South Burlington, SJA, Rice track down indoor crowns

South Burlington, SJA, Rice track down indoor crowns


South Burlington, SJA, Rice track down indoor crowns


As South Burlington’s Isaac Girouard was on his way to chucking the shot put six feet further than he’s ever had before, a trio of his teammates made the 55-meter hurdles finals and another Rebel quartet secured the 4-by-800-meter relay triumph.

Then at the close of Saturday’s Vermont high school indoor track state championships, the Rebel boys’ 4×400 relay team roared from behind to snatch victory.

From start to finish, the Rebels were in command, leaving no doubt they would repeat in Division I.

“It was a dream come true in the first hour of the meet,” South Burlington co-head coach Dennis Akey said.

“We knew we were going to win at that point, but we wanted to make a statement (in the final event),” said Nate Bradbury, the Rebels’ other head man in charge.

Winning by more than 100 points, South Burlington rolled up 192 points to secure back-to-back D-I crowns, while St. Johnsbury used a 1-2-3 sweep in the day’s final event, triple jump, to put an end to Essex’s reign and earn the program’s first girls indoor crown.

Mount Mansfield’s Alec Eschholz, center, clears the final hurdle en route to winning the Division I boys 55-meter hurdles on Saturday at Norwich University.

“They are the queens of girls track, no question. It’s just huge to get them — anytime, anywhere,” said St. Johnsbury coach Chip Langmaid of Essex.

And Rice Memorial, a year after the girls copped their first indoor crown, the boys accomplishment the milestone this time around in the Green Knights’ Division II sweep.

“I’m so psyched for those guys because they get the banner in the gym,” Rice coach Mark McKenna said. “And the girls to come back and win again, it’s fantastic.”

U-32’s Olivia Dexter and South Burlington’s Caleb Kasupski were named the track athletes of the year, a coaches’ association award based on a scoring system tracking results throughout the season.

Division I

South Burlington's Caleb Kasupski, right, races alongside Burlington's Ahmed Noor, Rutland's Ben Lane, second from left, and Champlain Valley's Tawn Tomasi en route to winning the Division I boys 55-meter dash on Saturday at Norwich University.

South Burlington’s Caleb Kasupski, right, races alongside Burlington’s Ahmed Noor, Rutland’s Ben Lane, second from left, and Champlain Valley’s Tawn Tomasi en route to winning the Division I boys 55-meter dash on Saturday at Norwich University.

Trailing by two points and with just two events to go, the Hilltoppers forged a tie following their victory in the 4×400 over Essex. With the boys competition all wrapped up, only girls triple jump — Division I and II — remained.

But the drama was short-lived: Bettina Hammer (34 feet, 5 inches), Grace Cooke and Holly Brown nabbed the first three spots, and Essex’s Madison Stephenson, the girls long-jump winner, took fourth for the Hornets’ only points in the event.

The result gave SJA 180 total points to Essex’s 160. South Burlington took third with 60 points.

Hammer’s triple-jump win capped a big afternoon. The SJA junior also won the 600 (1:41.34), placed second in pole vault and was fourth in the 1,000. Katherine Cowan seized first in the 55 hurdles (9.63) and 300 (44.54), and SJA also won the 4×800 to highlight the program’s first track crown since winning the 1981 D-II title.

Essex won six events and kept pace most of the day with SJA — Lucy Sopchak was a key Hornet contributor with the 55 dash win, second in high jump and a leg of the winning 4×200 — in a strong effort in trying to repeat.

“Essex performed beautifully, they had a great day,” Langmaid said. “It takes a tremendous amount of team effort and great individuals to knock them off.”

St. Johnsbury's Annie Cunningham (3) looks to overtake Essex's Rose Monahan during the Division I girls 1,600 meter race on Saturday at Norwich University.

St. Johnsbury’s Annie Cunningham (3) looks to overtake Essex’s Rose Monahan during the Division I girls 1,600 meter race on Saturday at Norwich University.

On the boys side, Girouard won shot put (46-2) with his unlikely personal-best throw — “I’m unpleasantly surprised,” the sophomore said — and the Rebel hurdlers of Brennan Hanson, Declan Quinlan and Nick Knudsen went 2-3-4 in the finals, a great way for South Burlington to begin the title march.

