Watertown’s relay teams showed they could compete with the best teams in their division during the MIAA Div. 4 Indoor Championships, and two runners placed in their individual events on Thursday at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center.
The Raider’s top finish came from Watertown junior Emily Koufos, who battled her way through the pack in the mile run, and closed a gap of more than 25 meters on the final lap to nip a runner at the line for third place.
“I knew the pace was fast, and said I have to run my own race,” Koufos said. “I kept my composure and started by passing two girls, which put me in fourth. On the last lap I saw Jillian Howard from Weston. I used my kick.”
Koufos’ time of 5:12.25 was just .09 seconds ahead of the the fourth-place finisher. It was a couple seconds slower than her personal record, set last week at the Middlesex Championship Meet.
For the boys, the indoor season had not gone the way they wanted, according to Coach Tom Wittenhagen, but he was pleased with his athletes’ performance at the Divisional Meet.
“We had a rather poor performance at the League Meet, so it is a step up from that,” Wittenhagen said. “There were seven PRs – personal records – out of 10 kids we took here. That’s pretty good.”
Both of the boys relays took seventh place in their races. The 4 x 200 relay of junior Nick Cordeiro, senior Sam Carton, senior Vasken Kebabjian and sophomore Mange Camara were seeded seventh and finished seventh, with a time of 1:36.70.
In the 4 x 400 relay, junior Ben Landry, Carton, Cordeiro and Camara also claimed seventh place. Camara said he was satisfied given the circumstances.
“This season hasn’t been so great,” Camara said after the 4 x 200. “I’ve been injured. Seventh is better than nothing.”
The girls 4 x 800 team came in seeded 11th, but they made the final heat. The team of junior Elizabeth Powderly, junior Anya Gellerman, senior Stella Varnum and Koufos worked their way into the points by grabbing seventh place.
Powderly said the team knew it would be a tough race, but all four runners had their best times. Koufos, the anchor, passed a few runners on the final lap, including the runner from Wakefield on the home stretch.
The boys lone individual point scorer had a tough task to place in the 2 mile race. James Piccirilli just missed out on being in the top heat, so he had to pace himself.
“It would have been so much easier (to be in the top heat),” Piccirilli said.
The senior took an early lead in the 16 lap race and had to keep a high pace while running all on his own.
“This was my personal record,” he said. “I haven’t been running super great. This race I really felt it. After the second lap I felt good.”
With a time of of 10:11.61, Piccirilli won his heat by more than 17 seconds, and it was better than six runners in the first heat.
In other races, junior Gus Brouiliard finished 11th in the 1000, Powderly took 12th in the 1 mile, Kebabjian was 15th in the 300, the girls 4 x 200 relay placed 23rd, senior Anthony Feliz finished in 23rd in the 55 meter hurdles and Gellerman got 26th in the 600.
The girls’ eight points earned them a five-way tie for 18th place, while the boys finished in a four-way tie for 24th place with five points.