Thursday evening December 13th, the Rockets opened up their season against the Braintree Wampatucks at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury and did not disappoint. The girls' team outscored and outdid their opponents in nearly every event to win the meet scoring 64.67 points to Braintree's 30.33. From the first shot of the starter's pistol, Needham gained control by sweeping the one mile and 1,000 meter runs won by sophomore Kaleigh Hughes (5:46.66) and senior captain Hallie Armstrong (3:22.22). Finishing strong behind the victors, were Sarah Armstrong and Sammy Lerner as well as Rachel Blaustein and Julianna Donovan.
Meanwhile in classic three ring circus style, the high jump and shot put were being contested in different areas of the arena. In the high jump, an event that Needham has struggled with in recent years, sophomore Lydia Phung soared to new heights clearing 4' 7" and placing second in the event while captains Christina Smith and Hallie Armstrong placed in a three-way tie with Braintree's Alex Pearse for third giving each athlete .33 points toward their team's total. The shot put turned out to be another difficult event for the Rockets without their top returner Tasha Desir on the injured list. The Wamps threw well up front to take first and second but sophomore Shaleah Guild stepped up in her first competition in nearly a year to snag third place with a throw of 28' 11".
Back on the oval, the Rockets looked to be in control again scoring four points in the 600 off the second and third place finishes of junior Kira Oberle and sophomore Isabel Cole. The 300 turned out even better for Needham with senior captain Robin Kelly winning in a personal best time of 43.62 seconds. When the gun went off to start the 2 mile, the Rockets were nearly guaranteed another sweep with senior captain Caroline Turner leading the way and getting the win in 12:22.01 with teammates Erica Koljonen and Daria Fortin finishing in second and third respectively.
In the 55 meter hurdles, Smith was no match for her competition winning by a huge margin in 9.87 seconds. Sophomore Grace Li stepped up to garner third place. In the 55 meter dash, junior Blessing Ojini got out of the blocks well to snag the win and five more points for the Rockets running 7.87 seconds. In the final field event of the night, Smith and Kelly combined for a solid one, two punch leaping 14' 10.75" and 14' 2" in the long jump.
Entering the 4 x 400, the Rockets had already outscored the Wamps and the relay was little more than a formality. The team consisting of Lerner, Hughes, Blaustein and Hallie Armstrong picked up their final victory on the night finishing in 4:28.24.
Full results can be found at:
Next up for Needham is a dual meet with Weymouth Thursday December 20th at Reggie Lewis. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm.