D5 State Relays: It’s North Reading Girls, Amesbury Boys!

A nagging back injury forced Pentucket’s Logan Lewis out of gymnastics this winter, but it didn’t dampen her urge to compete in some sport.
Lewis ultimately brought her talents to the Panthers’ indoor team and it’s been new, exciting ground ever since. The sophomore joined her 4×50-meter teammates Wynter Smith, Brighton Seymour and Meaghan Grenham and wound up on top of the podium at Friday’s Div. 5 Coaches Relays. 
The foursome not only came away with a decisive win in 31.60 seconds, but also qualified for the national championships. The Panthers finished comfortably ahead of Amesbury (32.65) and East Bridgewater (32.66).
Lewis said the transition to track has been an exciting one and she’s bonded well with her teammates. “They’ve been awesome and they’ve definitely helped me a lot,” said Lewis. “We talked about it (winning) and qualifying for nationals. They did it last year. I wanted to try something different and wanted to help out the team. In track you’re competing for yourself and the team.”
North Reading’s girls watched calmly as Weston and Pentucket battled atop the standings on the track and infield. 
The Hornets had a pair of early eighth-place finishes, but were quiet in the running events. Their time to make a move was just around the corner. 
North Reading cut loose in a big way with a sweep in the field events and hopscotched over the field to capture the team title with 46 points. 
Giuliana Ligor came up huge with meet-best marks of 17 feet, 10-3/4 inches and 5-0.25 in the long and high jumps, respectively. Hayden MacLellan and Georgia Roberts were part of the long jump crew, and in the high jump, Callie MacLellan and Abigail Lilley garnered gold medals. The lineup of Lilley, Jacquelyn Genzler and Sabrina Mini dominated the shot put circle.
Ligor, the most versatile athlete on the North Reading squad, was confident the Hornets would make a big push as the meet wore on. “We’ve lost some strong athletes, but we have a lot of depth,” said the junior. “My jumping has improved a lot and we knew we could do some damage as a team.”
On the boys’ side, Amesbury and Weston battled for the entire meet, but the Red Hawks clinched the team title by taking second in the 4×400 to hit 47 points. Winner Ayer Shirley (3:29.49) and Amesbury (3:30.58) both broke the meet record.
The Wildcats held on for a solid second-place finish with 42 points. 
The Red Hawks broke three meet records on the day. The 4×50 on the boys’ side was a burner as the top three teams bettered the meet record. The Amesbury lineup of Max Sanchez, Tristan Johnson, Joe Puleo and Mike Sanchez captured the gold medal in 22.42. Triton was a step back (22.47) followed by Weston (22.52).
Mike Sanchez, who ran the anchor leg, said his teammates set him up well for the finish. “Joe (Puleo) took the lead for us,” he said. “I just had to finish what my teammates did. I was here my sophomore year when Randolph won and I knew we had a good chance to win and break the record.”
The Sanchez brothers and Johnson were part of another record-breaking performance as they teamed up with Anthony Aguilar Lopez to erase the previous mark in the 4×200 with a 1:32.85. 
The boys’ sprint medley featured a showdown between Weston and Norwell with the Wildcats edging out the Clippers in a meet record of 3:39.20. Norwell finished in 3:41.40 and Littleton took third with its’ 3:43.06.
Nicolas Barbieri was fighting a stomach bug, but with Noah Lago, Darrell Johnson and Ben Tavares, ran well enough to keep Weston at the front. The record didn’t come as a surprise to the Wildcat captain.
“We had a pretty good idea,” Barbieri said. “I wanted to get the team hyped. We joke around and really like each other. We’re a very close team. I knew as long as I ran 52 (for 400 meters) we’d be ok. I wasn’t feeling good coming into the race.”
Hull’s Chris Resnick had the best effort in the boys’ high jump with a 5-11-1/2 leap, while Kieran Miller of North Reading led all jumpers on the runway with his 19-11-3/4.

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