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.

Sweet! Krafian Crowned State Champion Winning All-State Pentathlon

Photo: Anoush Krafian.

Her first name means “sweet” in Armenian and in the state finals of the multi-event pentathlon held Thursday, June 1, Belmont High junior track star Anoush Krafian strung together a quintet of top-flight results that produced the sweetest of outcomes, a Massachusetts state championship.

At Bridgewater State University, the long-time standout track performer – she still co-holds the state middle school high jump record – beat her rivals and destroying the previous five-event top mark set last year by a whopping 215 points as she posted 3,243 points. Fellow Junior Natalie Marshall of Newton North (3,195 points) and Tewksbury High Senior Lauren Polimeno (3,184) finished second and third while the defending champion, Hopkinton junior Caitlyn Halloran, came in fourth.

Krafian’s total is the fifth-best mark set by a high school athlete in the US so far this outdoor season.

The 11th-grader was leading the competition after four events with the championship on the line with Krafian facing her most challenging event, the 800 meters. Tewksbury’s Polimeno and Halloran of Hopkinton (who defeated Krafian in the Division 3 championships last week) were expected to complete the race in about 2 minutes and 20 seconds, more than 18 seconds in front of the Belmont track star’s best time of 2:38.37 set last week, a gap that could have seen Krafian fall from first to third – or worse.

But Krafian came through spectacularly, setting a new personal record by eight seconds, 2:30.07, negating Polimeno (2:19.96) and Halloran (2:20.60) own best times over the distance. 

In addition to the 800, Krafian also achieved her best marks in the shot put (26 feet 5.5-inches), and high jumped over five feet (5-feet, 3.25 inches) while long jumping 16 feet, 5.75 inches.

Krafian started the day in her best event, the 100-meter hurdles, finishing first in 15.04 second, obliterating the old mark by nearly a full second while garnering 836 points, the highest individual event total by any athlete on Thursday.

Krafian will be seeking more state championships this weekend. On Saturday, she will return to Bridgewater to compete in the individual long jump and the 100 hurdles where she is a co-favorite with senior Madelyn Sessler of Plymouth South and Kristen Hohenstein of Chelmsford. 

Belmont Juniors Krafian, Perkins Take Home EMass Division 3 Track Titles

Photo: Belmont High Anoush Krafian in action earlier this outdoor season.

A pair of Belmont High juniors will be heading to this week’s All-State Meet as Eastern Mass Division 3 champions as Anoush Krafian and Calvin Perkins sprinted home to take individual victories on Sunday, May 28 at Burlington High School.

Krafian cruised to the 100-meter hurdles title in 15.33 seconds, beating Pembroke High senior Julieanne Watts by nearly half-a-second.

Perkins powered to an impressive 49.13 to defeat Burlington High senior Ben Piotti by more than half-a-second on his home track. The time was just a second back from the EMass D3 record of 48.1.

Belmont High junior Calvin Perkins during the 2016 Cross Country season.

It’s been a busy week for Krafian who on Thursday, May 18 shattered the school’s 100 meter hurdles record (which she already held) with a 14.95 second effort during the Division 3 state Pentathlon, a five-event competition that includes the 100 meter hurdles, the long jump, the shot put, 800 meters and high jump. The time broke the best-ever time in the hurdles portion of the event by more than a second.

At the All-State meet, Krafian will meet the only other athlete under 15 seconds in the hurdles, Plymouth South’s senior Madelyn Sessler who has run 14.91. 

Krafian placed second in the one-day pentathlon with a personal best of 3,040 points, behind the defending champion Hopkinton junior Caitlyn Halloran’s 3,166 points. During the events, Krafian also achieved her best marks in the shot put (26 feet 3.75-inches) and the 800 meters, 2:38.37. 

Not that she isn’t busy enough, on Sunday, Krafian took 5th place in the long jump, leaping 17 feet, 6 1/2 inches.

