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Girls’ Track Preview: Lunenburg Up To Old Business Vying for Titles

LUNENBURG – With the return of veteran coach Steve Kyajohnian, all league foes know that the Lunenburg High girls’ indoor track and field team will be in the thick of things when it comes to league titles and this year is no different. 

The Blue Knights are young in a sense with 4 seniors, but experienced in a sense with top end talent. Expectations, with a new format for the regular season, are that Lunenburg and Littleton will battle tooth and nail for the Mid Wach C crown this season. 

“We’ve got quality kids in every event,” Kyajohnian said. “If we stay healthy we should be in the thick of things, definitely at the league and district level. At the state relays we’ve come in the top 3 the last 4 or 5 years, state meet the same thing we’re right there, third, fourth, not that far behind. I think if we can stay healthy and get better in some of these technical events I think we can give a run at the state’s too. We’ve got a lot of depth in the middle areas, and you can never have enough depth there, and it definitely helps you.”

Lunenburg is a nice mix of experienced veterans and some new impact athletes that will make major contributions to the Blue and White’s efforts. The majority of the team is juniors, sophomores, and freshman with a year at least ahead of them to reach their peak performance, but that doesn’t mean that this season is a developmental or learning one by any means. 

“We have a handful of kids coming off of cross country, soccer, and field hockey,” Kyajohnian said. “A lot of the kids did something in the fall to carry over into the winter. There’s a new format in the league this year, there are no dual meets… they’re like invitationals. We’re pretty healthy right now, and have a few kids banged up. Those are just little knicks and crannies, for the most part we’re healthy, and if we stay healthy, I’m trying to get the kids geared up for the bigger meets that are at Reggie and the league, and district level.”

Littleton has as much depth as Lunenburg and should be an interesting title contender when it comes to the league championship. A master tactician, scouting opponents will become more difficult without dual meets, but Kyajohnian is up to the challenge. Quabbin Regional and Hudson have some front-runners that’ll disrupt the title contention, but it’s likely going to come down to the Tigers and Knights. 

In total, Lunenburg has a roster of 46 strong with the junior class being the largest. Carli Stanford has some big meet potential in the 55-meter dash, but will likely start the early portion of the season working on the longer sprints. Stanford owns the school record in the 300m, with a 41.63, breaking a 41.85 set by Chelsea Hudson in 2009. 

Reese Haefner, Alexa Jenkins, and Liz Morton will represent key contributors in the short distances and 4x200m relay. Brielle Spleen is a highly touted 7th grader in the sprints, who is the daughter of Lunenburg legend Brandi Green. 

Stanford has been leading the longer sprints. Sophie Sprague took a couple years off from track but returns as an impact veteran in the long sprints. Emma King, Anita White, Katelyn Hawley will be the major contributors in the event that Lunenburg has the most depth in. 

The mid-distance crew features Rylan Arnold, Olivia Coronella, Casey Corey, and Sophia Viveiros who are all capable of making a big impact in the event. 

The distance crew will circulate between the 1,000m, mile, and 2 mile. Veteran Lauren Long will lead distance efforts. Illiana Thomas and Maddy Sweet should be big distance factors, while Jill Dionne is a star 7th grader who is already running 6 minute miles. 

Karynne Long leads the hurdles, with Spleen playing second fiddle. Daisy LaFountaine and Addie Jacobs will also contribute. 

King leads the high jump, already clearing 5 feet and aiming for a higher ceiling. Lilia Baril, Morton, and Eve Mabon should also play a factor. 

The shot put is another strength of the team. Sarah Viveiros is the returning league champion, with Jenkins right on her heels. Karynne Long will also be seeing some time in the shot put. Viveiros threw 33 feet last year, and has a best of around 31 this year, with Jenkins having a 2023-24 best within inches. 

Stanford and Karynne Long are highly accomplished long jumpers to look out for. Karynne Long is aiming for the pentathlon toward the end of the season, so will serve as a jack of all trades, dabbling in a number of events. 

The 4x400m relay with Arnold, King, Coronella, and Stanford already has a school record to boast as they set it last week with a 4:18.86 at the Speed Classic. 


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