By John Anderson
Fitchburg High School was the host for Saturday’s Division II District Indoor Track Invitational. The Auburn boys finished in a solid second place with 47 points, but they very well could have captured first if it wasn’t for a controversial disqualification in the 4 x 220 yard relay.
While the girls ended in tenth place with 16 points, they had some great finishes, and the top three schools were nearly unbeatable. Notre Dame was first with 46, Narragansett was second with 44, and Lunenburg finished third with 42.
Jess Pittman landed fourth in the shot put, and Sarah Cavanaugh was fourth in the 2 mile run. Andrea Bolduc ran third in the 1 mile run, and the girls were fifth in the 4 x 880 yard relay. In the mile, Bolduc came in 1/100th of a second ahead of Grafton’s Lauren Anderson who exclaimed, “She’s a killer.”
Dillon Bruso captured first in the shot put, and Zachary Randall earned fifth. Dominick Smreszack leapt to third in the high jump, and Tom Gannon ran fifth in the 2 mile run. Matt Nelson earned second in the 55 meter hurdles, and Scott Williams ran fourth in the 300 meter dash.
Aidan Foley-Foster got sixth in the 1 mile run, and Jake Mikolajczyk ran fourth in the 600 meter run. Auburn’s relays have been strong all season, and they hoped to use these three races to give them an edge. A disqualification in the 4 x 220 for “interference” upset the plan.
General confusion on the sidelines was apparent, and a conference of all officials netted the DQ. Coach Jason Bergman appealed the decision but to no avail. When a decision like this is made, it can influence the remainder of the meet, and that was obvious for the Rockets.
The 4 x 880 yard relay netted the Rockets a fourth place finish, and the 4 x 440 yard relay gave Auburn third. Douglas took first with 56 points, and Hopedale finished third with 42.33.
One of the impressive things about indoor track is the camaraderie amongst the contestants. At the end of a heat or race, runners congratulated each other and acknowledged that the best man or woman won. There was no obvious taunting or disrespect that happens too often in youth sports.
Additionally, and in every race, the spectators gave applause and encouragement to the players who were finishing at the end and had no chance of a ribbon. It would be nice if this level of sportsmanship was carried to other sports and to those coaches who are nearly out of control on the sidelines.
This is a high school sport, not the Olympics. And, the Auburn coaches get it. The Auburn Mass Daily congratulates all the athletes and wishes them the best in the upcoming States.