What a race! There have been numerous accomplishments by the Hillie teams this fall, but the victory by Riley Gilmore this past Saturday certainly ranks as one of the most impressive. The Haverhill junior won the MSCTA Coaches Invitational Meet in Wrentham, cruising to a time of 19.09 on the 5k course. Gilmore finished first out of a field of the 239 of the best runners from around the state.
Kristy Robertson also had a good race, finishing 56th. Nick Comei led the way for the boys’ team, placing 42nd out of 374 runners. Both teams will return to the Wrentham Development Center Saturday for the MIAA Division 1 Eastern Massachusetts Championship.
The football team continued to roll on Friday night, downing Lawrence 28-20. The Hillies are now 7-2 and having their best season in more than a decade. The powerful offense has been fun to watch as the Hillies have averaged 37.4 points per game this year. They finish with two tough road games, traveling to North Andover Friday night before the annual Thanksgiving Day tilt with Lowell.
The girls volleyball team was the No. 5 seed in the MIAA tournament and won its first round game over Methuen. The Hillies then fell in the quarterfinals to No. 4 Reading. They finished with an overall record of 15-5 and won the MVC Conference Title.
The girls soccer team was the No. 15 seed in the MIAA Tournament and fell in the first round to Chelmsford. The Hillies had great finish to the season, going 4-1-3 over their last eight matches. They also won the 2012 MVC Conference Title.
The girls swim and dive team placed third in the 2012 MVC Championship meet at UMass Lowell last Friday. This Hillies finished the regular season with an 8-1-1 record. They will compete in the MIAA Division 1 North Sectionals at MIT on Saturday.
The cheerleading squad is going back to Sectionals. Haverhill placed fifth in Division 1 at the 2012 MVC Championship on Sunday afternoon. The Hillies will travel to Beverly High School on Sunday for the MSSAA Sectionals.
With the great team successes have also come some well-deserved individual accolades. Senior Alex Itasaka was named the MVC Volleyball Player of the Year and junior Kelly Cokely was tabbed MVC Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Kevin Murphy (golf), Fred Tarbox (girls soccer) and Bill Kaste (volleyball) were all named MVC Coach of the Year in their respective sports.
The Inaugural HILLIE HAVOC Event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 11, at Winnekenni Castle. This is a joint effort between Haverhill athletics and the YMCA to raise money for both programs. Registration forms can be picked up at the high school, the Haverhill YMCA or online at www.hillies.org.
Tom O’Brien is athletic director at Haverhill High School. He contributes this regular column.