NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

June 16, 2014

Randall earns All-New England honors; Darsney barely misses All-American

By Mac Cerullo
Sports Editor

---- — Two local athletes finished their high school track careers in style this weekend, as Amesbury senior Marissa Randall placed third in the discus at the New England Championships to earn All New England honors, while Triton senior Kerstin Darsney placed seventh in the high jump at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships in North Carolina, just barely missing out on All-American status.

In addition to Randall, Pentucket’s Ali Attenasio also competed at New Englands, tied for 13th in the pole vault with a jump of 10-3.

Randall threw a personal best 120-10 to finish in the top three at the event, finishing as the top competitor from Massachusetts in the event behind only Taylor Drayton of Oxford High School in Connecticut (132-6) and Morgan Ferland from Fall Mountain High School in New Hampshire (121-8).

She also competed in the shot put, placing 15th in New England with a throw of 36-2. After the meet, Amesbury head coach Ernie Bissaillon said he was proud of her performance.

“Marissa has improved in each of her last three meets, and to throw your best on the biggest high school track and field stage in New England is just tremendous,” Bissaillon said. “Her throwing coach Keith Walton and I are extremely proud of her. It is a great way for her to end her high school career.”

Darsney meanwhile cleared 5-7 3/4 in the high jump to tie for third in the country with seven other competitors. The tiebreaker was the number of faults each competitor had before recording their height, and the way things broke down, Darsney finished seventh, one place short of earning All-American.

Darsney also competed in the triple jump, where she jumped 37-11 1/2 to place 19th in the country. After the meet she said she was happy with her performance in the high jump, even though it was a little disappointing that she missed out on All-American.

“I’m really excited about how I did in high jump, because I didn’t do as well in Indoor, so getting close to my personal best was great,” Darsney said. “Triple jump didn’t go as well as I wanted, but it was close to where it had been, so I’m pretty happy with that too.”

Darsney and Randall had long been established as among the best athletes in their schools’ history, and after this spring they now have some more hardware to show for it. Earlier this spring, Randall won the divisional state championship in the discus (117-9) while also placing second in the shot put (36-0); at All States she placed fifth in the discus (117-1) and eighth in the shot put (37-9) to qualify for New Englands.

Her throw in the shot put at All States was a new school record, marking the sixth or seventh time she had broken the previous record over the course of her high school career. But while her time at Amesbury High School is over, Randall will continue her throwing career next year when she joins the track and field team at Lynchburg College in Virginia.

Darsney, meanwhile, won the All State championship in the triple jump this spring, and next year she will stay closer to home when she competes for UMass Lowell.