By Chris Villani
The Nipmuc girls’ track team was bumped up to Division I when the team showed up to compete in the Central Mass. spring track and field meet and the young Warriors’ team responded to the challenges. Nipmuc not only finished third while competing against much larger schools, the squad also broke six program records during the competition.
“There were schools over three times the size of our school, that would scare a lot of other teams but they knew they could do it,” head coach Justin Townsend said. “They knew they shouldn’t cower at that stuff and they showed up and they crushed it, they did great.”
Townsend said freshman Kyah Montano made a strong case for being the top athlete of the day. She broke three school records. Montano set a new mark in the 400 meter run in route to a fourth place finish. Montano also broke the triple jump record, finishing second, and was part of a 4×400 relay team that finished first in record time.
Freshman Julia Lenfest, eighth grader Jessica Casey, and sophomore Lilia Young formed the rest of the record-breaking quartet.
“They are a young, young group, and then won Division I central,” Townsend said, noting that their time also would have been tops in the Division II field. “They are the best in Central Mass. and no one is older than a sophomore. They are a pretty special group.”
Lenfest added a record-breaking performance in the 400 meter hurdle event.
Junior Gianna Yordanopoulos broke the 200 meter record twice and finished fifth in the event. She was also part of a second-place 4×100 relay team along with senior Alyson Casey and sophomores Ava Smith and Casey Keyes.
The seventh-place finish in the 4×800 relay added to Nipmuc’s point total and top-three finish. Junior Emma Nadolski, sophomore Reed Dunster, and freshmen Avery Orff and Gretchen Uthoff checked in under 11 minutes in the event.
The point total for Nipmuc and the times the Warriors put together would have been good enough to emerge as district champions in Division II, which Townsend said was “huge” for the program.
“We are a really good team and we are really young,” he said. “They should be looking forward to a great rest of the season and a great future.”