The Newburyport boys indoor track team surprised itself Friday evening, according to coach Tim Foley, by running off with a Division 4 state championship for the third year in a row.
The Clippers, who finished undefeated and won a Cape Ann League Open title heading into Friday’s meet, pulled away from Old Rochester and Weston in the final two events — the 4x800 and 4x400 relays — to clinch the third consecutive state championship.
“What a wonderful, surprising season for the entire squad and coaches,” Foley said. “Winning our first title in 2011 was so nice because it was the first one. Last year we felt we were a bit stronger than 2011, and we were more optimistic. But this year surprised us all, especially after having so many fine athletes graduated last year.”
Newburyport placed first with 46 points, just ahead of Old Rochester (44) and Weston (42). Newburyport’s 4x800 relay team of Joe Santo, James Nutter, Sawyer Updike and Nick Carleo put the Clippers into a tie with Old Rochester heading into the final event with a second-place finish (8:32.33). Newburyport’s 4x400 relay team of Chance Carpenter, Dan Holbrook, Sam Stansel and Jared Healey placed fifth (3:38.39) to seal the championship.
Carleo won the mile for Newburyport in 4:25.03, a new school record. Steve Preston placed second in the shot put (52-6 1/4). Updike was third in the 1,000 (2:37.56). Santo was fourth in the 2-mile (9:54). Healey was sixth in the 300 (37.27). Chris Orlando placed seventh in the mile (4:42).
“All of the athletes that qualified competed as hard as they have all season,” Foley said. “The end result was a title.”
The 4x800 relay team will advance to the Mass. All-State Championships, as will Carleo in the mile and Preston in the shot put.
Newburyport girls track team member Merri Adsit placed sixth in the shot put (33-5) in the Division 4 Championships. The Clippers’ 4x400 relay team of Bella Palma, Amanda Kenney, Liza Twomey and Katie Gorenflo placed eighth in 4:22. Palma also broke the school record in the 600 (1:42.86).
Amesbury’s Perry Mroz qualified for the All-State Championships by placing third in the shot put (49-0 1/2).