BEVERLY — Both the Marblehead boys (6-1) and girls (6-1) track teams were unable to come home unbeaten on Thursday evening, falling against Beverly.
The boys team was dealt a tough blow leading up to the meet as three of its star athletes were ruled out on Thursday.
“The boys had some misfortune heading into the meet,” Marblehead track coach Nolan Raimo said.
Despite missing some key athletes, Raimo said he was pleased with his team and their performances. Raimo was impressed with Alexander Hersey’s performance against a tough Beverly hurdler, calling it “the battle of the conference.” Hersey beat Leo Sheriff in the 55-meter hurdles.
“Sheriff is without a doubt the best hurdler in the conference,” Raimo said. “For Alex to beat Leo, it helped put our team out on the right foot.”
A performance that got all the Marblehead supporters off their seats came from senior captain Ryan Thompson in the 1,000-meter race – one that finished in dramatic fashion.
Thomson was in second place and trailing the leader by ~30 meters with 150 meters to go. Thompson started to accelerate and closed the distance. With each stride, the fans got louder and louder, cheering Thompson on as he closed the gap on the leader. As he was approaching the finish line, he just barely edged the Beverly runner to take home first.
“That was incredible,” Raimo said. “It got loud in the gym. Indoor track gets pretty loud.”
Individually, Isaac Gross remained undefeated on the season, winning the 2-mile race.
The girls’ team ran hard, but came up short. Raimo was quick to give credit to Beverly.
“Historically, a very solid team – great distance and great depth. They did very well in the 600-meter, 1,000-meter, and the mile,” Raimo said. “That is where they basically closed out the meet.”
The girls picked up a first and third in the 300-meter behind senior captains Cate Trautman and Claire Davis. Trautman remained undefeated for the Magicians, while Davis, in her first 300-meter race this season, finished third – just 0.2 seconds behind the Beverly runner.
Ava Machado and Sadie Halpern finished first and second respectively in the 55-meter dash to secure points for the Magicians.
“They have been a great ‘one-two punch’ this season in the short sprints,” Raimo said.
Although both the boys and girls had their first losses of the season, Raimo loved what he saw.
“Whether it’s in practice or in a meet, there is a good energy in the air,” Raimo said. “The kids support each other and the coaches support the kids.”
Marblehead will look to get back to its winning ways against Saugus and Peabody on January 22 at 3:30 p.m. at New Balance Track.