A new division proved to be the same old story for the Newburyport boys indoor track team, who captured their fourth consecutive state championship Wednesday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
The Clippers scored 54 points to win the Division V title for the first time, running away from Old Rochester (34.75) and Hopedale (31.75), who placed second and third respectively.
Newburyport’s previous three championships came at the Division IV level, and this year marked the first time a separate Division V meet was held. The meet included 40 teams from schools of a similar size to Newburyport, though coach Tim Foley said the level of competition was no different than in years past.
“It’s interesting, it’s the same couple of teams,” Foley said. “Old Rochester was always at our throat, they’ve been our biggest nemesis over the past four or five years, so we always have good meets against them.”
Leading the way for Newburyport was Nick Carleo, who placed first in the mile with a time of 4:20.23; the 4x400 relay team of Brendan Byron, James Nutter, Tom Graham and Jared Healey, who ran a season best 3:32.97 to win the championship; and the 4x800 relay team of Tim Englehart, Tyler Newfell, Gabe Ficht and Carleo, who placed first at 8:21.44.
Alec Reduker placed second in the high jump with a new school record jump of 6 feet, 4 inches, and Graham broke his own record in the 600-meter run with a 1:23.62 finish, also good for second place.
Healey also placed fifth in the 300-meter dash with a 37.17 time, Nutter placed seventh in the 600-meter run with 1:28.28 and Ficht placed seventh in the 1,000-meter run with a 2:41.90.
Foley credited the success of his team to all of the athletes, from the underclassmen who stepped up and contributed to the seniors like Healey and Nutter who served as the team’s rocks from day one.