BOSTON — Celebration turned to consternation for Watertown High School’s girls track team on Thursday night. The 4 x 800 relay team crossed the line in second place at the MIAA Div. 5 Indoor Track Championships, but minutes later the Raiders were informed they had been disqualified.
The relay team of senior Casey Master, sophomore Elsa Ryan, senior Teagan Shaughnessy, and junior Anna Lonergan battled eventual winner Weston through the 16-lap race at the Reggie Lewis Track Center, and even led for several laps. The scoreboard showed the Raiders in second place, with a time of 10:22.11, about three seconds behind Weston and more than eight seconds ahead of third place Lunenberg.
As the team lined up to get their medals, however, an announcement went over the public address system, saying “Will the Watertown girls coach please report to the scorer’s table.” Watertown’s name and time disappeared from the scoreboard, and officials informed Coach Kim Usseglio the Raiders had been disqualified.
Meet Director Peter McCauliff said one of the Watertown runners had interfered with another team’s runner by stepping into the next lane after passing the baton. Usseglio said she didn’t notice the interference.
The disqualification also means the time did not count. Usseglio said it was one of the quartet’s best times, likely the second best of the season.
“They are very disappointed,” Usseglio said. “If they did place that would have moved them on to next week (to run in the Meet of Champions). Now they are done.”
Watertown did have a medal winner at the Div. 5 meet. Ryan finished eighth in the girls 600 meters with a time of 1:44.58, and said she had good race.
“It wasn’t a personal best time, but it was milliseconds off,” Ryan said.
Lonergan finished just out of the points in the girls mile, where she ran a 5:32.32 and finished ninth.
The Raiders had a pair of long jumpers competing at the Div. 5 meet. Junior Michael Jokic’s best jump was 16 feet-0.5 inches, and he finished 20th on the boys’ side. Senior Shannon Fitzpatrick finished 19th in the girls competition with a jump of 14 feet-7 inches.
The girls 4 x 200 relay of senior Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, sophomore Rachel Egan, senior Allison Fijux, and sophomore Isabella Sadkowski ran a time of 2:00.98 and placed 23rd.
Freshman Evelyn Follett finished 26th in the 1000 meters with a time of 3:40.68.
Girls Basketball Shooting for Home Playoff Game
The Raiders girls basketball team has started to gel at the right time, and still has hope of hosting a first round State Tournament game, said Coach Pat Ferdinand.
“It’s been a rewarding challenge this year,” he said. “There’s been so much growth in skill and mentality.”
Watertown struggled through the beginning of the season, dropping five straight after winning the opener. The Raiders then won four in a row to even their record. Since then they have battled through the Middlesex League schedule, and sit at 8-9.
“We get better every practice and that makes it exciting. We were down 17 points in first quarter to Stoneham (last week) and won by one,” he said. “The resiliency toughness gene was crucial.”
Despite being a game under .500, Watertown currently occupies the 15th spot in the MIAA Div. 3 Power Rankings, which would give them a home tourney date.
“I’m not sure if we will host,” Ferdinand said. “When we were on a five game losing streak we didn’t know if we would make it in, so we are just focus on competing and then we see where we fall.”