SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

February 2, 2013

Beverly resident fast becoming a master at Masters sprinting

Jean DePlacido
The Salem News

---- — Under trainer Roger Pierce’s tutorage, Diane Pomeroy is fast becoming one of the best Masters’ sprinters in the country.

Last weekend at the East Regional Masters Championship in Providence, the Beverly resident won three gold medals. Pomeroy captured the 400 meter race in 63.03, the 200 in 28.58, and ran the second leg on the 4x200 relay team to set a new American record. She had a 28-second leg to help the team break the old mark in the women’s 40-49 age category by just over three seconds (1:53.74).

“It was a remarkable effort by four excellent women,” said Pierce, who was unable to race himself because of a hamstring injury. The 68-year old from Essex is a 13-time world champion and 11-time world record holder. “Pomeroy is the top ranked US woman for the indoor season in her age group in the 200, 400, 600 and 800 meters. She’s had a remarkable indoor season and is unbeaten in her age group after more than nine track competitions.”

It is ironic that Liz Palmer, who organized the relay, was unable to compete after suffering an injury earlier in the meet. Beth Clark of Rhode Island took her place on the team with Pomeroy, Sarah Lawson of Boston and Latrisha Dendy of New York. It was the first time the foursome had ever raced together, and they were unable to practice before the event.

Pomeroy was an All-American at Bryant University and has won the Buffalo Marathon. She has only been sprinting for two years and is still learning the techniques of sprinting as opposed to longer distances.

“Diane is an absolutely remarkable athlete, and at 5-foot-3 and only 114 (pounds), she’s pound-for-pound one of the best sprinters I know,” said Pierce. “Her background in middle and long distance running has given her the experience and confidence to become one of the best sprinters in the country and one of the top 10 in the world.

“Her workouts have been driven by remarkable intensity, and it has paid off handsomely for her over the past 10 months. Because she is so new to sprinting, I believe that she has unlimited potential.”

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F.J. Murphy was slated to fill a starter’s role for the St. John’s Prep football team last fall, but suffered a torn meniscus in a preseason scrimmage and was out for his entire senior year. The defensive tackle from Salem was able to dress for Thanksgiving after getting his doctor’s permission and came in for the kneel down in the waning moments. Afterward, coach Jim O’Leary presented him with the game ball for his dedication to the team all season.

The injury put a damper on his college plans as several teams that had expressed interest in him stopped calling. That was not the case for Endicott College, however, and because of that loyalty Murphy has decided to play for the Beverly-based Gulls next year.

“Coach Tony Volpone, the recruiting coordinator at Endicott, told me last summer that if anything happened to let him know. So when I got hurt, I called him,” said Murphy, who plans to major in political science.

“I visited the college the day they played Norwich in the North Atlantic Bowl, and I loved everything about it. I had been looking at NESCAC schools before I got hurt, but once I got my acceptance letter from Endicott I was ready to commit. I met head coach (J.B.) Wells and really liked him.”

Murphy said he also likes the 3-4 defense the Gulls employ, and was told he could play anywhere from nose tackle to defensive end.

Despite his injury, Murphy was with his St. John’s Prep teammates at practices and games. He helped players out, and made Chris Newton’s transition from linebacker to defensive tackle a lot easier.

“I felt like I was part of the Super Bowl season, and my defensive line coach (Dave) McHenry was really great about keeping me upbeat through it all. It was fun to be part of it even if I couldn’t be on the field.”

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New England Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington will be on NBC Sports today at noon for a national broadcast with Charlie Moore. Arrington is one of NFL player agent Sean Stellato’s clients. A lot of the footage was filmed at Arrington’s old high school in Maryland last summer.

“He’s a special kid,” said Stellato, a former star quarterback at Salem High who has a few lines in the show. “He’s an unrestricted free agent, and my ultimate goal is to keep him in New England if at all possible. We’ll have to wait and see, but he’s a team first guy who defines everything about the New England philosophy.”

This marks the second week in a row a Stellato client has been on the show. Last week, the program featured running back Isaac Redman of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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