In addition to his victory, Perkins joined his teammates junior Max Serrano-Wu, senior Aidan Carey and junior Bryan Huang to lead off the 4×400 relay to a second-place performance in 3 minutes and 28.41 seconds behind winners Pembroke which broke the tape in 3:26.41 

Belmont’s tradition of strong relay squads continue as the girls’ 4×400 team of senior Danielle Kelly, junior Emily Duffy, freshman Soleil Tseng and senior Julia Cella placed third with a 4:06.70 effort behind Hopkinton and Tewksbury while the girls’ 4×800 of freshman Olivia Zarzycki, junior Alexa Sabatino, frosh Madeline Kitch and senior Alexandra Bailey broke the 10 minute barrier with a 9:53.51 to finish an impressive 4th.

Over on the boys’ side, Belmont’s 4×800 team of junior Jason Berger, junior Zach Tseng, senior Adam Cronin and junior James Kitch kicked it to the line in 8:17.29 in 4th. 

Also scoring for Belmont were junior Alexa Sabatino placing 7th in the mile (5:22.90) while 9th-grade sprinter Soleil Tseng took 5th in the 400 meters just a tad over the one-minute (1:00.11) mark for the one lap.

Belmont girls’ was 7th in the team event with 39 points with the boys’ in 10th with 23 points.

Girls 400 Relay, Perkins Crowned Eastern Mass Div. 3 Track Champs

Photo: The Belmont High 4×400 meter relay: Danielle Kelly, Meggie MacAulay, Sara Naumann and Julia Cella.

When junior 200-meter specialist Julia Cella crossed the finish line just after 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, the automatic timer on the Burlington High School track read: 3 minutes 57.01 seconds.

It would be a record time for the Belmont High School Girls’ 4×400 meter relay squad, breaking an 17-year-old record by 4/10th of a second in the Eastern Mass Division 3 championships.

It was another fastest time ever for the four teammates. But it was not just the best time by a team in one division of one corner of the state. The quartet of junior Danielle Kelly, senior Meggie MacAulay, junior Sara Naumann and junior Julia Cella make up the best 4×400 relay in all of Massachusetts. 

The relay’s victory – by more than a second over the team from track-powerhouse Tewksbury – was just part of a great three days for the Girls’ Outdoor Track at the divisional championships, as the girls coached by Melissa Glotzbecker finished 8th with 38 points, only five points from a top four placement.

Yet all the noise wasn’t just coming from the girls’ side of the track. Belmont sophomore Calvin Perkins took home the 400 meter title with an outstanding 50.61 second over the one lap, outpacing Lamont Haynes of Boston Tech by more than 6/10th of a second, solidifying his position as a sprinter who could be a dominating factor in the event. 

Joining Perkins on a podium was senior Luke Peterson who soared 21 feet, 10 1/2 inches in the long jump to finish third. 

Scoring for the girls included

  • Katrina Rokosz, third in the javalin, 118 feet, 3 inches.
  • Naumann, fourth in the 800 meters, 2:16.48
  • Rachel Berets, 4th in the 100 meter hurdles, 16.39
  • Samantha Kelts, 4th in the pentathlon, 2475 points
  • MacAulay, 5th in the 400 meter hurdles, 1:06.83 
  • Kelly, 6th in the 400 meters 59.73.

But it was the relay that had the track buzzing on a hot Saturday afternoon. Belmont entered the meet as the top seed, holding the fastest time in the state of 3:59.97. And the other teams facing the Marauders in the penultimate race in the meet were gunning for the leaders.

“Through the first leg, Kelly was in the hunt with runners from several other teams, including Plymouth North and Tewksbury,” recalled Glotzbecker.

“Meggie MacAulay who came off the final turn of the stagger even with the runner from Tewksbury. The handoff to Sara Naumann was close to even with the Tewksbury squad, but Sara managed to pass their third runner on the back stretch. The final hand-off to Cella was made a few meters ahead of Tewksbury and she maintained that lead” through the finish, Glotzbecker said.

