High School Track: Amherst’s Logan Alfandari and Moriah Luetjen finish second at state meet

Amherst’s Moriah Luetjen, second from right, runs to a second place finish in the girls 200 meter with a time of 24.80 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Amherst’s Moriah Luetjen, second from right, runs to a second place finish in the girls 200 meter with a time of 24.80 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Logan Alfandari competes to a second place finish a discus throw of 164-04 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Amherst’s Logan Alfandari competes to a second place finish a discus throw of 164-04 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Moniha Krouch competes to a fifth place finish a discus throw of 143-03 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Amherst’s Moniha Krouch competes to a fifth place finish a discus throw of 143-03 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Northampton’s Ella Hoogendyk, left, and Camilla Brewer stand with their medals in the girls triple jump at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. Hoogendyk placed fourth with a jump of 35-10 and Brewer placed seventh with 35-07.50.

Northampton’s Ella Hoogendyk, left, and Camilla Brewer stand with their medals in the girls triple jump at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. Hoogendyk placed fourth with a jump of 35-10 and Brewer placed seventh with 35-07.50. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Northampton’s Ella Hoogendyk competes to a fourth place finish with a jump 35-10 in the girls triple jump at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Northampton’s Ella Hoogendyk competes to a fourth place finish with a jump 35-10 in the girls triple jump at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Northampton’s Camilla Brewer competes to a seventh place finish with a jump 35-07.50 in the girls triple jump at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Northampton’s Camilla Brewer competes to a seventh place finish with a jump 35-07.50 in the girls triple jump at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Elizabeth Sawicki runs to a fifth place finish in the girls 400 hurdles with a time of 1:08.43 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Amherst’s Elizabeth Sawicki runs to a fifth place finish in the girls 400 hurdles with a time of 1:08.43 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Elizabeth Sawicki competes in the high jump portion of the girls pentathlon at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Amherst’s Elizabeth Sawicki competes in the high jump portion of the girls pentathlon at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Miguel Pinero-Jacome, second from right, runs to a fifth place finish in the boys 800 with a time of 1:57.79 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Amherst’s Miguel Pinero-Jacome, second from right, runs to a fifth place finish in the boys 800 with a time of 1:57.79 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Northampton’s Charlotte Shimpach runs to a 12th place finish in the girls 2 mile with a time of 12:20.62 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Northampton’s Charlotte Shimpach runs to a 12th place finish in the girls 2 mile with a time of 12:20.62 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Northampton’s Charlotte Shimpach runs to a 12th place finish in the girls 2 mile with a time of 12:20.62 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Northampton’s Charlotte Shimpach runs to a 12th place finish in the girls 2 mile with a time of 12:20.62 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Nico Lisle competes to a 12th place finish in the boys 800 meter with a time of 1:59.82  at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Amherst’s Nico Lisle competes to a 12th place finish in the boys 800 meter with a time of 1:59.82 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Northampton’s Liam Ewers competes to a 21st place finish in the boys 800 meter with a time of 2:03.34 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Northampton’s Liam Ewers competes to a 21st place finish in the boys 800 meter with a time of 2:03.34 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Northampton’s Malia Silver runs to a 15th place finish in the girls 800 meter with a time of 2:25.46 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Northampton’s Malia Silver runs to a 15th place finish in the girls 800 meter with a time of 2:25.46 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Northampton’s Malia Silver runs to a 15th place finish in the girls 800 meter with a time of 2:25.46 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield.

Northampton’s Malia Silver runs to a 15th place finish in the girls 800 meter with a time of 2:25.46 at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday in Westfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

Staff Writer

Published: 05-23-2024 9:46 PM

WESTFIELD – Northampton and Amherst athletes competed at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday evening, and Amherst’s Logan Alfandari (discus) and Moriah Luetjen (200) secured second-place finishes.

The championships are broken into two days – the remaining events resume on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., also at Westfield State.

‘Canes place two in top five of boys discus

Alfandari came in as the No. 2 qualifier and took second place, though his best throw (164-04) fell less than a meter shy of both the top finisher (167-06) and the nationals qualifying standard (165-08). Alfandari beat the third-place finisher by more than six meters.

“I was feeling good,” Alfandari said. “I just needed to loosen up. I was a little stiff.”

All three of Alfandari’s preliminary throws cleared 160, though he fouled on his last three attempts.

Teammate Moniha Krouch followed up Alfandari by placing fifth (143-03). Coach Sarah Hickman said the pair of juniors have been pushing each other for years.

“They kind of spoil me in a sense, in that my expectations are high,” Hickman said. “They’ve been growing and doing this journey together, which I think is a beautiful thing.”

The duo went one-two at the Western Mass. Division 1 championships on Saturday and they’re both gunning to qualify for the meet of champions at Fitchburg State on May 30 and June 1. The top 24 marks in the state qualify, and Alfandari’s season best of 164-11 will most likely be high enough to qualify.

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At the meet of champions last year, Alfandari participated, but he had pulled his pec a few weeks prior and didn’t place as well as he would have liked.

“I want to see if I can medal,” Alfandari said. “They give medals to the top eight. I think it’s there.”

On Saturday, Alfandari and Krouch will compete in the shot put. Alfandari won the Western Mass. title in the shot put and enters as the top seed.

Luetjen sets new PR with 200 silver

Luetjen entered as the No. 1 qualifier after a PR at Western Mass. on Saturday and set a new PR by 0.15 seconds (24.80) in the 200 on Thursday. It’s the fourth-fastest time in Massachusetts this season.

But Pembroke senior Sarah Claflin posted a 24.39 – the second-fastest time in the state this year – to win the 200 title.

“I saw a lot of good competition out there,” Luetjen said. “So I went into it and I was a little bit nervous, but I’m proud of the outcome nonetheless.”

Luetjen won the 200 and the 800 at Western Mass., and she’s almost assured to qualify for the meet of champions in at least the 200. She’s the top seed in Saturday’s 400 and has already qualified for nationals in both the 200 and the 400.

Northampton triple jumpers both set PRs

Neither Ella Hoogendyk nor Camilla Brewer had jumped 35 yet this season in the triple jump, and they made a pledge to each other that if they reached the mark at states, they’d get some ice cream afterward.

They both set new PRs and outperformed their seeds on Thursday, fulfilling their ice cream pact.

Hoogendyk placed fourth (35-10.00) and Brewer placed seventh (35-07.50). The pair went one-two at Western Mass. on Saturday.

“I think we really just motivate both of each other,” Brewer said. “And just having each other there we know we’re going to push each other and support each other.”

For Hoogendyk, a sophomore in only her second season of triple jump, Thursday’s PR was a step she’s been waiting to make all year.

“I came in here hungry for that 35,” Hoogendyk said. “…everything just clicked. I didn’t jump anything under 35 today, so I’m really happy with my results.”

Pair of ‘Canes nab fifth place

Elizabeth Sawicki (400 hurdles) and Miguel Pinero-Jacome (800) both placed fifth on Thursday. 

For Sawicki, the 400 hurdles were her fourth event of the day, after three events in the pentathlon. The race officials helped her speed through the pentathlon’s long jump in time for her to start the 400 hurdles.

After winning the event at Western Mass. on fresh legs, she immediately noticed the difference.

“I felt like I was running in mud the entire time from doing the pentathlon,” Sawicki said.

After her time of 1:08.43 in the 400 hurdles, she continued on with the pentathlon’s shot put and 800 and placed sixth across the five events.

In the boys 800, Miguel Pinero-Jacome also scored a fifth–place finish. He spent much of the race in second place and set a new PR of 1:57.79.