Finishing in second place in last year’s MSTCA Division 5 State Coaches Relays inspired a fire in the arms and legs of the East Bridgewater boys’ indoor track team.
That fire led to the State Relays title Friday at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.
“Last year, we were runner up, and our goal this year was to win it,” said East Bridgewater coach George McCabe.
East Bridgewater had been leading for most of the evening until Seekonk’s first-place finish by nearly 15 seconds in the distance medley relay, with a winning time of 11 minutes 14.70 seconds, vaulted the Warriors into first place by 2 points.
But Seekonk did not place in the final event — the 4x400-meter relay — and McCabe knew the Vikings had a shot: finish third or better to win the meet, or fourth to tie for the top.
They finished third in 3:36.03, securing the title with 52 points. Seekonk was second with 47 and Watertown (34) was third.
Aside from talent, there were a few other keys for the Vikings.
“It’s all about grit,” said senior captain Giovanni Cacciatore Jr., who participated in the 4x200-meter relay, the 55-meter dash, and the high jump.
The Vikings finished in second in the 4x200 (1:35.93), they tied Seekonk for fourth in the high jump, and finished first in the 55-meter dash (22.82), with Seekonk right behind (23.19).
On the girls’ side, Amesbury held off Lunenburg, 36-30, to defend its title. Littleton was third (24).
“We got a lot of speed and pretty much the same four girls in the 4x50, they came back and ran the 4x200, and they came back — with the exception of one — and ran the 4x400, so to have those top-flight kids makes it a lot easier,” Amesbury coach Ernie Bissaillon said.
“We stuck it out last year and to come back and repeat, it never gets old. We’re very fortunate to come out of here with a victory.”
Meanwhile, there was a special story hidden between the lines, a story with two siblings and two twins on the same relay.
The Littleton 4x800 team of senior twins Kaitlyn and Sarah Roffman and sisters McKenzie Clark (junior) and Riley Clark (freshman) shattered the meet record with a time of 9:38.19, besting Littleton’s own mark of 9:56.53 set in 2017 — a team the Roffman sisters were on as sophomores.
Soon after, the Clark sisters, Kaitlyn Roffman, and Hannah Jayne regrouped and captured the distance medley, winning in 12:43.24.
“We definitely today were looking at putting strong relays together both in the DMR and the 4x800, obviously meet records were in mind,” Kaitlyn Roffman said.
The Roffman and Clark sisters appreciate their unique situation.
“Oh, I love it, I couldn’t be more happy to run with my sister and having a pair of sisters is really cool,” McKenzie Clark said.
Riley clark added, “I like it because before the race you’re really nervous, you have people you’re really close with to comfort you and then it’s fun handing off to them.”Alex Bensley can be reached at email@example.com.