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Sports

May 26, 2014

Beverly girls, Peabody boys big winners at NEC meet

LYNN — The Peabody boys and Marblehead and Beverly girls track programs were each perfect through the Northeastern Conference in all three seasons of track this school year.

Saturday at the league’s spring track championships held at Manning Field in Lynn, it was easy to see why.

The Tanner boys had six event champions and used their depth to amass 171 total points, nearly doubling up second place Marblehead (87) and finishing unblemished in the spring for the seventh straight season.

Beverly’s girls won seven events, including a triple gold effort from senior Kristen O’Connor, and won two of the three relays to finish with 116.33 points to hold off Marblehead’s 97.

O’Connor averaged four wins per meet this spring and was one of the stars of the day. She won the 400 low hurdles in 64.34 seconds, won the triple jump on tiebreaker with Marblehead senior Monica Thorne (35-09) and ran a leg of Beverly’s winning 4x400 relay with Haylea Northcott, MaryCate Flaherty and Caitlin Harty in 4:02.

“Kristen had a great day, and her time in the 400 hurdles was a school record,” said Beverly coach Dave Jellerson. “She’s been almost a guaranteed 20 points in every meet we have; she’s an outstanding high jumper and also won the high hurdles indoors. She’s a great athlete.”

Harty came away with two golds, winning the 400 in 58.9 and adding a second in the long jump. Flaherty equaled that feat, winning the 800 in 2:19 with a third in the javelin. Beverly’s other winners were Hartford-bound Nicole Demars in the 2-mile (personal best time 11:24) and the 4x800 team of Jessica Goodall, Abby Walsh, Demars and Keely Higgins winning in 9:56.

Beverly’s seniors have won a number of NEC titles over their four years, and won’t be able to compete at the Eastern Mass. state meet next week because of graduation. Three relays have qualified for nationals and may choose to go compete, but if the NEC’s were the last meet for Beverly’s superb Class of 2014 they went out in style.

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