MAU's Crosier wins three state championships
Winning three in one day is one heck of an accomplishment.
Mount Anthony junior track star Rebecca Crosier can call herself a three-time champ with wins in the 55-meter dash, the 300 meters and the long jump at the Vermont state meet on Saturday at the University of Vermont.
A search through some state track and field result archives shows that no other Mount Anthony runner had won three state championships at the same meet since at least 1997.
"I was so impressed with Rebecca," said MAU coach Amanda Mullen. "The way she went out, she had her goals in mind and she was ready to fight to get there."
Crosier started the day with the shortest event, the 55 meters, winning in 7.47 seconds. Mullen said the final heat ended up with seven runners to fit in six lanes, so race organizers split the field in half.
"The 55 was a mess, she didn't even race the second or third fastest sprinter," Mullen said. "To start off that way was extremely successful and winning that, I think that put her on a 'I got this' feeling for the rest of the day."
In between her victories, Crosier anchored Mount Anthony's 4x200 relay to a fourth-place finish and a qualifying spot in the New Englands in a couple of weeks.
The team of Emma Salem, Carli Kipp, Maya Perry and Crosier finished in 1 minute, 57.01 seconds, good enough to qualify for regionals.
"We had four solid runners in that race," Mullen said.
Then soon after, she went to the long jump, where she was seeded first. After a quick warmup, Crosier put down what ended up as her winning jump, 17 feet, 2.5 inches on the first round of jumps. Others tried to match, but couldn't as she won by nearly seven inches over Lia Rotti from St. Johnsbury in second.
"Her warmup was perfect and she nailed the first one. The next two were down a little, but then she was over 17 on her last jump," Mullen said.
Her final victory of the day may have been the most impressive. Racing in the fastest heat, Crosier blitzed the field, finishing in 42.30 seconds — 1.21 better than Essex's Lizzie Martell in second.
Crosier's three victories led the Mount Anthony girls to a fourth-place team finish, with 42.5 points, the third straight season they've finished fourth overall at states.
Other top six finishes, which all qualify for the New England tournament, included freshman Maya Perry with a second-place finish in the high jump, tying with a leap of 5 feet, but doing it in less attempts. She only was behind Essex's Hannah Neddo, a senior.
"Maya has been struggling with an injury, but she just went out and did it," Mullen said. "I was so impressed with how she held it together mentally."
Salem also got the Patriots a half-point in the high jump, tying for sixth with a leap of 4 feet, 8 inches.
The boys were sixth as a team, with 24 team points. The best individual finish came in the 55 hurdles, with Cooper Mason taking second in 8.96 seconds, behind only Essex's Jamaal Hankey.
Mullen said the result came in part with a change in footwear.
"We realized that Cooper had been racing in sneakers all season," Mullen said. "So we had him run in spikes and he finishes second. He's cruising right now and I'm excited for outdoor track for him."
A pair of relays also qualified for New Englands, the 4x200 and the 4x400. The team of David Chorlton, Evan Page, Robert Cunningham and Jack Haynes threw down a third place run in 1:39.32, then in the final event of the competition, the 4x4, Matt Whitman, Andrew Ponessi, Mason and Cunningham finished fifth in 3:52.01, a personal best by six seconds.
Other top six finishes included a fourth-place in the weight throw last week by Isaiah Brunache with a throw of 35 feet, 3.75 inches. Isaac Sibley tied for fifth in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 8 inches, and the freshman Ponessi was fifth in the 600 in 1:34.50.
"We have 19 freshman on the team and they are contributing, we'll start to have the same depth as some of the other teams," Mullen said.
One runner expected to have a good individual day was Evan Page, but after qualifying for New Englands with the 4x2 relay, he tried to compete in the 1000 meters, but was sick and did not finish.
"Just for Evan to finish third in the relay and even try the 1000, most kids would have never got on the bus," said Mullen, who believed Page had a stomach bug.
Overall, 10 MAU athletes have qualified for New Englands in two weeks at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
"I thought we did really well and I think we're heading in the right direction," Mullen said.
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