Redemption For DiMare


HINGHAM – Call it the DiMare Redemption.

A year after falling in the hurdles and not making it to the starting line of the 200-meter dash, Notre Dame’s Isabella DiMare decided it was time to make things right again.

DiMare gave the 200-meter field an up-close look at her talents yesterday at the Div. 2 EMass Championships on her home track. The speedster was fast out of the blocks and accelerated on the turn and down the straightaway to break the tape in a stunning new personal best of 24.98 seconds.

 “I really needed to redeem myself. I felt great,” said the up-and-coming star. “I’ve been working on my starts and I felt amazing coming out of the blocks in the prelim. I knew it was going to be a good day.  I felt great in the final,” she said. “No matter how tired I was the last 30 meters, I had to keep driving my arms. I came off the corner and felt the wind give me a push.”

DiMare and teammate Amanda Reilly, who captured the 100 in 12.54, led the Cougars to their first ever Div. 2 outdoor title in Eastern Mass. Rick Kates’ team finished with 70 points, easily beating challengers Mansfield (50 points) and Natick (49.5 points). “It was a real team effort,” said Kates. “A lot of people think track and field is an individual sport, but we treat it as a team sport here.”

Senior Shauna Owen, who Kates said is one of the best captains he’s had at Notre Dame, ran to a strong second in the 400 hurdles in 64.95 and also took second triple jump with a 34-foot leap. The hurdle time was a personal best as she focused on Kayley McGonagle of Natick, knowing she was the pre-race favorite.

“I ran against her at the Coaches Invitational and I know how good she is,” said Owen. “She ran a great time. I knew it would come down to us two. I thought if I couldn’t beat her I’d stay with her for as long as I could.”

Notre Dame also picked up points by capturing the 4x100 relay in 49.55 and getting a second-place finish from Abigail Concannon in the pole vault with a 10-0 mark.

Marshfield’s Kelsey Sullivan was a big point earner for the Rams with a win in the 100 hurdles in 15.14 second in the long jump at 17-1-3/4. Teammate Ellen DiPietro was an easy winner in the high jump at 5-6.

Dracut’s Karina Shepherd had the luxury of knowing she was primed and ready to have a very special run over 800 meters. The tall, talented junior was excited to see just what would ensue when the gun sounded.

Just a year removed from finishing in eighth place in 2 minutes, 24 seconds, Shepherd was in her own time zone as she blew away from the field to win by nine seconds with a meet-record time of 2:11.33. Shepard’s time erased the previous mark of 2:14.09 that Tewksbury’s Leanne Tucker ran in 2011. Shepard definitely has Tucker’s number after breaking her indoor Div. 2 mark in the 1,000.

Shepherd came back to anchor Dracut to victory and another meet record in the 4x800 in 9:35.00, just under the old mark set by Tewksbury three years ago.

Shepherd was confident the 800 mark was going to fall. “I saw my seed and it was under the meet record so I was really excited about that and I wanted to see how fast I could go,” she said. “I did a lot of work over the summer, more than I ever have before. I definitely have a different mindset this year. I want it (success) more and I’m willing to go get it.”

Mikaila Amerantes of Mansfield won the 400 in a swift 57.98 and Concord-Carlisle’s Megan Ratcliffe of Concord-Carlisle took the mile in 5:15.33. Siaina Campbell of Milford let loose a 37-10-1/4 heave to win the shot put and Jackie Vahey of Winchester won the discus at 116-1. Chelsee Porcaro of Tewksbury fired the javelin 117-7 for the gold medal.

North Attleboro had a win by Erick Beckwith in the shot put (55-1-1/4) and a clutch second-place finish from Alex Jette in the long jump (21-8-1/2) to finish at the top of the standings on the boys’ side with 72 points. Reading took second with 56.5 points and Mansfield was right in the hunt with 55 points for third.

Walpole’s P.J. Hayes captured the 200 against a deep field with a quick 22.03 and is looking forward to Saturday’s All-State meet at Westfield State University and the chance to go up against an even deeper lineup. “I’m new to the 200 and coming in I knew there were a lot of fast guys,” the personable Hayes said. “Next week there should be even more competition. I’m just going to keep working hard this week.”

Marshfield junior Matt Meehan answered five Owen Gonser surges over the last 400 meters and set a personal best by five seconds with a swift 4:23.24 win. Gonser was two steps back at the tape in4:23.32.

Meehan ran towards the front of the pack just behind Gonser and surged into the lead at the bell. Gonser surged three times before the third turn and twice on the straightaway, but Meehan didn’t give the King Philip standout an inch.

“Going into the last lap I had the lead and really wanted it so I kept pushing,” said Meehan, who was mobbed by teammates after his upset victory. “I was hoping to break his confidence. The last lap I just gave it my all. When the fourth lap came I was very confident.”

Marshfield also got a great performance from Pat Sheridan who ran a sizzling 49.75 for second in the 400. The Rams’ 4x400 relay team was victorious with a quick 3:25.04.

Dan Romano overcame a near disaster when a competitor accidently stepped on his heel and his shoe became loose with 600 meters left in the 2 mile. The Mansfield distance ace remained calm and sprinted to victory with one shoe in 9:42.21. “It was half off for about 100 meters and when I sped up it just flew off,” said Romano. “I was thinking it may be hard to kick without a shoe, but it didn’t hurt that bad. I was lucky I had socks on.”

Craig Green of Falmouth burned the 100-meter field to the tune of 11.09 while Mansfield’s Matt Baldasare hit 49.71 for a win at 400 meters. Connor McCarthy of Walpole defeated a strong 110 hurdle field in 14.56. King Philip’s Mathew Bowers owned the runway with wins in the long jump (22-10) and triple jump (45-2-3/4).

Reading’s Ryan Maney’s form was impeccable in down the stretch of the 400 hurdles as he hit the finish line in first with a very quick 54.73 for the easy win. “When you hit hurdles it slows you down a lot,” said Maney, who will compete at the University of New Hampshire. “You try to keep your head locked in place and you try to keep your form. My start was really good. I got out and made up the stagger almost by the first straightaway.”

Once in the starting blocks, Maney is more focused on what he needs to do. The competition is an afterthought.

“I’m just concentrating on running my own race. I don’t really pay attention to who’s around me. I’ve run enough 400 hurdle races to know that if I run my race, I’m usually going to win.”