If the rest of the Merrimack Valley Conference held out hope that the was going to slow down the Tewksbury High girls track team this spring, those hopes were dashed in a hurry on Wednesday.
Jess Bridle and Lisetta Jacintho won two events each while Andrea Caprio and Sarah Hogan also recorded impressive wins as the Tewksbury High girls thumped Lowell, 84.25-60.75 in the season's opener for both clubs at Cawley Stadium.
"It's a tough to predict what you have going into the first meet of any season," TMHS head coach John Byrnes said. "But considering how little we've been on the track before today, we had no idea what to expect. So we're real happy with the results we got.
"This is a team that beat us up pretty good indoors this winter, too," Byrnes added. "So it's a pretty good start to the season."
Jacintho and Bridle, both juniors, made sure of that with two powerhouse performances. Jacintho blew away her previous personal best in the shot put by over two feet and cracked the 36-foot barrier for the first time in her career to win that event. Then the defending Merrimack Valley Conference discus champion crushed her personal record in the discus by over seven feet with a toss of 103 feet to win that event.
"Lisetta had a monster day," Byrnes said. "That's the best discus throw I've seen since I've been with the program. She really came out of the box swinging."
Bridle, the defending MVC 400 meter champion from last spring, showed there will be no let-up this year as she cruised to an easy win in the 400 in 62.0. Bridle also won the long jump at 14 feet, nine inches.
Caprio, a senior, was the top returning javelin thrower in the conference. She picked up where she left off in 2010 by matching her personal best with a throw of 116-feet, just six feet shy of the school record set by Brittany Pandolph last season.
"I don't think I've ever had a kid open up the season at 116 feet," Byrnes said.
Hogan tied her personal best with a 12.9 second clocking in the 100 meters, edging out Lowell's highly-regarded Sima Soun in that event.
"She ran a great race into a big wind and beat one of very best sprinters in the league," said Byrnes of Hogan.
Tewksbury took first place in all seven field events, as senior Kim Fairweather won the high jump at 4-feet, 7-inches, and freshman Kelly Quigley won the triple jump at 31-1.5. Three Tewksbury athletes, freshman Aly Spencer and sophomores Devin Kelly and Amada Cossar finished in a three-way tie for first place in the pole vault.
"Winning every field event was the key for us," Byrnes said.
Tewksbury fared almost as well in the running events, too, as senior speedster Ashley Toland won the 400 meter hurdles in 70.2 seconds, and junior Laura Patriarca won the 800 in 2:32. Patriarca also took second in the two mile at 12:09.2.
Senior Lauren Andella took third in the 100 meter hurdles and second in the triple jump, while Courtney Spinelli (second) and Rebecca Clark (third) teamed up with Caprio to sweep the javelin.
Freshman Ashley Callahan took second in the high jump with Jen Iannucci third. Ally Lupi was second in both the high jump and the 200 meters, while Sarah Reynolds took third in the shot put.
Meaghan Blaisdell took third in the 400 meters while Kelly Quigley took third in the 400 meter hurdles.
"We've got some good kids," Byrnes said. "We can get a little stronger, but given the situation that's been thrown at them, this was a good start."
Lowell Boys Nip Tewksbury
In spite of a frustrating, 74-71 loss to Lowell, there were plenty of bright spots for
"We had our chances," Levine said. "But a few little slip ups here and there cost us. It's not always the last race that decides a close meet like this. A couple more inches in a couple of events early in the meet could have done it for us."
The good news is that senior sprinter in March, and he looked more than healthy.
Arcari blew away the field in both the 100 and 200 meters, taking easy victories in both events.
"He looked good," Levine said. "We're hoping this gets his confidence back, because when he's healthy, there's no one around who can beat him."
"It (the hamstring) felt fine," Arcari reported. "I feel like I can go all out now."
also had a standout day, taking first place in the 400 meter hurdles and the pole vault, and finishing second in the 100-meter hurdles.
"Kirby had another great day," Levine said. "He's a great athlete, he really is. He can do so many events."
Senior thrower Dan Sugrue also had one of the best days of his career, winning both the javelin throw and the shot put. Sophomore Christian Taylor won the discus toss and the mile relay team of Roy Felix, Criag Tino, Johnny DiGiorgio and Colin Foley took first place.
Sophomore Cory Cataldo won the long jump and finished second in the triple jump. The 4x100 meter relay team of Stefan Monteiro, John DiGiorgio, Ryan Hartnett and CJ Sutherland won their event. Monteiro also took second in the high jump.
Jerry Etienne was third in the discus and Colin Foley took third in the pole vault. Pat Bernardo took second in the 100.
"We ended up winning 10 of the 17 events," Levine said. "But they mangled us in the distance events. They're a great distance team. They were state runners-up in cross country.
"But we made it up in other areas, so overall, I'm impressed with our team's performance," Levine added. "If we can compete this well against a strong Division 1 team like this, I think we're in contention for another (MVC) Division 2 title."