A phenomenal cross-country season that saw the Cougars capture their 20th straight Catholic Conference League Championship was the lead-in for the 2008-09 indoor track and field season.
The week after Thanksgiving arrived and with it a little bit of cold weather, some new faces and the beginning of a new start for the Cougars. Only 10 days of practice prepared NDA for its first meet, a Dec. 12 contest against Wayland at the Reggie Lewis Center.
The Cougars started off the season on the right foot, defeating Wayland 66.50-28.50. Helped by 12 personal bests, NDA formed a strong foundation to build off of in the weeks ahead. The win was a team effort, with 12 members scoring points for the victorious Cougars.
Members of the junior class scored the majority of the points. Julianne McGowan and Ashley Mason had standout performances, scoring 13 and 8 points respectively. Julianne placed first in the 55-meter hurdles, with a time of 10.21 seconds, and the long jump, with a jump of 15 feet, 3.5 inches. After clearing the bar at 5 feet, Ashley took first in the high jump and also finished second in the long jump with a distance of 13 feet, 7.25 inches.
The mid-distance and distance runners also turned in solid performances. Junior Ari Kenyon, senior captain Elizabeth Arens and Haley Lipinski, also a junior, took the top three places in the 600-meter run. Ellen Callahan, a senior captain, placed first overall in the 1000-meter run, with a time of 3:10.91. Junior Corrina Lucini placed first overall in the two-mile, with a time of 13:05.00. The 4x400-meter relay team, comprised of Ari Kenyon, Elizabeth Arens, Haley Lipinski and Ellen Callahan, combined for a time of 4:25.87, good for second overall.
In the 300-meter dash senior captain Elizabeth McManus and freshman Tori Kenyon placed first and fourth overall. Elizabeth completed the race with a time of 43.70 seconds, while Tori crossed the finish line in 45.49 seconds.
NDA also had strong performances in shot put, with two throwers beginning the season with personal bests.
On Dec. 17, the Cougars competed in a JV meet at Milton, which gave some of the new members of the team a chance to show off their ability. Everyone raced well and the team finished with several personal bests and a good starting point for many of its members.
NDA is off to a good start. The promise of new talent and powerful veteran performances bodes well for the Cougars, who this season hope to improve their record and run well at the Dual County League Meet.
Next up for the Cougars is a meet at Newton South against Weston High School on Dec. 20, followed by the Boston Holiday Invitational at the Reggie Lewis Center on Dec. 27-28.