“That is what the whole day has been about. The next-tier guys stepping up like crazy,” Akey said. “That’s why we’ve scored so many points and it’s been so fun to watch.”

But South Burlington’s stars also came through. Cross-country standouts Sean MacDonald, James Gregoire and Joey Staples tracked down first in the 600 (1:26.40), 1,000 (2:47.79) and 1,600 (4:35.49), respectively. Caleb Kasupski, who had a breakout season a year ago, won the 55 (6.76) and long jump (21-7) in a four-event score day.

“From the get-go (this season), we wanted to win, but every team wants to win,” Kasupski said. “We just happen to have the talent.”

Burlington, paced by its 4×200 win and Will Lynch’s triumph in high jump, took second with 81 points, ahead of third-place St. Johnsbury (72).

Division II

Riley Mitiguy, already a state champion in past seasons, put her full attention toward this winter’s indoor track campaign. The senior took a break from club soccer and remained injury-free — and it paid off Saturday.

Mitiguy won the 300 (44.6) and 600 (1:46.04), the latter for the third straight year, but it was her third-place performance in an event out of range that sealed Rice’s repeat in D-II.

In the lead-up to states, McKenna and assistant coach Claudia Pfaff told Mitiguy she was entered in the 3,200.

While it was “tiring,” Mitiguy’s six points in the 16-lapper were crucial. Rice created a cushion and tallied 122 points to second-place Oxbow’s 95.

“I was feeling really sick, but we had to do that to get the points. I had to look at the big picture,” said Mitiguy, who also took fifth in the 55.

Rice's Griffin Cunningham, left, clears the final hurdle en route to edging Thetford's Cole Chapman, right, for the Division II boys 55-meter hurdles championship on Saturday at Norwich University.

Rice’s Griffin Cunningham, left, clears the final hurdle en route to edging Thetford’s Cole Chapman, right, for the Division II boys 55-meter hurdles championship on Saturday at Norwich University.

The Rice boys, meanwhile, had little trouble securing their first indoor crown and first track championship since the 2003 D-II outdoor title. With Thetford, Rice’s chief competitor during the season, relegated as a club team, the Green Knights accrued 118 points to out-distance Fair Haven (52), last year’s champion.

Rice had its share of near misses at state meets, too. The Green Knights lost to Fair Haven last year in the final event and also have settled for runner-up finishes in cross-country in recent years.

“This was big,” McKenna said.

Jordain Williams won the 300 (37.71), took second in the 55 and long jump, while Griffin Cunningham won the 55 hurdles (8.02) and earned second in the 600 to lead the Green Knights. Will LaCroix was Rice’s other event winner, cruising in the 3,200 (10:20.67).

Sam Emerson (first in 55, high jump, leg of winning 4×200) and Cole Chapman (first in long jump, leg of winning 4×400; second in 300) were Thetford’s front-runners. Bellows Falls’ William Moore swept the 1,600 and 3,200.

While a slew of divisional marks fell in Year No. 2 of Division II, only one overall state record was set: Windsor’s Katey Comstock took down a seven-year mark in shot put (38-7.5).

Contact Alex Abrami at 660-1848 or Follow him on Twitter at

* * * * *

H.S. indoor track state championships

At Norwich University


Girls team scores: 1. St. Johnsbury 180; 2. Essex 160; 3. South Burlington 60; 4. Burlington 30; T5. Rutland, Mount Anthony 8; 7. Mount Mansfield 4.

Boys team scores: 1. South Burlington 192; 2. Burlington 81; 3. St. Johnsbury 72; 4. Essex 43; T5. Mount Antony, Mount Mansfield 26; 7. Rutland 13.

Girls top 3 finishers

55-meter dash: 1. Lucy Sopchak, Essex 7.79; 2. Sierra Morton, CVU; 3. Grace Cooke, SJA.

300: 1. Katherine Cowan, SJA 44.54; 2. Jessica Stowe, Essex; 3. Malina Carroll, CVU.

600: 1. Bettina Hammer, SJA 1:41.34; 2. Katie James, Essex; 3. Quinnae Outerbridge, SJA.

1,000: 1. Charlotte Murphy, Essex 3:14.77; 2. Allison Peck, SJA; 3. Kirstin Baldauf, SJA.

