Throughout the spring, girls’ track coach Mike Darlings said the dual meet with Sharon would turn out to be the meet of the year. He turned out to be right.
Coming into the meet, both Darling and Sharon coach Tim Cimeno expected things to be neck and neck until the final event. As expected, that statement also proved to be true.
After the OA 4x100 relay team finished first to clinch at least a tie in the meet, the Sharon 4x400 squad hit its stride in the day’s final event, finishing first to secure a 68-68 tie Tuesday afternoon at Muscato Stadium. With the tie, the two teams clinched a share of the first ever Davenport Division crown.
“It was a meet that we predicted to come down to the end,” Darling said. “It was an outstanding track meet between two very competitive programs – one up and coming – and I look forward to facing this team for the next four or five years.”
Since Val Muscato has been head coach, OA has been well known for its successful track programs. Sharon, however, has seen its share of ups and downs throughout its history.
But now -- albeit not outright -- the Eagles can add their first girls’ spring track division title to their trophy case.
“It’s a great day for our program,” said Cimeno. “We’ve had problems getting some winning seasons, let alone grabbing a share of the title. It’s a great accomplishment.”
“We didn’t even think we would be even competing for the league title a couple of years ago at a meet like this and have it end in a tie,” added Sharon senior tri-captain Sara Gildersleeve, a winner of three events Tuesday. “It was so exciting to have our team cheering on in the last lap of the 4x400. I’ve never seen that in all my years in Sharon track.”
Although Darling would have liked to have clinched the Davenport crown outright, he’s okay with clinching at least a share of the title. The OA track coach also praised Sharon for its breakthrough season.
“[Being] co-champs is fine with me,” Darling said. “I’m happy for Sharon, this is a big day for them in their history.”
While both teams have competed in their final dual meets of the season, the 2011 campaign is far from over. Some members from the two squads will participate in the State Coaches Meet this Saturday; but a good majority from both teams will take part in the Hockomock Championships in Mansfield, beginning Tuesday with the field events and concluding Thursday with the running events.