Marauders Enter Spring Playoffs With A Pair Of Belmont Favorites At Division 1 North Track Championships

Photo: Belmont High athletes and teams are in playoff and championship action this weekend

A pair of Belmont High field performers and a powerhouse Marauder team will be headlining the return this weekend of sports tournaments and championship meets sponsored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Senior pole vaulter Sarah Firth will attempt to take the Division 1 North title while junior Sofia Hospodar has the co-longest triple jump in the division this outdoor season at 36-feet, 6-inches. Firth, who won both the All-State and New England titles in 2019, has the best height in the state of 11 feet, 6-inches. Firth will also run the 100-meter hurdles at the meet held in North Andover.

This season marks the return to the pitch of Belmont High Rugby, out to defend its 2019 Division 1 state title. The 4-0 Marauders is the second seed by way of a coin flip with fellow undefeated Milton, the two-time state Division 2 champions who were promoted into the top league this year.

Belmont will host three-seed Boston College High, whose only loss this season was to Belmont, in a semifinal match on Wednesday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. on Harris Field.

Belmont Boys’ Lacrosse (5-7) will take on hosts North Attleborough High (6-7) in an 8-9 match-up on Friday, June 18 art 4 p.m., with the winner having the tall task of visiting first ranked Medfield High School (14-1) on Monday.

Belmont High Baseball, ranked 21 (3-8), will have a long trek on Friday, June 18, as they hike up to Haverhill to play 12th ranked Whittier Regional Vocational Tech (7-6) at 1 p.m.

Belmont Boys’ Tennis travels to Concord Carlisle at Noon, Friday, June 18, as the hosts, ranked 6th, will challenge number 11 Marauders.

In competition in the D1N meet completed on Thursday, June 17, Belmont junior Jackson Coelho took 4th in the 800 meters in 1-minute, 57.04 seconds while senior Colby Woo cleared 11-feet, 6-inches in the pole vault for 5th.

At the D1N outdoor track championship meet, Belmont Girls’ will be represented by seniors Leya El-Chanati (100, 200 and long jump); Isabel Burger (1 mile), Rachel November (400 hurdles), the 4×800 relay; while seniors Samantha Lim and Knar Krafian joins Firth in the 100 hurdles.

Banner(s) Season For Girls’ Rugby, Boys’ Tennis, National Honor for Krafian [VIDEO]

Photos: Banner day for Belmont Girls’ Rugby.

It’s been a banner 2017 spring season for Belmont High School sports as the school saw three state championships come through the door and some banners ready to be placed on the wall of the Wenner Field House.

Both Girls Rugby and Boys’ Tennis will see 2017 banners go up; rugby’s historic state championship and tennis’ fantastic post-season run defeating three higher-seeded squads to reach the Divison 2 North sectional finals.

On the individual side, junior track star Anoush Krafian not only captured two state championships this month as the All-State Outdoor Track and Field Meet – the 100-meter hurdles and the pentathlon – she extended her exceptional season by placing 4th in the 100 hurdles (14.80 seconds) at the New England Championships in Norwell on June 10 before heading to the New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Greensboro, NC last weekend to compete in the multi-event heptathlon.

Against the best high school heptathletes in the nation, Krafian placed fifth in the competition that required her to compete in seven individual track and field events including the sprints, jumping, hurdles, middle distance running and throwing. 

During the meet, Krafian achieved personal bests in three events (shot put, high jump and javelin) as well as her total score of 4,496 points, trailing the winner, Kaitlyn Kirby of Florida, by less than 500 points.

Watch Krafin run the 200 meters at Nationals here. She is running in lane 7. 

Banners have also been hung this school year for Field Hockey (Champions/Middlesex), Girls’ Basketball (Co-champions/Middlesex), Boys’ Golf (Champions/Middlesex) and Baseball (Champions/Middlesex, Super 8 Tournament).

Belmont Boys’ Tennis Rebuilding in Style

Photo: The 2015 season Belmont High Boys’ Tennis team. 

It wasn’t a season the Belmont High School Boys’ Tennis had been hoping for.

After making the team tennis post season for the past four years, the Marauders was caught in the duel predicament of being in the midst of a rebuilding year – depending on athletes who come from other sports – while being in the league in which some of the best tennis players in the state happen to reside. 

And while the team did stride off the courts at the new Wilmington High School Wednesday, May 20, with a convincing 5-0 victory over the Wildcats, the hope for a fifth consecutive playoff invite didn’t materialize as the team finished the season at 6-10.

While there were a number of individual highlights in 2015 – senior Enrique Massidda came back from a set down to Concord-Carlise’s Cody Machen, 2-6, 6-0, 7-5, to win his first-round match in the North individual tennis tournament this month – Belmont still found it hard to find their game against the powerhouse squads including Lexington and Winchester which have players heading to Div. 1 college and university programs.

Leading Belmont was Massidda (who took up rowing with the Arlington-Belmont Crew club this past fall), senior Ben Lazenby who is best known for his play on the soccer pitch and basketball court,  second singles Caleb Harris, junior singles/doubles Grant Stievater who traded in his bat and glove for a racket this year, and this season’s captains, double specialists Cheng Qin and senior Amar Fernald.

On the doubles court, underclassmen sophomore Andrew Reppucci and frosh Jackson Luce – who were selected to compete in the individual doubles North playoffs – will bring a year’s worth of varsity experience to the courts next year, anchoring the team. 

The senior leadership showed up in the final match with the top-ranked and defending state champions Lexington held in Belmont on May 14, the Marauders made life a little more difficult then what the number 1 seed in this year’s tournament was expecting. Lazenby and Stievater extended rallies and won points to take five and four games respectively. Third singles Fernald lost 6-4 in both sets while second doubles Reppucci and Luce fought hard in a 6-1, 6-3 defeat. 

Not that the entire year was without its moments as Belmont was a solid mid-level squad, overpowering teams such as Stoneham, Watertown, Woburn (May 6), Wakefield (May 13) and Wilmington by identical 5-0 victories as the three singles matches and pair of doubles barely lost a game.

And not all highlights were strictly on the court. In a league where looking professional is the norm among the top teams, Stievater decided the Marauders should set the standard in high-quality apparel. 

“I came from the baseball team and they’re known for their gear so I thought if I’m playing tennis, you might as well go all out and get the best you can,” said Stievater.

Working with Gerry  Dickhaut, owner of Champions Sporting Goods in Belmont Center, Stievater organized the selection of the matching caps, sweatshirts, towels and even Belmont “B” socks to outfit the team at a price everyone agreed was a fair expense.

“[Dickhaut] gave us a discount and allowed us to get all the embroidery we wanted,” said Stievater.

“It feels nice to have something you do actually impact the team and have everyone like it. We really worked hard this year so it’s a nice little thing we get to do for ourselves,” he said.