Seconds Story: Slimmest of Margin Separates the Girls Track Team from a Winning Record

Track is a sport of inches and seconds and the 2-4 record of the Revere High girls track team thsu far this season is literally seconds and inches away from being 4-2.

“Our league was realigned this year to give smaller teams a better chance to compete against schools their size,” said RHS head coach Peter DiGiulio. “I went into the season very hopeful that we would be more competitive than in years past and that’s exactly what has happened. We have a great nucleus of young athletes. We have 19 freshmen and sophomores. The few upperclassmen  have made great contributions with four of our top six scorers being juniors and seniors.”

Senior  Marisa Parent has been the anchor of the Lady Patriots this season.  The senior captain competes  in four events and scores in all of them. Marisa has amassed 74 points and has set a school record in the 200 dash with a time of 27.1 She also has run a top-10 time in the state in the 100 dash with a time of 12.77 which qualified her for the State Meet in late May. Parent also long jumps over 15 feet and triple jumps over 31 feet, both of which are within striking distance of school records.

Another senior captain, Briana Scata, has been solid in the shot put and discus and set a school record in the discus with a toss of 87-1 against Saugus in April.

Senior Captain Sara Boukdad has been steady in both hurdle events and has scored 21 points so far. “The remaining seniors, Kassandra DiGitale, Becky Coots, Amel Derras-Chouk, and Lindsay Chorlian have all scored and have contributed to whatever success we’ve had this year,” noted DiGiulio.

Junior Racquel MacDonald, last year’s top point scorer, has been slowed by a devastating knee injury she suffered during the field hockey season. Though she hasn’t been able to hurdle (she is the RHS record holder in the 100 meter high hurdles), Racquel has continued to score in the high jump and has stepped in and done a super job in the 400, coming within a second of the school record. Junior Chanyce Kane has done well in the triple jump, and Mondy Telfort has played a versatile role,  running in the 100, 200, and 4 x100 relay at different times when needed.

The Lady Patriots also have an impressive and talented group of freshmen and sophomores who have stepped up and made major contributions to the team, scoring 147 points among them.

This group is led by sophomore Caitlyn Caramello, who has registered 40 points and has been a steady scorer in the two mile, high jump, and 4 x 400 relay. “Caitlyn is a tireless worker who will be a force on this team for two more years,” said DiGiulio.  Her personal record (PR) of 4-8 in the high jump also is one of the best in the Northeastern Conference this season.

Another sophomore, Noelle Galli, seems to set a PR every meet in the discus and shot put, and scores consistently in both events. Other sophomores who have made solid contributions are Danielle Smith in the shot put and javelin, Jen Dandrow in the triple jump, Brianna Alimonti in the discus and javelin, and Maggie DiPlatzi in the mile and two mile. “All  of these girls work hard, have improved steadily, and have scored varsity points,” noted DiGiulio.

“We also have an intriguing group of freshmen and first year sophomores who have been valuable to the team and have exhibited a work ethic that I haven’t seen in a young group in many years,” the coach continued.. “Jen Fajardo and Cassandra DiBella have stepped right in and contributed since day one. Fajardo has impressed, especially in the triple jump where she consistently jumps over 28 feet  and also runs a leg in the 4 x 100 relay. DiBella is feeling out different events, and has participated and scored in the varsity high jump, long jump, and 100 and also runs the anchor leg of the 4 x 100 relay. Both Jen and Cassandra are exceptionally coachable and have great potential in this sport.”

Other freshmen who have performed well so far this season are Nikki Nelson in the distance races; Victoria Guarino, who conisitently lowers her time in the 800; Taylor O’Neil, another 800 runner; Tatiana Cox, a versatile runner in the sprints; and Brenda Rudecindo, who has steadily improved in the 100 meter hurdles and runs on the 4 x 100 team.

Some other freshmen performers have been Herlinda Fernandez, Yulia Santa, and Natasha Pacheco, who have run distance events, and Michelle Rokki, Ivonne Zapata, Savy Kep, and Jacquiline Rosario, all of whom are aspiring point scorers in the sprint races.

In the field events, Antonia Robinson (javelin), Katie Tuck (discus), and Allie Sabella (shot and disc) have been working hard and showing constant improvement with frequent PR efforts.

Two first year sophomores who have been pleasant surprises are Dayna Brown, who has been the top javelin thrower, second best sprinter, and runs a leg in the 4 x 100, and who has scored in the long jump, and Alanna Pasco, who has emerged as the team’s top 800 runner and seems to lower her time each time that she runs.

Finally, Valentina Lopez is another first year sophomore who has run both long and short distances at different times during the season.

Two of the losses for the Lady Patriots (who are 2-4 overall and 2-2 in their division) came on the last race of the day, the 4 x 400 relay, to Saugus and Winthrop. “A couple of seconds or inches and we could easily be 4-0 and leading our division,” noted DiGiulio.