1,600: 1. Sophie Watterson, BHS 5:29.97; 2. Annie Cunningham, SJA; 3. Charlotte Boyden, BHS.

3,200: 1. Rose Monahan, Essex 11:57.10; 2. Cunningham, SJA; 3. Watterson, BHS.

55 hurdles: 1. Cowan, SJA 9.63; 2. Stephenson, Essex; 3. Marisa Minadeo, Essex.

4×200: 1. Essex (Minadeo, L. Sopchak, Whitney, Stowe) 1:53.62; 2. CVU; 3. St. Johnsbury.

4×400: 1. St. Johnsbury (Ryan, Douglas, Green, Outerbridge) 4:22.02; 2. Essex; 3. South Burlington.

4×800: 1. St. Johnsbury (Peck, Mulcahy, Douglas, Outerbridge) 10:17.22; 2. Essex; 3. Mount Anthony.

Pole vault: 1. Felisha Olmstead, SJA 7-6; 2. Hammer, SJA; 3. Hannah Poquette, Essex.

Long jump: 1. Stephenson, Essex 15-10; 2. Cameron Peyko, SB; 3. Katherine Yang, SB.

High jump: 1. Sade Hankey, Essex 5-2; 2. L. Sopchak, Essex; 3. Cowan, SJA.

Triple jump: 1. Hammer, SJA 34-5; 2. Cooke, SJA; 3 Holly Brown, SJA.

Shot put: 1. Emylie Rose, South Burlington 34-2.5; 2. Amila Semic, BHS; 3. Megan Kronoff, SB.

Boys top 3 finishers

55-meter dash: 1. Caleb Kasupski, SB 6.76; 2. Ahmed Noor, BHS; 3. Tawn Tomasi, CVU.

300: 1. Gavin Harpin, SJA 37.28; 2. Ismail Liban, BHS; 3. Tomasi, CVU.

600: 1. Sean MacDonald, SB 1:26.40; 2. Daniel Hart, BHS; 3. Kobe Richardson, SJA.

1,000: 1. James Gregoire, SB 2:47.79; 2. Joey Staples, SB; 3. Eric Scharf, Essex.

1,600: 1. Joey Staples, SB 4:35.49; 2. Brandon Moran, SB; 3. Will Jones, SJA.

3,200: 1. Sam Brunnette, NC 9:57.86; 2. Will Jones, SJA; 3. Brandon Moran, SB.

55 hurdles: 1. Alec Eschholz, MMU 7.98; 2. Brennan Hanson, SB; 3. Declan Quinlan, SB.

4×200: 1. Burlington (Woods, Lynch, Liban, Noor) 1:38.75; 2. Mount Anthony; 3. CVU.

4×400: 1. South Burlington (Levite, Staples, MacDonald, Temirov) 3:41.02; 2. Burlington; 3. St. Johnsbury.

4×800: 1. South Burlington (Hall, Le, MacDonald, Dustira) 8:36.61; 2. St. Johnsbury; 3. Essex.

Pole vault: 1. Kyle Baker, Essex 13-6; 2. Kasupski, SB; 3. Andrew Graciano, SJA.

Long jump: 1. Kasupski, SB 21-7; 2. Skyler Hoyt, MAU; 3. Matt Royer, SB.

High jump: 1. Will Lynch, BHS 6-3; 2. Trent Austin, SB; 3. Max Pockette, Rut.

Triple jump: 1. Kevin Desmond, Colc 41-1; 2. Lynch, BHS; 3. Declan Quinlan, SB.

Shot put: 1. Isaac Girouard, SB 46-2; 2. Richard Tegatz, CVU; 3. Taylor Garner, MMU.


Girls team scores: 1. Rice 122; 2. Oxbow 95; 3. Windsor 59; T4. Missisquoi, Lyndon 32; T6. Lake Region, Spaulding 31; 8. Fair Haven 24; 9. Hartford 10; 10. Vergennes 9; T11. Bellows Falls, Chelsea 8.

Boys team scores: 1. Rice 118; 2. Fair Haven 52; 3. Lyndon 45; 4. Spaulding 41; 5. Oxbow 40; 6. Bellows Falls 27; 7. Windsor 22; 8. Vergennes 21; 9. Mount St. Joseph 18; 10. Sharon 16; 11. Missisquoi 14; 12. Hartford 10; 13. Chelsea 4.

