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Ayer Shirley Girls’ Track Cruises to Mid Wach D title

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BOSTON – The Ayer Shirley Regional girls’ indoor track and field team put on quite the show in last Sunday’s Mid Wach D league championship meet. Fueled by multiple scorers in a ton of events, a handful of individual winners, and a clean sweep in the relays, the Panthers captured the league crown with relative ease at the Reggie Lewis Center. 

Ayer Shirley was able to run away with the meet with 130.25 points, followed by Bromfield 73 points, and Maynard 63 points. Narragansett Regional 37 points, Clinton 33.75 points, and Murdock 27 points rounded out the scoring. 

“Bromfield is always tough,” Ayer Shirley Regional girls’ indoor track and field head coach Mike Seguin said. “Some of the top girls in our division in the state are in this league. Any time we can pull out a win and get a league title is always a big deal for us, and one of the main goals that we set at the beginning of the year is to win that team league title.”

“Depth won it for us,” Seguin continued. “Individually we only had three first place finishes. But in a lot of the events we were able to get three girls to score. That’s huge. Obviously getting us points but blocking points from other teams. To have that kind of depth shows how hard the girls work and how badly they want to get better and be part of this.”

Ayer Shirley dominated the shot put, with Gabrielle Sweeney (28 feet, 6 inches), Elyza Arnold (28-04), and Laney Arsenault (25-04.50), executing a clean sweep of the top three spots. 

“We went 1-2-3 in the shot put,” Seguin said. “We’ve been slowly coming back (in the shot put). We’ve had some great shot putters in the past but now we’ve got three girls that are working hard, and it’s starting to move up. I think there is still a lot of growth left in them, and they’re going to continue to move forward. But it was great to see them go 1-2-3, sometimes shot put doesn’t get too much notice, they’re the ones working in the weight room or the gym when everyone else is outside doing other things. It’s good for them to have their moment here with probably one of the best performances of the night.”

The Panthers got a huge bump in the 55-meter dash, as Sastea Cherduville won the event with a 7.66 second time, followed by  Chandra Eli-Johnson in third with a 7.86 and J'Aliyah Mayes in fourth with a 8.15. In total it was a 20 point event for the Maroon and White. 

“(Cherduville and Eli-Johnson) are elite runners, they did very well and will continue to move on,” Seguin said. “(Mayes) is a middle schooler who just over the last few years just keeps getting better and better and faster and faster. I think that this year she’s really come into her own for sprinting and she’s going to be the next sprinter that we’ll be talking about in a few years.”

Another 20 point event came in the 55m hurdles. Grace Flanagan won the event with a 9.87, Ada Perwak claimed third (10.03), and Devin Delyani placed fourth (10.40). 

“(The hurdlers) work hard and it’s not easy to balance all the technical work that goes into hurdles along with all the sprint work you have to do,” Seguin said. “Above and beyond being a sprinter you have to find the time for the technical work. Hurdles aren't easy, it takes practice and skill, and all three of these girls really pour themselves into the event, support each other, and work hard for each other.”

The 300m dash was another multi-point event with Eli-Johnson placing second (43.89), Jordan Kosakowski taking third (44.43), and Elizabeth Cruz coming home in fifth place (45.72). 

“The 300m runners work hard,” Seguin said. “Half of them train as sprinters, the other half mid distance. It’s great when you can see these different training formats help each individual girl out in the way that they need it, and to build them into successful runners in different ways. They really shined (Sunday).”

Isabel Bresnahan finished in a close second in the 600m run (1:42.64) and Devon Perwak held down the fourth spot (1:56.92). Carolyn Mason took fifth in the 1,000m (3:28.20), Clara Connors took fourth in the mile (6:31.35). 

“(Bresnahan) is one of the top 600m runners in the district,” Seguin said. “Devon (Perwak) is another middle schooler and this is her best time. She’s been working all year to break two minutes. To have her come through in her last meet is great. What a great morale boost with her entering into high school next year.”

The 4x200m relay claimed the gold medal with a 1:57.58. The mile relay had just as much success with a stellar first place showing and a 4:29.32. The 4x800 also struck gold with an 11:24.00. 

Mayes, Cherduville, Delyani, and Gabby Sweeney made up the 4x200, Lilly Abelson, Kosakowski, Cruz, and Bresnahan composed the mile relay; and Jane Marshall, Marissa Grace, Ada Perwak, and Mason were featured in the 4x800. 

“We had girls spread out (in a number of events), so it wasn’t our top relays for the year, but for who was in there and what they did, they just had phenomenal races,” Seguin said. “The times that they produced were close to some of the best of the season. Everybody in these relays stepped up and performed well.”

There was a four-way tie for fifth place in the high jump, with three Ayer Shirley competitors jumping 4-08. Eli-Johnson, Cruz, and Flanagan were part of the scoring triumvirate. 


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