SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

March 17, 2012

Jean DePlacido column: National recognition comes for Peabody High tracksters

Jean DePlacido

The Peabody High boys and girls track programs have plenty to be proud about.

In the latest track and field high school rankings, the Tanners are in the top 20 nationwide in three events. Nick Christensen is No. 1 in Massachusetts and 10th nationally in the mile (4:12.56) while Catarina Rocha is the best miler in the state and 15th nationally.

Rocha, who qualified for Nationals but did not go, set her personal best this year at the All-State meet in 4:50.38. Christensen also qualified for Nationals, but a leg injured suffered late in the season prevented him from competing (although he did help Peabody's relay team out there).

The Tanners' sprint medley relay team of Austin Brewster, Bobby Losanno, Nick Ingham and Christensen is also fastest in Massachusetts and 19th in the country (3:35.68).

• • •

It didn't take long for Peabody's Katelyn Driscoll to reach a significant milestone. The Connecticut College senior midfielder in women's lacrosse scored three goals and had an assist in the opening day loss to fourth-ranked Bowdoin.

In the first half of the 11-6 loss, Driscoll picked up her 100th career point and now has 78 goals and 25 assists (103 points). The tri-captain also plays soccer and women's hockey for the Camels.

The Camels also dropped their next game, 12-7, to Tufts. Driscoll collected six draws, caused four turnovers and picked up three ground balls.

• • •

The North Shore Soccer Arena at the Topsfield Fairgrounds hosted over 100 players and coaches from 22 colleges and universities at the Premier College Combine recently. It was the first time North Shore United and the NSSA had ever hosted the event, which provides the opportunity for high school boys and girls to play soccer before many college coaches.

Showcases are held across the country, and the Topsfield location proved to be very handy for the coaches from Northeastern, MIT, Merrimack, UMass Lowell, UMass Amherst, Curry, Newbury, Endicott and others. Players were put on teams and played in a 9-vs.-9 format on the 80-by-40-yard playing surface, which has no boards.

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