy Rockwood, together,  joined to run a successful 4×100  to PR with a time of 44.72.   The 4×100 squad is now seeded second in the Bay State League, behind Natick.  Coach Kevin Butera is setting up a few of the best hurdlers in the state, juniors Connor McCarthy, and Mike Habib and seniors Conor Murtagh, and Taka Kondo.  The 4×110 shuttle hurdle relay team placed second overall with a time of 1:04.60.  The top four distance boys ran an outstanding 4×800 relay with a PR of 8:25:09.  Sophomores Jon Kelland, Anthony DiVirgilio, and seniors Chris Conley, and Zach Ganshirt all managed to split under 2:10:00.  Ganshirt, the anchor, managed to split a 2:02 to grasp  fifth overall.  The team not only placed fifth overall, but smashed the Walpole High School record by five seconds.

The girls who competed in the  sprinting and throwing  events were very favorable for the Rebels with the amount of PR’s and places the athletes were able to achieve.  The girls discus and long jump  came in third and fourth to earn the Rebels with two medals.  Junior Michelle Monahan, and seniors Steph DeSantis, and Lizzy Almeda set the second school record of the day with a combined throw of 256-05 feet.  The javelin team did not medal but fortunately DeSantis, Monahan, and senior Suzy Gallivan came in 10 out of 19 teams.  Gallivan managed to launched a throw of 94′ 2.71 feet to qualify for the Division II state meet.  The long jump group of senior Erin McCathy, junior Maddy Shea, and sophomore Savonna Small-Brown jumped to third place with an overall leap of 45-05.75 feet.  Almeda, McCarthy, Small-Brown and Shea also ran a 4×100 relay.  The team came in 7 overall with a trip and fall at the finish line, which prevented the girls to earn a medal.  However, the girls did manage to PR to run a time of 52.42.  Like the boys, the girls also ran a 4×800 relay with junior Megan Peterson, sophomores Gina Conti and Gabbi Petruzziello, and freshman Lucy Lynch.  The team did not place but did fortunately qualify for the Division II state meet.

On May 5, both the Freshman Sophomore meet and the Weston Twilight were held for underclassmen and upperclassmen.  At the Freshman Sophomore meet only one medal was brought home, but had a total of 16 PRs, both boys and girls. In the 2 mile, Sophomore boys, Pat Connell, Mike Van Der Linden, and John Barry ran PR’s, aswell as the two sophomore girls, Mackenzie Wilson and Kristen Coyne.  Coyne not only PR’ed by 10 seconds, but also qualified for the Division II State Meet, with a time of 12:24.87.  In the Mile, sophomore Megan Jenkins ran a 7 second PR with a time of 5:53.  Fellow teammate, Lucy Lynch also ran a successful mile with a time of 5:51.  Freshman Brendan Wohler ran a 7 second PR in the mile with a time of 5:00.01.  In the 800m race, sophomore Gina Conti earned a first place medal for the Rebels with a time of 2:20, a second off of her PR.  Sophomore Jon Kelland also PR’ed in the 800 to run a 2:09.  In the shot put, sophomore Ana Orfanidis threw a PR of  28-02.50 feet.  And sophomore Olivia O’Hara leaped to a PR in triple jump, with a  30-05.00 foot jump.

The continuation of PR’s and successfull races carried onto the track in Weston that night.  Senior Zach Ganshirt led the Rebels in the 2 mile with a 6 second PR to get a time of 9:47.45.  Although Ganshirt did PR, the stars of the meet were undeniably the sprinters.  2 meet records were broken in the 100m dash, by junior PJ Hayes and in the 110m hurdles set by junior Conor McCarthy.  Hayes won the 100m dash with a time of 11.05 seconds.  McCarthy also ran a PR, with a winning time of 15.06.  Older sister, Erin McCarthy did not break the 200m dash record but did manage to place first in the final heat with a PR of 26.42.  In the throwing events,  Junior Michelle Monahan threw discus with a throw of 97-07 feet.  Monahan did not PR, but placed sixth overall.

The Rebels will continue with their post season meets with the Coaches Invitational, Bay State League Meet, and the Division II State Meet, throughout the month of May.