Girls Track Wins Class B Districts

Published in the May 21, 2008 issue of The Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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In the end, it didn't matter that the Nashoba Regional girls' track team came into the District E Class Meets on Saturday with a record of 1-4 and missing four of its top athletes. Somehow, the 15 remaining Chieftains found a way to repeat as Class B champions.

Nashoba finished with 90 points, just ahead of Groton-Dunstable and Blackstone-Millville, which tied for second with 88 points apiece.

“It's exciting for me to see them be rewarded for not giving up throughout the season,” said first-year head coach Dan Glover. “They really did an excellent job.”

The overachieving Chieftains were led by first-place finishes from Stow senior Lindsey Horowitz (1 mile), Stow freshman Emily Clark (100 hurdles), and Bolton junior Alee Wade (100 meter dash). Also placing first were the 4x100 relay team of Clark, Wade, Stow senior Risa Langelo and Julie Heislein (which set a new meet record of 51.12 seconds), and the 4x800 meter relay team of Horowitz, Stow junior Molly Porcher, Stow senior Izzy McKean, and sophomore Kim Jacaruso.

But this was a team win in every sense of the word, with the two points earned by the fifth-place 4x400 relay team (of Jill Perreira, Regina Fenstermaker, Megan Cullinane, and Prudence Bailey) proving to be just as critical as the 10 points earned by each first-place finisher.

Additional contributions came from Langelo (third in 200 meters), McKean (third, 800 meters), Porcher (second, 2-mile run), Heislein (fourth, 100 hurdles), Perreira (fourth, 300 hurdles), Wade (third, triple jump), and Stow freshman Rachel Busch (third, pole vault).

The victory takes some of the sting out of what has been at times a frustrating season for Glover and the Chieftains, who won their first dual meet against Hudson on April 7 but haven't won one since. Some of the matchups were close, like the 75-70 loss to Quabbin on May 5, while others were less so.

But Glover said keeping the girls' spirits up hasn't been an issue.

“They've been motivated all along,” he said. “They've stuck together, they've worked very hard, and our seniors have shown great leadership. And even when they've lost, they've still enjoyed themselves, and that's the most important part anyway.”

Because MIAA rules for tournament meets equalize the playing field for smaller teams like Nashoba's more so than the rules for dual meets, the Chieftain coaching staff knew their girls had a chance to win the district meet despite the team's disappointing dual-meet record.

“We knew we had a shot,” Glover said. “It was kind of a long shot, but we had a shot.”

And though not many rookie coaches have a district championship on their resumes, Glover said it's the girls themselves who deserve all the credit.

“Sure, it's a little validating for a first-time coach, but mostly I'm just so proud of the kids,” he said. “I really struggle with saying anything more than that, because I'm not sure coaching had that much to do with it.”

Next up for the Chieftains is the Mid-Wach League meet, scheduled for 3:30 pm on Thursday at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School. Thanks to Mother Nature, they also have one dual meet remaining, next Tuesday at home against Gardner, before the state qualifying meet on May 31 at Fitchburg State College.

Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239