By Coaches Mike McCabe and Dory Driscoll
It was a great day for both the boys and girls track and field teams at the Class B New England Championships held at Tabor Academy on May 19. The weather was not ideal—temperatures in the 50's with rain showers throughout the day—but all of our athletes did a great job of putting the elements aside and focusing on competing hard and contributing to the team.
On the boys' side, the meet was close throughout between Berkshire and Belmont Hill. By the time the 4x400 meter relay came [at the end of the meet], we were down 10 points and needed to win the relay and for Belmont Hill to not place. The relay team of Jon Sinclair '19, Nick Berghold '19, Mo Omar '18, and Jacob Shaffelburg '19 did a great job of focusing on what they could control and won the race convincingly. Belmont Hill did not score any points, so we ended up finishing in a tie for first place. All points and contributions matter in such a big meet, and the following scored points for the boys: the 4x100 meter relay team of Achara Achara '19, Ahria Simons '18, Nick Steed '19, and Shaffelburg (1st); Simons in the Long Jump (1st), Triple Jump (1st), and 100m (2nd); Shaffelburg in the 200m (1st) and 400m (1st); William Warlick '20 in the 110m hurdles (2nd); Gohta Aihara '19 in the Pole Vault 3rd); Achara in the 100m (5th) and 200m (5th); Matt Diamond '18 in the 110m hurdles (5th) and 300m hurdles (5th); Steed in the Triple Jump (4th); Omar in the 800m (6th); Zakiy Manigo '20 in the Javelin (6th); and Gabe Cinanni '18 in the High Jump (6th).
The boys had great balance throughout the meet picking up big points on both the track and in the field events. While there were many contributors, Ahria Simons and Jacob Shaffelburg were the top point scorers. Ahria is the three-time New England Champion in both the long and triple jumps, an impressive feat given the talent throughout prep schools. He has been a leader of the track team throughout his time at Berkshire, and his leadership and daily work ethic, along with fellow co-captain Mo Omar, helped lead the team to a first-place finish. Jacob has a lot of natural speed and running ability, but what most people don't see is how hard he pushes himself every day at practice. All of his hard work and preparation helped him perform at exceptional levels at the championship meet, and he is at his best when he is competing. If a race is close as the end is approaching, Jacob has a "refuse to lose" attitude.
On the girls' side, the Bears were determined and focused, and many athletes contributed to the successful team result. Led by captains Lexi Fortune '18, Kathryn Driscoll '18, and Claudia Gripenberg '18, the team finished in 3rd place out of 14 teams. Scoring points for the girls were: Bianca Barth '20 in the 100m (1st) and 200m (1st); Driscoll in the 100m hurdles (6th) and 300m hurdles (1st); Fortune in the Triple Jump (3rd) ; Angela Ansah '21 in the Shot Put (4th); Gripenberg in the 400m (4th); Anika Helmke '18 in the Javelin (4th); the 4x400m relay team of Fortune, Helmke, Alanna Smith '19, and Gripenberg (5th); and Pia McCarthy '18 in the high jump (5th).
All in all it was a great day for our athletes, and we were very proud of the way they competed both in terms of results and sportsmanship. It was a really fitting way to finish an awesome season!