It was a busy first week for the local teams in the Vermont high school postseason, but by the time the dust settled on June 2, the Bellows Falls boys’ and girls’ track & field teams swept the Division III state meet and the Brattleboro baseball and girls’ lacrosse teams both found themselves two wins from glory in their respective Division I playoffs.
There was also a record-setting day for Brattleboro’s Jasper Reed in the Division I boys’ track meet, unexpected early exits for the Brattleboro and Leland & Gray softball teams, and an equally unexpected trip to the Division III baseball semis for Leland & Gray.
Track & field
• For the fifth straight year and for the ninth time in school history, Bellows Falls are the state champions in boys’ track & field. The BF girls are also working on a dynasty of their own, with a third straight state title, and five wins overall in the school’s history. The titles came at Division III-IV state meets at Green Mountain High School in Chester on June 4.
Shane Clark won three events for the BF boys— the javelin (160 feet, 2 inches), the pole vault (12 feet), and the 110 meter hurdles (16.45 seconds). Reno Tuttle took first in the discus (146-06) and shot put (46-4.5) and second in the javelin.
Gabe Hakimoglu won the high jump (5-10) and teamed up with Andrew Elliott, Connor Smith, and Kamren Amezcua to win the 4x100 relay in 46.67.
Michelle Marchica won the triple jump (34-07.75) and Abbe Cravinho took the 300 hurdles (49.32) to lead the BF girls. Brigid Hodsden triumphed in the 100 hurdles (17:02), and Jaden Luebbert (9-0) led a Terriers sweep of the pole vault, with Hodsden in second and Hailey Covillion in third.
The BF 4x400 relay team of Jasmine Boucher, Halle Dickerson, Abby Dearborn, and Macie Streeter finished first in a time of 4:23.60.
• The Brattleboro boys’ and girls’ track teams placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Division I state meet on Saturday in Burlington, but the big story was the Jasper Reed show.
Reed, a senior, won the 100 in 11.40 and the long jump with a mark of 23 feet to lead the Colonel boys. He also was the runner-up in the triple jump and came in third in the 200.
Reed’s performance in the long jump was notable, as he became the first athlete in Vermont track and field history to hit the 23-foot mark, breaking the state meet mark of 22-6.25 set by Champlain Valley Union’s Tom Titus in 1969. He also topped the overall state record of 22-9.5 set last year by Woodstock’s Bill Wood.
Brattleboro’s Kai Boyd’s throw of 116 feet, 3 inches earned her the Vermont state javelin championship. Putney School’s Delaney Bullock placed first in the 1,500 in 4:56:55.
In the Division IV meet, Twin Valley and Leland & Gray placed eighth and ninth, respectively, in the boys’ meet. In the girls meet, the Rebels were 11th and the Wildcats tied for 12th.
• Second-seeded Brattleboro was good enough to avoid a first-round game in Division I, but the extra time off was tempered by having to face a tough No. 7 Rutland squad at Natowich Field on June 2.
The two evenly-matched teams needed two overtime periods to settle matters, and it took Megyn Ayotte’s free position shot with 2:09 left in the second OT to give the Colonels a dramatic 8-7 win.
Despite having three defenders surrounding her, Ayotte had just enough space to snap off a point-blank shot at Rutland goalie Ali Merrit for her third goal of the day. Liz Day and Tobin Lonergan had two goals each and Sam Cragin added a goal.
The teams traded goals in the first half, which ended in a 4-4 tie. The Colonels dominated play in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but had nothing to show for it, while Rutland seemingly turned the momentum with a pair of goals for a 6-4 lead with 14:16 left in the second half.
Brattleboro staggered, but then they shook off the blows and answered with two quick scores to tie the game at 6-6 with 9:37 left. The teams traded goals late and Brattleboro withstood a frantic offensive flurry by Rutland in the final three minutes of regulation before going to overtime.
The 14-3 Colonels are scheduled to host third-seeded Middlebury (12-3) in a June 6 semifinal at Natowich Field at 4:30 p.m.
• Analytics may be all the rage in sports these days. However, sometimes a quick look at the pros-and-cons of a decision can beat a sheaf of statistics.
Pitcher Adam Newton normally doesn’t hit when he’s the starting pitcher. But after getting a pair of hits in the Colonels’ first-round playoff 4-1 win over Lyndon on May 29, Brattleboro coach Chris Groeger decided to keep Newton in the batting order.
The decision paid off against No. 7 Essex when Newton smacked a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to score pinch-runner Kris Carroll and give the second-seeded Colonels a come-from-behind 5-4 win at Tenney Field.
Newton had a good day on the mound, scattering six hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in seven innings of work. While the Colonels made three errors in the field, they were offset by catcher Dan Petrie throwing out two baserunners.
Brattleboro took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Tyler Millerick drew a one-out walk, advanced on an infield single by Leif Bigelow, and scored on a wild throw to first by Essex second baseman Ryan Young.
Essex then scored three runs off of Colonel errors in the fifth inning. A solo home run in the sixth by Garrett Somerset made it 4-1, Essex.
The Colonels then rallied back in their half of the sixth with an RBI single by Chris Frost that cut the lead to 4-2.