“Danielle, Meggie, Sara, and Julia all ran sub-60 seconds for their splits. This team is remarkable in that they each have an equal impact on the success of the team,” said Glotzbecker.

“Another significant factor for this team is their trust in one another, and their dynamic as a team. They are able to focus on the event at hand, knowing that they are accountable for one another at that moment no matter what may have transpired for them individually earlier in the meet. Their focus and determination paired with teamwork and talent has helped dictate the success of this group this season,” their coach said. 

Competing along with the relay at All-States will be Rokosz, Naumann, MacAulay, Perkins and Peterson.


Belmont Girls’ Track Takes League Title, First in Nearly 40 Years

Photo: Belmont High Girls’ Spring Track in action.

“Hotel California” and lots of disco was playing on the radio, “Star Wars” was the monster hit at the movies, TV viewers loved “Laverne & Shirley,” leisure suits were big for men and women wore high-waisted bell-bottoms and the “Farrah-flip.”

And in that same year of 1977, Belmont High’s Girls’ Spring Track came home with the league championship. And it would take nearly five decades before another Belmont team would be able to raise the trophy again. 

On Tuesday, May 12, just as the final relay finished with Belmont defeating hosts Winchester, 88-48, several senior got hold of a water bucket filled with ice and doused Head Coach Melissa Glotzbecker with a celebratory dunking as the team completed the season undefeated (6-0) and atop the Middlesex League, which took 38 years to repeat.

Then, as part of a tradition with victorious girls teams, the squad cheered and yelled from Belmont Center to the school from the buses transporting them back home. 

“We had no idea it was that long since the last title,” said Glotzbecker. Since no one could recall the last title, she went to the Wenner Field House to view the championship banners on the wall to finally determine how very long it had been. 

“So we’re proud that we’ll be putting up another [banner] for the school to see,” the former St. Lawrence distance runner said.

Belmont was able to defeat traditionally large and strong programs such as Lexington and Reading due to this year’s squads depth, said Glotzbecker. 

“We are really strong in so many events and that makes us very diverse in terms of scoring,” said Glotzbecker, noting the team has qualified multiple runners, jumpers, and field events athletes to the Div. III state championships at Durfee High School in late May, not sending participants in the shot, discus and pole vault, the last which Belmont does not compete. 

“But it’s not just those who are scoring that makes up this team, everyone who worked hard this year contributed to the success of the team. We wouldn’t be this good without being pushed and supported by the entire team,” she said. 

Next for the team is the Div. III relays at Burlington on Saturday, May 16, “which will be fun as it’s a true team event” before preparing for the Middlesex League meet on Tuesday, May 19, at Regis College. 

In Historic Victory, Unbeaten Belmont Girls’ Track Defeats Lexington

Photo: (from left) Anoush Krafian (16.1 seconds), Rachel Berets (16.8) and Sammy Kelts (17.2) sweep the 100m high hurdles in a duel meet with Lexington. 

Usually, a duel track meet between strong teams come down to the final two events; the 100 and 400 meter relays. 

That wasn’t necessary on Thursday, May 7, when the undefeated Lexington High School Girls’ Track squad visited unbeaten Belmont High School at Harris Field. When Belmont’s junior Meredith Hughes strode across the finish line to win the two-mile (12 minutes, 11.5 seconds), the Marauders piled up an insurmountable point lead so to clinch the historic victory over the Minutemen without having to pass the baton around the track.

The 70-66 victory was the first by Belmont over Lexington in nearly 15 years, and brings the 5-0 Marauders to within a whisper of winning the Middlesex League title, said Belmont Head Coach Melissa Glotzbecker, with a meet with Winchester remaining on the schedule. 

“Overall, all of our girls showed up, they were setting personal bests in a lot of different events. The came in with a positive attitude and ready to run hard and fight for the win,” said Glotzbecker. The victory outdoors comes just three months after Lexington crushed Belmont inside, 62-24. 

