Lady Vikings open tourney play Friday
The Winthrop High softball team will open play in the Division 3 North sectional of the MIAA state tournament tomorrow (Friday) with a preliminary round contest against Boston Latin. The game will be played at Charlestown with a 4:00 start.
Coach Dave Guffey’s Lady Vikings, who finished with a 9-11 record, are seeded 20th in the 23 team bracket. If Winthrop gets by Latin, which is seeded 13th with a 12-8 mark, the next contest will be played at Mount St. Joseph Academy on Saturday at noon. Mount St. Joseph drew a bye in the preliminary round by virtue of its fourth seed and 11-3 record.
Connors is NEC high jump champ
Jake Connors claimed the title of Northeastern Conference High Jump Champion in Saturday’s NEC meet.
Jake’s winning leap of 6 feet 4 inches, surpassed all other competitors to earn the junior a first place medal.
“Jake has a lot of natural talent,” WHS head coach Pat McGee said of Connors, an all-around athlete who was a key member of this past season’s successful Viking basketball team and who also runs cross country in the fall. “Even though he only started high jumping this season, he’s already tied the Winthrop school record and now is the league champion,” she added.
Senior Chris Beranger was the top scorer for Winthrop on the day, with a pair of second place efforts in the long jump and 200 meter dash. Chris leaped 19-10.75 in the LJ, just edging out teammate Charlie Asquith, who was third with his leap of 19-10.25.
The 200 meter final was a nose-to-nose race from start to finish, with Beranger just being edged out by a runner from Lynn English.
Senior Stephen Keough capped the Winthrop score sheet with a fifth place performance in the shot put with a heave of 41-9.
Altogether, McGee’s crew compiled 34 points on the day, good for fifth place overall in the 12-team conference.
Vikings Beranger, Connors, Asquith, and Keough will compete in the State Division 4 Meet this weekend in Weston. Winthrop also will enter a 4×100 relay team that will be composed of Asquith, Beranger, Frank Ambrosino, and Robert Deeb.
Jenny Fucillo wins hurdles, takes second in long jump
Winthrop High’s star hurdler Jenny Fucillo came into Saturday’s Northeastern Conference Meet as the favorite in the 110 meter high hurdles, and she went out as the champion, easily hurdling past all rivals in a time of 15.8 seconds.
“Jenny ran true to form,” said WHS head coach Warren MacPhail. “She has worked very hard this spring and her title is well deserved.”
Fucillo almost came away with two NEC crowns, but settled for a second place finish in the long jump with a leap of 16-2, a distance that qualifies her for the Division 4 State Meet this weekend.
Lady Viking teammate Cortney Nolan got onto the scoring sheet with a sixth place finish in the 100 meter dash with a clocking of 13.9.
The 4×100 relay quartet of Vanessa Caruccio, Christina Russo, Nolan, and Fucillo also scored points for Winthrop with their fourth place effort.
MacPhail will be bringing all of the aforementioned Lady Vikings to the State Meet, with Caruccio also competing in the triple jump.
Viking netmen end season on winning note
The Winthrop High boys tennis team ended its 2009 season on a winning note, capturing its final two matches against Beverly and Saugus, to finish the season with a 7-9 record, leaving the Vikings just one victory shy of enabling them to qualify for the state tournament.
In the match with Beverly, a 4-1 victory, Winthrop’s triumph was all the more impressive in that it came on the clay courts of the Beverly Golf and Tennis Club, a surface on which the Vikings had never played.
First singles Kenny Hodgkins won 6-1, 6-3; second singles Alex Hamilton won in a very long and close match, 6-3, 7-5; and third singles Connor Brugman also won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.
The second doubles tandem of Tyler Norris and Patrick Brogan won 6-3, 6-0, a victory that was noteworthy because it was freshman Brogan’s first win of his WHS tennis career.
The first doubles duo of Ryan McKinnon and Jake Rand lost 0-6, 4-6, almost bringing it back in second set against a very strong Beverly tandem.
The final match of the year was at home against Saugus on May 20, in which Winthrop emerged a 3-2 winner. The occasion was marked by the honoring of Winthrop’s two departing seniors, Kevin Cash and captain Ken Hodgkins, and their mothers in Senior Night festivities.
“Ken has been playing varsity tennis since he was a freshman, and the only match he played as a freshman was the one match that we won that year,” said WHS coach Barbara Hoffmann. “Back then, the older kids called him ‘The future,’ and they were right!”
Hodgkins never had played doubles in his career, so after getting the okay from the Saugus coach with switching her lineup, Hoffmann inserted him into first doubles, with both Hodgkins and Cash winning the final matches of their WHS careers.
The first doubles duo of McKinnon and Hodgkins won 6-3, 6-3 and the second doubles tandem of Norris and Cash triumphed 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 with a tie break in the third set.
Brugman won 6-2, 6-4 at third singles, while Alex Hamilton, who moved up from second to first singles, lost 0-6, 3-6, and Jake Rand, who moved up to second singles, fell 0-6, 4-6.
Earlier in the week, Winthrop dropped a 0-5 decision to league champion Marblehead.
“Even though we lost, when comparing notes with the teams from other schools, I’m proud that we got as many games as we did from the Marblehead team,” noted Hoffmann, as Rand took four games from his Marblehead foe, and the first doubles duo of McKinnon and Fitzpatrick won six games to pace the Vikings.