The undefeated Chelsea High girls track and field team took on their final challenge of the season, defending their title at the CAC League Championship Meet held Saturday at Greater Lowell Technical High School.
Although The Lady Red Devils had vanquished all of their rivals during the regular season en route to compiling an 8-0 record, “The League Championship Meet posed a whole other challenge with all the top performers in the league competing against each other,” observed CHS head Coach Kim Huffer. “We have a pretty deep team. Throughout the season our wins were team wins. We don’t depend on one or two athletes for scoring, but rather we have many members who contribute to our wins. We knew this would have to continue if we wanted to win at the League Meet.”
Based on the athletes’ seeding in their individual events, the Chelsea girls rated only a slim one point favorite over top conference foes Mystic Valley and Greater Lowell. “The girls knew where they stood entering the meet. They knew that to win the meet, we would need two or three members to finish in the scoring column (for the top six places) in many of the events,” said Huffer.
And the Chelsea girls did just that, with two or more Chelsea athletes finishing in the top six in 10 of the 16 events, which proved to be the answer to Chelsea winning the meet with a whopping 138 points, far outpacing closest rivals Mystic Valley (86.5 points), and Greater Lowell (83.5 points). The triumph marked the second consecutive CAC League Meet title for the Lady Red Devils.
Chelsea had many strong performances by its members. Shuly Sejour won her first individual league title in the 100 hurdles (18.07), just edging teammate Thien-Ly Che (18.37). Sejour also finished fourth in both the 200 dash and the long jump.
The 4 x 400 relay quartet of Tatyana Almeida, Loren Ramos, Mursal Hassan, and Jesenia Contreras also maintained their undefeated streak for the season, finishing first with a time of 4:39. Almeida ended her day with a third place finish in the 400 meter dash (67.94). Hassan rounded out her day with a third place effort in the high jump (4’5) and a fourth place in the 400 hurdles (78.62). Contreras finished second in the 800 (2:47).
Other Chelsea athletes who finished in the top six to contribute points to their team’s winning effort were:
400 hurdles: (3) Thien-Ly Che (77.79); 100 hurdles: (1) Shuly Sejour, (2) Thien-Ly Che, (6) Quinnee Valenzona; two mile: (2) Suzanne Mikalixen (14:02), (5) Neris Yanes (14:56);
one mile: (2) Anelsa Beqo (6:12), (4) Jennifer Medrano (6:22), (6) Suzanne Mikalixen (6:45);
4 x 100 relay: (2) Zuleima Castillo, Karolyn Moni, Wendy Chung, Stephanie Moni (55.43);
400 dash: (3) Tatyana Almeida, (5) Quinnee Valenzona (69.05); 800: (2) Jesenia Contreras, (3) Belinda Beqo (2:47), (4) Jennifer Medrano (2:50); shot put: (6) Diana Batista (25’10); javelin: (4) Cristal Rodriguez (70′), (5) Zuleima Castillo (68’3); high jump: (3) Mursal Hassan (4’5), (5) Wendy Chung (4’2); long jump: (3) Stephanie Moni (14′), (4) Shuly Sejour (14′); and triple jump: Thien-Ly Che (27’8).
“I am really proud of this team,” Huffer said. “We entered this season thinking it was going to be a rebuilding year, but the determination of this team, specifically our seniors, proved otherwise. They rose to every challenge that was presented to them and conquered it. It’s been great to watch them grow this season, as individual athletes and as a team. This has been a really successful season and I’m excited to see how far the team will go next season.” said Huffer.
The Lady Red Devils concluded the 2011 season with a current winning streak of 34-0.
Chelsea has been undefeated for the past four seasons, winning the CAC League Championship Meet the past two years.
In recognition of this outstanding record, Huffer was named the CAC Girls Coach of the Year by her fellow coaches.