The meet was close with Lexington in the lead by four points, 29-25 (the first three finishers score in a meet with first receiving 5 points, second, 3 points, and third, 1 point) when Belmont made its move midway through the meet.

The comeback started with freshman standout Anoush Krafian breaking the school’s outdoor long-jump record by just over three inches with a leap of 17 feet, 5 1/2 inches. Earlier, Krafian just missed clearing 5 foot, 3 inches in the high jump, still winning with a height of 5’1″, with Sammy Kelts finishing second with a leap of 4’9″. 

In the triple jump, Kelts (33 feet, 8 inches) and Marley Williams (33 feet, 6 1/2 inches) out jumped Lexington’s Div. 1 standout senior Cathryn Pryor by 2 1/2 and 1 inch to take first and second and grab eight points to the Minuteman’s one. 

Finally, in the 100 meters hurdles, Belmont swept the top three places as Krafian (16.1 seconds), Rachel Berets (16.8) and Kelts (17.2) led the way to nine points to give Belmont a 47-34 lead. 

“Our hurdle group is hard working. They fight for every single last step that they can get. And you saw that at the finish line when [Kelts] went for the lean just so she could get that last [scoring] place,” said Glotzbecker

The hurdles have become a speciality for the Marauders as Claudia Tenner (69.3 seconds) and Kayla Magno (69.6) went one-two in the 400 meter hurdles, giving Belmont 17 out of a total of 18 points in the two events.

The Marauders protected the lead by placing either first or second in the remaining events. Williams won both in the 100 and 200 meter dashes with Megan Alper finishing third in the  200; Meghan MacAulay and Danielle Kelly finished second and third in the 4oo meters, and Julia Delhome gutted out a 2:32.1 800 meters to finish in second. After the Hughes ran the second mile by herself to the victory, Belmont had secured the win.

“We have a hard working group, they are unified as a team which is great,” said Glotzbecker. 

Trio Leads Belmont Girls’ Track By Reading in Spring Opener

Photo: 100 meters.

A pair of personal bests in the throws, two wins on the infield and a double in the sprints allowed Belmont High School Girls’ Spring Track to rocket by Reading High in the home opening meet on a warm and sunny Monday, April 13 at Harris Field.

With three events remaining, the Reading coaches came over to congratulate Belmont’s Head Coach Melissa Glotzbecker as the Marauders held a 72-45 point lead.

“This is a really great opportunity just to start off the season since we didn’t finish our first meet [due to a sudden snow storm],” said Glotzbecker.

“It’s a great measure to see how people are performing and how all their hard work is paying off. So we’re actually excited where people are at and for the rest of the season,” she said.

The top performance came from junior Katrina Rokosz who make significant personal records in both the javelin and shot.

“It was a pretty good day,” said Rokosz, who won the javelin by nearly 40 feet with a throw of 107.3 feet and finished first in the shot with a throw of 26 feet, 8  1/2 inches.

“I’ve been working a lot with javelin with a teammate and that has helped a lot because we trade tips which is great,” said Rokosz. In the shot, she’s got some sage advice from someone close to home.

“My dad use to throw the shot and his tips were great,” she said.

Rokosz was joined by Anoush Krafian and Julia Cella as duel winners on the day. Krafian – the best freshman high jumpers in the state and a national finalist – took home her speciality clearing 5 feet, 1 inch as well as coming in first in the long jump with a 16 foot, 10 inch effort.

On the track, sophomore Cella, coming off a second place in the 200 meter state Div. 2 outdoor championships last year, took the sprint double, winning the 100 meter in 12.8 seconds (with Krafian in second in 13.4) and the 200 in 26.9 seconds.

Other strong performances included a dominating run by Meggie MacAulay to win the 400 meters wire to wire in 1 minute, 3.9 seconds, Kayla Magno took the 400 meter hurdles in 1:09.7 and Rachel Berets finished top in the 100 meter hurdles in 16.9 seconds.