Bedford is the center of the Massachusetts middle school track and field universe.
Both the girls’ and boys’ track teams representing John Glenn Middle School won the Division 2 state championship on Sunday at Gardner High School. Physical education teacher Kenneth Norling is head coach, and Anders Helgason and Kasie Costopulos are assistant coaches.
This is the 11th year of the championship meets that take place in three divisions based on school size. There are 65 schools in Division 2. Student-athletes in grades 5-8 from public, private, and parochial schools who meet the qualifying standards participate.
The JGMS girls, who recently completed their second straight undefeated season, are also back-to-back state champions. They have won 17 consecutive meets.
They were led by the winning four-by-100-meter relay team of Lilah Ortiz, Mikayla Volcy, Sofie Pattaropong, and Shyann Prieto; and Bell Sjostrom-Santos, who won the high jump at five feet, establishing a school record.
Also building the girls’ team point total were Maddie McInnis, second place in the 100-meter and 200-meter runs; and two third-place relay teams: Iris Yin, Isla Sheridan, Clara Trautz, and Olivia Washington in the four-by-800 meters, and Hannah Malenchini, Taevy Malone, Erin Cullis, and Ariane Sweetland in the four-by-400 meters. Ella Porth set a school record in the javelin.
The boys won their first championship by winning the last race, the four-by 400, coming from six points behind to not only seal the victory, but also set a school record in the event. Running the relay were Bradley Huo, Adam Chao, Alex Jeong, and Platon Gorkavy.
The boys’ four-by-800 relay team of Sanders Bertos, Nathan Dankulich, Sahill Rotella, and Hagan Knapp also was state champion, setting a school record in the process. Also establishing school records were Knapp in the 800-meter run and Athos Quaglioz in the discus.