Girls top 3 finishers

55-meter dash: 1. Olivia Dexter, U-32 7.57; 2. Emma Russo, Har; 3. Emily Bean, Lyn.

300: 1. Riley Mitiguy, Rice 44.66; 2. Emily Bean, Lyn; 3. Yvonna Guyette, Spa.

600: 1. Mitiguy, Rice 1:46.04; 2. Anna Clark, BF; 3. Claire Cook, Oxbow.

1,000: 1. Izzy Giesing, Oxbow 3:15.55; 2. Haley Kennedy, LR; 3. Hannah Giesing, Oxbow.

1,600: 1. I. Giesing, Oxbow 5:40.32; 2. Miranda Messeck, MVU; 3. Zosia Prince, Lyn.

3,200: 1. Kennedy, LR 12:33.94; 2. Messeck, MVU; 3. Mitiguy, Rice.

55 hurdles: 1. Emily Close, LR 9.16; 2. Kathryn Bassette, Wind; 3. Shari Rainville, MVU.

4×200: 1. Oxbow (Naopoulos, Cooke, H. Giesing, Carson) 2:00.91; 2. Rice; 3. Spaulding.

4×400: 1. Oxbow (H. Giesing, Cook, Carson, I. Giesing) 4:31.31; 2. Rice; 3. Lyndon.

4×800: 1. Oxbow (Hoag, Burgess, Cook, Rosten) 11:08.00; 2. Rice; 3. Thetford.

Pole vault: 1. Bassette, Wind 10-0; 2. Abby Daniels, U-32; 3. Karen Avila, Spa.

Long jump: 1. Dexter, U-32 15-8.5; 2. Russo, Har; 3. Hope Swanke, Rice.

High jump: 1. Hannah Miller, Rice 4-10; 2. Emily Smith, Wind; T3. Daniels, U-32; Hannah Harkins, Thet; Sarah Jones, Hart.

Triple jump: 1. Russo, Har 32-4.5; 2. Harkins, Thet; 3. Dexter, U-32.

Shot put: 1. Katey Comstock, Wind 38-7.5*; 2. Liz Ksepka, U-32; 3. Ally Stearns, Verg.

Boys top 3 finishers

55-meter dash: 1. Sam Emerson, Thet 6.889; 2. Jordain Williams, Rice; 3. Jalen Carter, U-32.

300: 1. Williams, Rice 37.71; 2. Cole Chapman, Thet; 3. Dylan Griffin, Oxbow.

600: 1. Max Buskey, Sharon 1:29.98; 2. Griffin Cunningham, Rice; 3. Joshua Melen, FH.

1,000: 1. William Moore, BF 2:58.40; 2. Yacawych, North; 3. Sam Dickin, Rice.

1,600: 1. William Moore, BF 4:37.45; 2. Warren Yacawych, North; 3. Will LaCroix, Rice.

3,200: 1. LaCroix, Rice 10:20.67; 2. Liam Fleming, Thet; 3. Willem Landis, Midd.

55 hurdles: 1. Griffin Cunningham, Rice 8.02; 2. Chapman, Thet; 3. Jack Brown, Lyn.

4×200: 1.Thetford (Lopez, Parenteau, Emerson, Bardos) 1:40.10; 2. Fair Haven; 3. Lyndon.

4×400: 1. Thetford (Lopez, Bardos, Mundy, Chapman) 3:45.92; 2. Fair Haven; 3. Rice.

4×800: 1. Fair Haven (Knapp, Nichols, Reed, Melen) 9:16.29;

Pole vault: 1. Brown, Lyn 13-6; 2. Eli Pandolfo, U-32; 3. Peyton McAllister, U-32.

Long jump: 1. Chapman, Thet 20-11; 2. Williams, Rice; 3. Emerson, Thet.

High jump: 1. Emerson, Thet 5-10; 2. Jake Gresty, Spa; 3. Griffin, Oxbow.

Triple jump: 1. Chris Castillo, Verg 37-8; 2. Gresty, Spa; 3. Austin Beauregard, FH.

Shot put: 1. Tayler Larmie, Hart 43-1; 2. MacKinley Shaffer, U-32; 3. Ben Parrotte, North.

*–Overall state record


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