Poor Brittany Pandolph.
The 2010 Tewksbury High graduate has barely settled in at Bentley University, and already the school record she set in the javelin toss last spring has been shattered.
Blame , the TMHS senior javelin specialist, for erasing Pandolph's record less than a year after it was set. Caprio fired off a monster toss of 123' 8" in Dracut Wednesday afternoon, besting Pandolph's old mark by 10 inches and sparking the Tewksbury High girls track team to an 86-59 win over Dracut High.
"It's funny," said. "Sometimes school records will last 10 or 12 years, and sometimes they come in clusters. Usually when they come in clusters it's part of a good work-out group, and both Pandolph and Caprio were part of the same group last year."
Caprio's assault on Pandolph's record was steady and certain this year. She opened the season by tying her personal best throw of 116 feet against Lowell, and marched steadily toward the record over the past month. She threw 115' 6" into a strong head wind against Notre Dame and Lawrence two weeks ago, and then tossed a 119' 10" bomb at the Class B Relays at Whitman-Hanson High School nine days ago, teaming up with Rebecca Clark and Courtney Spinelli to set a meet record that day.
So to Byrnes, it comes as no surprise that Caprio broke the TMHS record on Wednesday.
"It's kind of a good thing she got it out of the way," Byrnes said. "She's been so close so many times that it was almost inevitable. You don't want kids just thinking about setting a record. Now going forward she can just concentrate on good javelin technique."
With no distractions, and two dual meets, the league championship meet and the state meets left on the schedule, there's no telling what Caprio can do over the next few weeks, according to Byrnes.
"The sky's the limit for her," Byrnes said. "She's got a big arm and she's been throwing the javelin for three consecutive years. She's really been the best javelin thrower in the MVC all year. That doesn't guarantee you anything, but it's good to be in her position."
Caprio's record-setting toss overshadowed a number of other strong individual and team performances for Tewksbury on Wednesday.
Teamwise, the win was Tewksbury's fifth straight in dual meets. At 5-0, the Redmen have clinched at least a share of the MVC Division 2 title. A win against Billerica next week would give the Redmen the title for the eighth straight year.
Individually, junior speedster Jess Bridle ran a lightning fast 59.1 in the 400 meters to win that race, and senior All-American Leanne Tucker returned to her favorite race, the 800 meters, and cruised to an easy win.
Tucker, who ran the sixth fastest 800 time in the nation as a junior, clocked 2:22.6 on Thursday, which is 12 seconds slower than her personal best. But it was still a good sign that Tucker has finally returned to full health after a winter leg injury, according to Byrnes.
"She looked completely in control," Byrnes said. "I think she's 100 percent back in the sense that she looked like she was running without thinking about it, without a ton of concern."
Bridle's race was a showdown against Dracut's Kim Forance, who was one of the MVC's top 600-meter runners in indoor track this winter.
"She had good competition today," Byrnes said. "Forance pulled right up next to Jess with 150 (meters) to go and Jess just put on a mad dash and won it. The 12.5 she did in the 100 the other day was pretty impressive, but I'd say this was her best run of the season."
Junior throwing specialist also had a banner day, winning the shot put with a toss of 31' 10" and winning the discus with a toss of 97' 6". Junior sprinter Sarah Hogan also had a strong day, leading a sweep in the 100 meters with a winning time of 12.9 seconds. Senior and junior Allie Luppi took second and third.
It wasn't all about the upperclassmen, though, as freshman Kelly Quigley represented the youngsters well by winning two events. Quigley cleared 31'6" in the triple jump on her final attempt to win that event, then turned in a 1:10.5 clocking in the 400-meter hurdles to win that event.
Sophomore Devin Kelly was equally as impressive, setting a personal best of 9' 0" in the pole vault to lead a sweep of that event. Kelly's PR was a full foot better than her previous best. Sophomore Amanda Cossar and freshman Aly Spencer took second and third. Spencer also took a third in the 100-meter hurdles, with senior Lauren Andella second. Andella was also second in the triple jump.
The 4x100 meter relay team of Liz Marchand, Meaghan Blaisdell, Luppi and Sedgwick took first place.
Freshman Sara Semenza took a second in the 800 meters and freshman Olivia Boudreau took third in the two-mile. Clark (105'0") and Spinelli (100') teamed up with Caprio to sweep the javelin, while senior Sarah Reynods took second in both the shot put and discus. Spinelli was third in the discus.
Sydney Paolella had a third in the shot put and Emily Parker was third in the mile.