Brattleboro was still down two runs in the seventh, but everything then fell into place for the Colonels.
Bigelow singled up the middle and Petrie followed with a single to right, and an error by the right fielder put both players in scoring position with no outs. Kam Pelkey then hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 4-3.
Hunter Beebe drew a walk, and Carroll was sent in to run for him. Ben Betz followed with a sacrifice fly to left that allowed Carroll to move up to second. Carroll was then able to score the game-winning run when Newton singled to right.
“This was huge,” said Groeger of the comeback. “We were in big trouble against a very good team.”
The 17-1 Colonels were scheduled to host No. 3 Colchester (15-3) in the semifinals on June 5. Bigelow, the Colonels pitching ace, is expected to start. Against Lyndon, he struck out 10 batters and walked one in throwing a complete-game five-hitter.
• Fifth-seeded Leland & Gray is still alive in the Division III playoffs. On May 29 in Townshend, the Rebels hammered 12th-seeded Hazen, 13-5. Winning pitcher Christian Thomsen went 2-for-4 at the plate, scoring two runs, as Leland & Gray got six runs in the second inning and cruised from there.
The Rebels were able to take Thomsen out after 4 1/3 innings to save his arm for later; he allowed two hits and struck out six. Patrick McDonald doubled and scored four runs and Grayson Van Hendrick was 2-for-2 with two RBIs for the Rebels.
Leland & Gray then traveled to Morrisville on June 2 for a quarterfinal game against No. 4 Peoples Academy, and came away with a 5-2 win. Kaie Quigley had a pair of hits and two RBIs as the Rebels rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win.
Luc Dugrenier and Thomsen combined on a two-hitter for the Rebels, who were scheduled to face top-seeded Windsor in a semifinal game on June 5.
• No. 13 Twin Valley got mercy-ruled, 10-0, by fourth-seeded Peoples in a Division III first-round road game on May 29. Winning pitcher Kristian Viljanen threw a five-inning no-hitter and went 3-for-3 at the plate; he walked two batters and hit another in a seven-strikeout performance.
• No. 11 Bellows Falls lost to sixth-seeded Lake Region, 7-1, in a Division II first-round road game on May 29. Parker Brown threw a one-hitter for the Rangers, with 14 strikeouts. Spencer Clark went five-plus innings to take the loss for BF.
• Sixth-seeded Brattleboro lost in the Division I quarterfinals to No. 3 North Country, 13-3, in Newport on June 2.
A shaky day on defense made for a long day for losing pitcher Hailey Derosia, who struck out eight, walked seven, gave up six hits and hit three batters. The Colonels finished the season with a 14-4 record.
In their first-round game on May 31, the Colonels shut out No. 11 Spaulding, 9-0, as Derosia just missed out on a perfect game. She struck out 15 and walked two to settle for a no-hitter.
Mya McAuliffe and Lauren McKinney each had two hits for the Colonels.
• After reaching the state title game last year, fourth-seeded Leland & Gray fell to No. 5 BFA-Fairfax, 10-0, in a Division III quarterfinal on May 31 in Townshend.
Freshman pitcher Taylor Mitchell struck out 13 and walked no one as she scattered five hits to get the win. Olivia Brown took the loss for the Rebels. She struck out eight, walked nine, and gave up four hits.
The Rebels finished with an 11-6 record.
• Top-seeded Mount Abraham mercy-ruled No. 16 Bellows Falls, 24-0, in a Division II first-round game on May 29.
Ruby Ball led the Eagles with a 4-for-5 day at the plate with five RBIs, while winning pitcher Audrey Shaban held the Terriers to just three hits.
Paxton Santorelli took the loss for the 1-16 Terriers, giving up 24 hits.
• Sixth-seeded Burlington rolled over No. 11 Brattleboro, 14-3, on May 29, for the program’s first Division I playoff victory.
Curtis Plante fired in four goals and Duncan Macdonald added three goals and two assists to lead the Seahorses, who shut out the Colonels in the second half.
Charles Burroughs led Brattleboro with two goals and one assist. Gus Williams had a goal and Ryan Tyler had one assist. Caleb Martin made eight saves in goal. The Colonels finished with a 5-12 record.
• No. 8 Brattleboro lost its first round match to No. 9 Champlain Valley, 7-0, at the BUHS courts on May 29. The good news for the Colonels was they won at least one game in all but one set in the contest.
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 2 (20-5) had a 4-1 week to leapfrog Team 1 and Team 7 (both 18-7) and move into first place after Week 5 of the spring-summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 8 (15-10) is now in third place, followed Team 3 (13-12), Team 9 and Team 5 (both 12-13), Team 4 (8-17), and Team 6 (7-18).
Deet Farnum had the women’s high handicap game (256) while Pam Prouty had the high handicap series (674). Fred Bump had the men’s high handicap game (276) and series (740). Team 9 had the high team handicap game (715) and series (2,537).
In scratch scoring, Bump (581), Warren Corriveau Sr. (572), Jerry Dunham (561) all had 500-plus series. Bump (223), Dunham (212), and Jack Carlson (211) all had 200-plus games.