In the opening meet loss to Saugus, Revere had a number of personal records  highlighted by a 28-11 triple jump by freshman Jen Fajardo; an 82-1 javelin throw by sophomore Brianna Alimonti; a 66-7 discus toss by Senior Captain Becky Coots; and an RHS school record discus throw by Senior Captain Briana Scata which also qualified her for the State Meet.

“Though the outcome (a 69-68 loss) wasn’t what we would have liked, I saw good effort from many of our young kids in their inaugural meet,” said DiGiulio.

In the Lady Pats’ first victory against a much improved Lynn Classical squad, Revere had 12 PRs,  not the least of which was Marisa Parent’s spectacular 100 time of 12.77 which is one of the top five or six so far in the state this spring and the fastest 100 time for Revere in more than 15 years.

“What made it even more incredible was that it was the first time that she has ever run the event,” noted DiGiulio. Marisa also won the triple jump, another new event for her, with a jump of 31-2.75, which is mere inches from the RHS record in the event. Other stand out performers against Classical included Captain Kassandra Digitale, Alanna Pasco, and Victoria Guarino who finished 1-2-3 in the 800; Briana Scata and Noelle Galli finishing 1-2 in both the shot and disc; Maggie DiPlatzi and Caitlyn Caramello running 1-2 in the two mile; and Sara Boukdad with PRs and second place finishes in both hurdle races.

Important third place finishes, in a close meet where every point was vital, were turned in by Jen Fajardo in the 200, Brenda Rudecindo in the 100 hurdles, and Dayna Brown in the 100 and the javelin. Perhaps the most important performance of the day came in the 4 x 400 relay, which Revere needed to win to to bring home the victory. The relay team consisted of Racquel MacDonald, Caitlyn Caramello, Kassie Digitale, and a stirring anchor effort by Amel Derras-Chouk, who made up a 30 yard deficit on the final lap to nip the Classical girl at the finish and secure the first win of the season.

The next meet against Winthrop (run at the Saugus track because neither Revere nor Winthrop have regulation home tracks) was back and forth all day and was far and away the most exciting meet of the year. Revere had many outstanding efforts to keep it close including Caramello and DiPlatzi finishing 1-2 in the two mile; Marisa Parent winning three events and finishing second in another, and in the process tying her own school record in the 200 with a time of 27.1; Racquel MacDonald running a personal best time of 65.3 in the 400 (which is only a second and a half off of the RHS record in the event); Scata and Galli scoring 16 combined points in the shot and discus; and Brown, Alimonti, and  Smith sweeping the javelin which set the stage for the clutch performance of the day by Caitlyn Caramello.

After coming back from 15 points down with two events to go, the Lady Pats needed to finish first in the high jump to ensure that the 4 x 400 relay would decide the meet. After going back and forth with the Winthrop jumper, Caramello forced a jump-off to decide the winner of the event, and after the Winthrop girl missed at 4-7, Caitlyn calmly cleared the bar to extend the meet to the final race of the day which would decide the winner.

However, for the second time this year the Lady Patriots fell short in the finale with a final score of 72-64. “We showed a lot of resiliency in the comeback and registered 11 personal bests for the day, but just came up short,” said DiGiulio.

Against Lynn English Revere fired on all cylinders in a resounding 92-39 victory. The Lady Pats had 12 first place finishes out of a possible 15. Marisa Parent once again led the way with victories in the 200, triple jump, and long jump. Caitlyn Caramello had two wins in the two mile and high jump. Other blue ribbons went to Sara Boukdad in the 400 hurdles, Brenda Rudecindo in the 100 hurdles with a PR of 19.5, Alanna Pasco in the 800, Briana Scata in the shot put, Dayna Brown with a PR javelin throw of 88-10, and Racquel MacDonald in the 400 with a time of 69.3.

Jen Fajardo had a second in the triple jump (28-6), and a third in the 200 with a PR of 29.7. Amongst the other PRs performances on the day were senior Lindsay Chorlian with a 3:10.5 in the 800, Valentina Lopez with a 16:21.9 in the two mile, and Danielle Smith and Antonia Robinson in the javelin with throws of 74-6 and 58-10 respectively.

“Overall it was a super team effort for our second victory of the season,” said DiGiulio.

In the two non-divisional losses to powerhouses Peabody (against whom Revere scored 42 points, the most ever by a Revere team against Peabody) and Beverly, the Lady Pats registered a combined 16 personal bests including Caitlyn Caramello’s 4-8 high jump effort, Jen Fajardo’s 15-2 long jump, Katie Tuck’s 50-4 discus throw, Noelle Galli’s 72-7 heave in the discus, and Marisa Parent’s school record 200 time of 27.1.

The girls were scheduled to run their final meet of the season this past Monday against Gloucester at Saugus with a chance to end up with a winning record in their division and add to their 77 combined personal records on the season.

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