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Ayer Shirley Boys’ Track Claims Mid Wach D Title

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BOSTON – The Ayer Shirley Regional boys’ indoor track and field team knew that they were in for a fight in last Sunday’s Mid Wach D league championship meet. Projected to finish second and seemed heading that way after a couple of bad early twists of fate, the Panthers righted the ship with two unexpected first place performances in the 600-meter run and the shot put, which turned the tides for a league title victory. 


Ayer Shirley Regional won the meet with 110 points, followed by Clinton in a close second with 102.5 points. Bromfield 72 points, Narragansett Regional 48 points, Maynard 28 points, and Murdock 10.5 points rounded out the scoring. 


“It was a great meet,” acting Ayer Shirley Regional boys’ indoor track and field head coach Andrew St. Germaine said. “On paper we weren’t supposed to win the meet, so we were going into it thinking that it was going to go down to the last event. A lot of things didn’t go our way right off the start, but once things kind of started settling down, we had some big point scorers that we didn’t think we’re going to step up and score. Our meet was won by underclassmen, basically, which we weren’t expecting. We had been unfortunate, a disqualification of the best 600-meter runner, but one of our juniors stepped up and ended up taking the event.”


Junior Jacob Teo had a busy day. Teo claimed first place overall in the 600-meter run (1:26.58) which marked a personal best, second place in the 1000m (2:51.78) and placed sixth in the high jump for a 19 point individual effort. 


“(Teo) catapulted us to the win,” St. Germaine said. “He is definitely coming along as an athlete. He split 52 low in the 400m the other day, he ran a 1:26 all alone in the 600m which was impressive. I coach Jacob, and we had a game plan going into it. He’s super coachable and listens to everything that goes on and this is his first indoor year… He ran in the unseeded heat and won by almost 30 seconds in that heat. In the 1,000m we told him to ride Noah Carvelli the whole race then go the last lap.” 


Kondwani Obison’s goal was to hit exactly where he is at this point of the season, which translated into a first-place performance in the shot put with a toss of 38 feet 6 inches. 


“(Obison) was seeded fifth or sixth going into the day,” St. Germaine said. “We started transitioning Obi to the glide, and he really clicked, and he threw I believe a 4-foot personal record. He had a throw over 40 feet, but he fouled it on the line. Without him (finishing) ahead of the two Clinton kids we don’t win the meet.”


Sprinting depth didn’t amount to any gold medals, however for the Panthers it sure amounted to a large quantity of multiple scorers. The 55-meter dash crew saw Danae Arnold (6.89), Arthur Ribeiro (6.94), and Kayden Srey-phan (7.21) finished fourth through sixth. Lukas Biddle (9.82) and Mathias Paillard (9.93) finished fifth and sixth in the 55m hurdles. 


The all-potent 300m dash crew saw Ribeiro (36.01), James Churchill (36.13), and Cole New (38.58) finish second through fourth consecutively. 


“I’m very blessed with my sprint crew,” St. Germaine said. “They work hard day-in and day-out. I would say they never take a day off, they work super hard and are committed. They bought into my philosophies of coaching. I’ve been coaching (Ribeiro) the last three years since he came from Woburn, and ever since he’s come he’s bought-in. He’s seeded second in the state in Division 5 in the 300m. But our depth is crazy in that event. For a small school we have four kids under 52 in the 400m. James Chuchill we got from basketball and he’s an amazing kid. He plays baseball in the spring so I’m just so happy we had this year with him.”


The 1,000m was a greatly generous source of points, as in addition to Teo, Noah Carvelli (2:55.09), and Aidan Reed (2:56.79) finished third and fourth.


Jack Holden held down a respectable second place in the mile (5:00.85).  Nate Baptista took third in the 2 mile (11:13.93) while Cole Heinle-Kleczka placed fifth (11:50.75). 


“Holden ran a huge PR in the mile,” St. Germaine said. “I think it was maybe 12 second PR and scored us a lot of points in the mile. It was a huge day for the distance crew, and we weren’t expecting them to place that high.”


The Ayer Shirley 4x200m relay finished second (1:37.87), the mile relay took fourth (3:54.81), and the 4x800 placed second (10:00.03). 


Paillard took fourth in the high jump (5-02) in addition to Teo’s sixth, and claimed fourth in the shot put (33-11.50). 


“As a team we set three goals right when we started this year,” St. Germaine said. “It was to win league’s, take a shot a district’s and try to win district’s, and make a run at a state title. We’re 1 for 3 right now hitting those goals, it definitely wasn’t the way that I planned the league meet going. But honestly looking back on it, the way that it all shaped out, I feel like it made our team hungrier for district’s. We’re very humble, but we have a very confident group of boys.”

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