Kirby Sets Meet Record, Redmen Take Fourth At MVC Championships
Richard Kirby's record-setting performance in the 400-meter hurdles leads to strong Tewksbury showing.
Tewksbury High all-purpose man Richard Kirby had his sights set on two possible first place finishes at the Merrimack Valley Conference track and field championships in Lowell Saturday night.
So when the first opportunity -- in the pole vault -- didn't bear fruit, Kirby took it out on the competition.
The senior sprinter/hurdler/jumper/vaulter blew away the field in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, setting a new meet record with a time of 56.34 seconds, to lead Tewksbury to a fourth place finish in the meet.
"He and I were both a little disappointed in his pole vault results," TMHS coach Steve Levine said after Kirby took fourth in that event at 12'0". "But I told him to shake it off, because he had another event to run. And he did. He went out and ran a dominating performance in the 400 hurdles. I was very impressed with the way he bounced back."
Kirby's MVC meet record in the 400 hurdles sparked a strong performance from the Tewksbury team, which finished fourth overall in the meet with 95 points. Lowell won the meet with 156 points followed by Central Catholic (153.5) and Andover (107).
Kirby's record-setting time of 56.34 broke former Tewksbury High track star Kevin Pitts MVC and school record of 56.57, set at the MVC Championship meet two years ago in 2009. In addition to Kirby's victory in the 400 hurdles and fourth place finish in the pole vault, the senior speedster also ran a leg on Tewksbury's 4x100-meter relay team that took second place.
"No question Kirby was our standout," Levine said. "He's just stepping up as an athlete. He's going to be a phenomenal performer at UMass-Lowell next year."
Tewksbury had a slew of top performers on Saturday. Senior sprinter Anthony Arcari took second place in the 100-meter dash in 11.08 seconds. Andover's Pat Farnham won that event in 10.94.
Senior throwing specialist Dan Sugrue also had an impressive day, throwing a personal best 49' 9.75" in the shot put to take third place. That toss represented Sugrue's personal best by almost three feet.
Sugrue also took seventh in the javelin at 151' 6".
"We weren't even sure Sugrue was going to compete because he had a sore shoulder," Levine said. "But he went out there and threw a PR by over three feet. He beat out two Methuen kids who have been beating everybody this year."
Senior high jumper Stefan Monteiro also had a big day, clearing a personal best 5'11' to take third in that event. Monteiro also took fifth in the triple jump.
"He (Monteiro) came to play, his performance was fantastic,' Levine said.
Sophomore Christian Taylor took third in the discus at 125'5" and senior Ryan Vibber placed in two events, taking fourth in the triple jump at 41'6.25" and sixth in the 110-meter hurdles at 16.52.. Sophomore Cory Cataldo took third in the long jump at 19'6" and ran fifth behind Kirby in the 400-meter hurdles.
"Cataldo is the next Kirby," Levine said. "He can do a lot of things. Between Kirby, Vibber and Cataldo we've got three great all-around athletes."
Senior Pat Bernardo took sixth in the 200-meter dash in 23.86, while sophomore Brian Amaral took eighth in the mile run at 4:41.46. Senior Colin Foley was seventh in the 800 at 2"02.14. Junior George Kuegler was fifth in the 110-meter hurdles in 16.52.
Tewksbury's 4x100-meter relay team of Bernardo, Kirby, John DiGiorgio and Arcari took second place in 44.93 seconds. The 4x400-meter relay team of Cataldo, DiGiorgio, Brandon Weiss and Craig Tino ran sixth in 3:43.42.
Tewksbury's 4x800-meter relay team of Foley, Nick Parsons, Amaral and Kip Horahan finished fifth.