By JOE GONILLO

May has finally brought spring weather. Sports are so much more enjoyable to watch. There was a big track meet at Burlington High School Saturday. It was a beauty! We are a little past the halfway point of the season making all games a bit more important in determining playoff positioning. Conference finals for NHL and NBA on every night. Enjoy.

The track teams competed in the 46th annual BHS Invite Saturday. In the slightly different scoring setup by meet director Pavel Dvorak, the teams combined scores determined the standings. The Hornets’ strong showing saw them score 197 points, second only to St. Johnsbury’s 216. Mt. Mansfield Union finished third followed by Rice, and South Burlington.

The meet serves as a clear mid-term exam for athletes and teams. Essex passed with flying colors. Gold medal performances led by the boys’ and girls’ 4x100m relay teams of Jackson Baker, James Boldosser, Tyler Routhier and Spencer Towle; Kat Morin, Nejla Hadzic, Morgan Whitney and Arianna Moffatt; and the mile relay team of Jamaal Hankey, Boldosser, Towle and Henry Farrington. Other winners include Michael Baker with a pole vault of 12’ 8”; Hankey in the 300mIH running a time of 41.10; Jacob Rigoli throwing the discus 144.5”, and Hannah Neddo taking the high jump with 5’ 2”.

8 places scored. Here’s a look at the top performers:

  • 2nd – Rigoli shot; Guerino LJ; Aubrey McKenna discus;
  • 3rd – Guerino 400m; Farrington 1500m; Hankey HH; boys’ 4×800 relay; J Baker LJ; Lizzie Martell 400m; Maria Campo shot; Neddo LJ; Hadzic 300mLH;
  • 4th – girls’ MR; Neddo TJ;
  • 5th – Martell 200m; Hadzic HH; girls’ 4×800 relay; Neddo PV;
  • 6th – Boldosser 400m; Peter Alden 3000m; J Baker HJ; Ali Green HH;
  • 7th – Sam Velasquez HJ; Campo discus; Ciera Manrique javelin;
  • 8th – Towle 400m; Farrington 800m; Wyatt Lamell discus; Aubrey McKenna discus

Lamell and Will Couture ran 3-4 in the frosh 100m. Erin Noel placed 7th. Natalie Preston placed 2nd and Brady Marisus was 3rd in the FR 1500m. Congrats to all.

The boys’ lacrosse team, 8-4, extended their winning streak to six before bowing in double overtime to Middlebury. The story of their week was about the biggest win of the season, 9-7, on Tuesday evening over the SB Wolves. The Essex defense held the Wolves scoreless in the fourth quarter. Cam Frankenhoff and Jordan Hines scored two goals in the fourth to seal the win. Hines had four goals, Andrew Cooledge two assists, Sam Bowen 1g 2a, Cam Frankenhoff 2g, Chris Davis 1g, Grady Corkum 2g. Aidan Haggerty made ten saves. For SB Calvin Hultgren 2g, Rees Baker 3g, Aaron Murakami 2g, Nick Liscinsky 2a. Ryan Hockenbury, who doubles as a heck of a water safety instructor at Sand Hill Park in the summer, made eight saves. They continue to climb in the D-I rankings. They host top-seed CVU Thursday and Rice under the lights Friday night. The JV’s are 3-5 after a tight 8-7 loss to SB. Keane Mahoney led the Hornets with a multi-goal game. The frosh are 1-1 with a loss to SB and a win over Milton. CVU is up this week.

The girls’ lacrosse team was 2-1 last week and plays to a 3-5 record. Essex beat BFA 10-9, fell to MMU 10-8, and dropped BHS 10-8. In the loss versus the Cougars Lucy Miquel scored three times, Maddy Young had two goals and two assists, Abby Robbins two scores, and Maya Boyers netted a goal. Goalkeeper Ella Frisbie had four saves. Boyers and Jenna Puleo each scored twice versus the Seahorses. Olivia Miller-Johnson, Bailey Tetrault, Miquel, Young, Robbins and Tess Hastings added a goal. They have three games over the week ahead with games vs Vergennes, Middlebury, and SB. The JV’s are 5-3 after wins over MMU 10-7 and BHS. The JV-b team lost to the Red Hawks 12-3 to fall to 0-2. They play MMU and Harwood.

The baseball team stopped their losing streak, went 2-1, and is 4-5. They defeated BHS 16-6 and North Country 18-6 before losing 11-10 to CVU. They are starting to heat up offensively – like the weather. In the latter Corey Gianelli banged out three hits, Ryan Yong and Garrett Somerset knocked in a couple of runs, and Robbie Meslin had two hits. They face a four-game week versus MMU twice, CVU and Missisquoi Valley.

The JV’s are 4-4 drilling BHS and NCUHS by scores of 15-2 and 13-3.The frosh were 1-1 last week out-slugged Enosburg 13-12 and lost to CVU 10-1.

The softball team extended their winning streak to nine games with three wins last week: 22-0 over BHS, 6-1 in Newport and a 17-0 shutout of CVU. In one of their tightest games of the season Maddie Catella crushed a three-run homer. Caitlin Toth pitched a complete game and had 6 K’s. Molly Bruyns had two hits and Jamie Morin drove in two runs. In Saturday’s thrashing both Rachel Yandow and Makenna Thorne hit grand slams.

Sarah Knickerbocker added two hits and an RBI. Opposition this week is MMU times two, CVU and MVU. The JV’s defeated NCUHS and are 6-0.

The girls’ tennis team went 2-1 and is 3-4. They lost to BHS, beat SB and Colchester. In the 5-2 win over the Lakers the Hornets got singles wins from Destina Suren, Anna Ursiny, Lauren Riley and Tilly Krishna pus the doubles team of Michaela Campo and Emily Friedman.

The boys’ tennis team is 4-1 after wins last week. Essex beat BHS 7-0, SB 5-2 and CHS 6-1 to extend their winning streak to 8-0 . They play CVU and Stowe.

The girls’ rugby team racked up four wins over the weekend while the boys went 2-0. Grab your passports for Stanstead, Quebec Wednesday and Paul Smith on Sunday.

Yankees beat the Red Sox two out of three in the Bronx last week to actually come back from the dead and tie for the AL East lead.

Happy Birthday to ex-student and all-star LAX player Teo Olsen – not sure how he was forgotten – Heather Garrow, Gael Shungu, Wendy Hirschman, Robin Hollwedel, Britnee Chan, Amy Johnson, Nick Kent, Austin Hall, Lyle Newell, Kim Gleason, Ryan Elliott, Joe O’Brien and Jim Noreault. Congratulations to Mariah Neverett on her engagement!