SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

June 22, 2013

Jean DePlacido column: Salem javelin standout Beaulieu should be even better next year

Jean DePlacido
The Salem News

---- — Rebecca Beaulieu set a new Salem High javelin record this spring, then went on to break her own mark a couple of times.

Now, even bigger things are expected from the junior next season.

“Rebecca has been on the team since her freshman year when she threw the javelin between 44 feet 9 inches and 56 feet,” said head coach Rich Stafford. “A year ago she improved to a range of 63-2 to 76-4 and was just short of the school record. Each of her competitions exceeded her best throw of freshman year.

“This year she broke that record in the first meet (80-7), then broke her own record two more times with 85-4 and 86-3 (at the Peabody meet). Once again, each of her competitions exceeded her best of her sophomore year. This kind of improvement is a tribute to her hard work, practice and positive belief in herself.”

Stafford said the goal for Beaulieu next year is to qualify for the state meet, which she probably would have done this season but missed the final two meets. She also runs cross-country and is an indoor track captain. She has taken a full minute off her best mile time as a freshman and two-and-a-half minutes off her 2-mile through hard work and dedication to the sport, said her coach.

“She has excellent form in the javelin and is a great team member who always helps newcomers to the event,” said Stafford. “Rebecca was just selected one of Salem High’s three drum majors for the band, too, so she is clearly multi-talented.”

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Two outstanding young soccer players, Caitlin Harty of Beverly and Kerri Zerfoss of Peabody, have been selected to play for Boston Aztec in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. They are on a roster comprised of top college athletes from Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, UConn and Boston University, among others.

Harty is a member of the Aztec U17 team that won the state championship and will go to the US Youth Soccer Regional Championship at URI later this week. The Beverly High captain scored 50 goals this past season, is a three-time Northeastern Conference all-star and holds the school’s all-time single season record for goals and points.

“It’s an honor, and I was so happy when Doc (Aztec head coach Dushawne “Doc” Simpson) told me,” said Harty, who will start playing with the team when she returns from regionals. “It’ll be great exposure to the type of play I’ll see in college; getting an opportunity to experience it now is great.

“I’m also very excited about going to the regional championship; it’s the first time for me. Our team battled some injuries, but played great at the state tournament. We’re looking to keep it going.”

Zerfoss, who plays high school soccer for the Pingree School, is a member of the U15 Aztec Soccer Red Devils and also a key member of the Olympic Development Program’s regional team. She traveled to Costa Rica with the regional stars to play the U17 Costa Rica National team and a couple of Central America pro teams. The U15’s finished with a 2-1-1 record against excellent competition.

“Our club is committed to the development of our players by providing these opportunities for talented young players,” said Simpson, who led Aztec to the 2010 WPSL national championship and a berth in the finals last year. “Kerri and Caitlin are two great players who will find success at the next level as well. We hope to speed their development with this opportunity.”

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Tyler Phillips had a great senior season for the Marblehead High girls lacrosse team, which reached the Division 2 North final. She received a Marblehead Boosters scholarship and also took home the Offensive Player of the Year award for the Magicians.

Sharing MVP honors at the Marblehead girls lacrosse banquet were Allie Forman and Meggie Collins while Coaches Awards went to Kiley Fischer and Cassie Rodgers.

Phillips, also an outstanding diver on the swim team, was named Top Female Athlete for the senior class and was chosen to play in the Agganis Game. She will have to pass up that honor because the family will be vacationing in Italy, but she will continue her lacrosse career at Skidmore College.

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Abbey D’Agostino’s goal is to win, but a top-three finish would be nice in the 5,000 meters at the US Track and Field Outdoor Championship at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, tomorrow. The race will be televised on NBC as part of the live coverage (4-6 p.m.). More than 800 athletes will compete in the three-day event.

If D’Agostino nails down one of the top three spots, she will be named to Team USA and compete in the World Championships in Moscow Aug. 10-18.

The Dartmouth junior from Topsfield won the 5000 at the NCAA championships two weeks ago. She is one of 10 semifinalists and the first Ivy Leaguer to ever make the top 10 for the Bowerman Award, given annually to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track and field athletes in the country. The psychology major is also a three-time Academic All Ivy selection.

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Jean DePlacido is a part-time writer and columnist for The Salem News. Contact her at jmdeplacido@aol.com.