WESTON, Mass. — Weston High School began a girls’ track program in 1975, so the 2022 season was the 47th in the team’s history (there was no season in 2020 due to Covid). The 47th turned out to be the best as this year’s squad posted an amazing season, winning both the Dual County League (DCL) Foley Division and the State Division 5 Championship, along with some superb individual and relay team results. It was a group that always rose to the occasion, no matter the opposition or the circumstances.
After a solid dual meet season and some good early-season results at the State Relays, the championship season began in mid-May with the DCL Championship Meet (May 18th at Weston). The girls captured the Foley Division title, scoring over 200 points and more than doubling the total of the second-place team. Even though the team scoring was by division, the athletes and relays competed against opponents from all eleven DCL schools – including six Division 1 schools – for individual event honors. Senior Julie Hohenberg took home the 800 title, senior Morgan Rome won the javelin, sophomore Sloan Hinton captured the 400 Hurdles, and the 4 x 400 relay of senior Tally Zeller (59.8), junior Kaitlin Ewald (61.2 – all of the bad pass time loss is on her split), Hinton (60.4), and Hohenberg (59.3) won in 4:00.93, breaking the school record of 4:01.57 set in 1998.
You’ll hear more about them later. In addition, Alessandra Gavris broke the freshman record in the 1 mile with her time of 5:09.56, finishing 2nd place to eventual State Champion Amelia Everett of Newton South.
The DCL Meet proved to be just the warmup. At the MIAA Division 5 Championship, held on Thursday, May 26th and Monday, May 30th, the Wildcat women blasted through the competition to an overwhelming victory, scoring 102 points, with North Reading 2nd with 56 points and all of the other over 50 schools trailing. Hohenberg led the charge with three gold medals, winning the 800, the 1 mile, and anchoring the school record (and first sub-4 minute in school history) 4 x 400 meter relay in 3:58.47. Gavris (1st in the 2 mile, 2nd in the 1 mile, and anchoring the 4th place 4 x 800 relay) and Zeller (4th in the 400, 5th in the 200, and leadoff on the winning 4 x 400) also scored in three events, while Rome, Hinton, Ewald, junior Olivia Jackson and freshman Gabriela Friel all scored in two events. Seniors Ishika Bharath, Maria Delgizzi, and Elliott Kilgallen also scored in their events. Rome also broke her own school record in the javelin, establishing a new mark of 117’1″ with her 2nd place-winning throw. It was the first State Title for the Weston girls since 1985.
The Division 5 Meet marked the conclusion of the “team” portion of the season, with the remaining meets focused on individual events and relay competition. Next was the Massachusetts Meet of Champions, where all of the top competitors in Massachusetts, regardless of division, meet for individual honors. The girls responded with four school records and four medal-winning performances: (1) Hohenberg set the school record in the 800 with her 2:16.03 4th place finish; (2) Rome increased her own school record to 117’2″ with her 6th place performance in the javelin; (3) Gavris placed 6th in the mile with a time of 5:06.45, which lowered her own school freshman record, was the fastest 9th grade mile in Massachusetts this year, and led her to become only the 3rd freshman to place in the Meet of Champions mile in the last 10 years; and (4) the 4 x 400 team of Zeller, Ewald, Hinton, and Hohenberg became the first Weston relay team EVER to capture a Massachusetts Meet of Champions outdoor title, and the first small school – a term I’m using to describe teams from Divisions 4, 5, or 6 – to win the Meet of Champions 4 x 400 in at least 25 years. Their time of 3:56.89 lowered their own school record yet again and capped a wonderful meet for the Wildcat squad.
After a weekend off to recover and prepare, six members of the team traveled to Philadelphia for the New Balance Nationals held from June 17th-19th at Franklin Field. On Friday, running in extremely hot and humid conditions, Garvis placed 2nd in the 2 mile against many of the top freshmen in the country. Her time of 11:03.68 lowered her freshman record yet again, despite the conditions. Later that same day, the Sprint Medley Relay of Ewald, Hinton, Zeller, and Hohenberg survived a near-disastrous first exchange to place a strong 2nd in the Rising Stars division of the event. On Saturday, Rome uncorked a huge personal best of 128’ 8” in the javelin, breaking her own school record by over 11 feet to win the Rising Stars javelin. On Sunday, as usual, the 4 x 400 provided another highlight. Running in very windy conditions against 24 of the top teams in the country, the quartet placed 10th with another outstanding time of 3:56.93, the top performance by a New England school. Ewald’s anchor split of 57.49 is the fastest 400 relay leg in school history. The team finishes as the top girls’ 4 x 400 in New England and holds the four fastest performances in school history.
It was an unforgettable, indeed historic, season for Weston Girls Track and Field. The graduating seniors have rewritten the record book. Now the talented underclass runners will take aim at those records and try to make some history of their own in 2023.
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