CHS boys, girls run in D-2 state meet
The Chelsea High boys and girls cross-country teams concluded their very successful seasons at the Division 2 State Championship Meet that was held at the Wrentham Training Center on Saturday.
The weather was cold and blustery for the morning, but that did not stop both teams from competing as well as they could.
For the Lady Red Devils, Yarid Deras achieved a personal record (PR) by nine seconds and finished 64th among the field of 161 runners.
Yard’s clocking of 20:55 marked the first time that a Chelsea girl has broken 21 minutes over a 5K (3.1 miles) course.
Teammate Amanda Dias turned in a PR by 49 seconds, running 21:34. Cynthia Mancia also had a PR clocking of 22:37, which was 11 seconds faster than her previous best.
Junior Jocelyn Poster ran a 22:48, followed by sophomore Karina Avalos in 25:19 and Marissa Rivera in 26:36.
All six girls are slated to return next year to defend their Commonwealth Athletic Conference dual and league meet championship crowns.
On the boys’ side, Chelsea’s top runner, Jose Leclerc, had a bit of an off day, but still finished 42nd among the field of 185 competitors with a time of 17:03.
“We were hoping that Jose could extend his season one more week,” said CHS head coach Don Fay, referring to the this week’s All-State Meet, for which the top runners from each of the six divisions compete for the state title. “Even though he was disappointed, he had a tremendous season winning the league meet, going undefeated in the dual meet season, and medaling at three of the state invitationals.
“Jose will be sorely missed next year,” added Fay. “He was almost an automatic win in the league this year, which gives a team a distinct advantage when they have the best runner in the league.”
Junior Justin Turner had another big PR on the day with a clocking of 18:24.
“In his last two races at Wrentham, Justin has improved by almost 90 seconds,” noted Fay.
In the final cross country race of his high school career, Alex Pedrero just missed achieving a PR, running 18:55, which was two seconds off his best time. Sophomore Limilson Tavares tied his PR with a showing of 19:07 for the second straight week. Jazmany Reyes was right behind in 19:09 and senior Ronny Lopez finished his cross country career, running 19:12.
“The boys had a great finish to the season,” said Fay. “I wish the league meet was a week or two later. We might have been able to win the whole thing. The good news is we have eight of our top 11 returning. We do lose Jose, Alex and Ronny, but the core behind them is strong and should be a strong contender next year for a league title.”
by Bob Morello
Bruins’ Middleton ‘Tradition’ selection
Tuesday, November 28, The Sports Museum will honor six athletes during their annual event, ‘The Tradition.’ Those honored will include tennis champion Martina Navratilova (Presenter Chris Evert), Boston Celtics’ Dave Cowens (Presenter Hon. R. Malcolm Graham), New England Patriots’ Willie McGinest (Presenter Jonathan Kraft), Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (Presenters Jay Williams and Peter Gammons), sportscaster Chris Berman (Presenter Bill Fairweather), and former Bruin Rick Middleton (Presenter Terry O’Reilly).
Middleton was drafted in the first round, 14th overall, by the New York Rangers in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft, following a standout junior career with the Oshawa Generals in which he led the OHA league in scoring his final year, with 67 goals and 70 assists, 137 points in 62 games. Middleton was also drafted by the upstart World Hockey Association’s Minnesota Fighting Saints in the second rounds 21st overall. Signing with New York, and playing his first season (1973-74) with the Rangers’ farm team, the AHL Providence Reds, Middleton earned rookie of the year honors and was named to the AHL’s First All-Star Team.
His jump to the NHL came the following season 1974-75, despite being hit with injuries that only allowed him to play 47 games, Middleton still managed to score 22 goals. The following season was not as spectacular, as he scored 24 goals in 77 games while showing defensive deficiencies. Middleton was traded to the Boston Bruins for Ken Hodge on May 26, 1976. New York Rangers head coach and general manager John Ferguson Sr. was confident that his team had enough young talent to justify making Middleton expendable. The Bruins got a player who was ten years younger and a much faster skater than Hodge. The transaction appeared lopsided in favor of the Bruins when head coach Don Cherry developed Middleton’s defensive skills to make him a solid two-way player. Hodge played only one more season before his career ended, while Middleton became a great star in Boston, scoring a hat trick in his first game as a Bruin and nearly nine hundred points in a Bruins uniform over the next twelve years. In a marriage made in heaven, Middleton was paired with Bruins center Barry Pederson, and had five straight seasons with at least 40 goals and 90 points, to lead the Bruins. His leadership resulted in him being named co-captain (with Ray Bourque) to succeed Terry O’Reilly in 1985, a position he held until he retired, wearing the captain’s “C” during home games.
Considered one of the best one-on-one players of all time, Middleton currently ranks #2 all time in career shooting percentage (19.7) among players with 400+ goals.
His best season was the 1981-81 season during which Middleton scored a career high 51 goals, won the Lady Byng Trophy for excellence and sportsmanship, and was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team. The following season he led the Bruins to the league’s best regular season record, and set still unbroken records that year for the most points scored in the playoffs by a player not advancing to the finals (33) and for a single playoff, series (19, in the quarterfinals against Buffalo). His 105 points in the 1983-84 season ironically tied Ken Hodge’s team record for most points scored in a season by a right winger, and remains unbroken.
In international competition Middleton was selected to play for Team Canada in the Canada Cup in 1981 and 1984 Teamed on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Michel Goulet in the 1984 series, he scored four goals and four assists in seven games. Middleton was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game in 1981, 1982 and 1984.
During the 1986 season, Middleton was struck by a puck on the temple in practice, and missed the remainder of the season and playoffs with a concussion. Although he wore a helmet thereafter and recovered enough to score 31 goals the following year, he had recurring headaches for the rest of his career, and retired following the1988 season. He retired with 448 goals and 540 assists for 988 points in 1005 games, adding 100 points in 114 playoff games, and currently serves as the President of Boston Bruins Alumni.
Individual tickets for The Tradition include reserved seating $300. (All tickets include food and beverage). Gala Reception: 6:00pm – Event Program: 7:45pm – Dessert Reception: 9:15pm. For tickets visit www.sportsmuseum.org or call 617.624.1231. This will prove to be any sports fan’s ultimate dream, with a chance to mingle with the honorees on this special night (11/28)!