Friday, August 17, 2001
Nitehawks Take Flight on Needham Track
Last year, the Needham Invitational Track Meet had a new team competing. For the first time, our local Nitehawks Sports Club entered a team. They competed against some of the finest young track teams throughout New England and New York, and to everyone's surprise, except the Nitehawks themselves, the Hawks finished seventh out of 16 teams. This year, the Nitehawks finished the August 3 Needham Invitational Youth Track Meet in first place with nearly 1,000 points; over 300 more than their nearest rival.
"Wow! I never expected the performances we got out of these kids. Every member of the team contributed at least one medal," said head coach and long-time team director, Alex Ivanov.
Alex has been working with our Concord and Carlisle kids for almost 12 years. With him they've had a lot of fun and great success in indoor and outdoor soccer, roller hockey, baseball and now track. Alex's background is in semi-pro soccer, track and field as a decathlete and hockey coach. He runs the Saturday morning soccer session at Spalding field (starts September 8 at 8:30 a.m.) and runs the Nitehawks Sports Club, year round.
Leading the Nitehawks were their 8-year-olds Tim Marchese, Andreas Georgiades and Ryan Robinson. Tim, Andreas and Ryan owned the eight-year-old boys division bringing home 32 medals between them. Tim starred in the sprints and the field events and nearly set a meet record in the softball throw. Andreas excelled in every event he entered, winning one gold, four silvers and three bronze. Ryan moved up to the nine-year-old age group to shatter the javelin record by over eight feet. He also set meet records for eight-year-olds in the shot put and the triple jump and won Friday's 50M hurdles.
Ryan's efforts earned him the honor of runner-up for Athlete of the Meet.
Tucker Marchese was also especially impressive, running away with the six-year-old boys division, winning all eight events he entered. Thirteen-year-old Alex Ivanov also shined in his age group, by excelling in both short and long track events and finishing in the top three in five of the field events. Alex won the javelin and 50M hurdles and placed in nine other events.
On the girls' side, Stephanie Ivanov won the 1500 and the 3000 and took home four other medals in the softball, 50M, javelin and shot put. Cheryl Davis medalled in three events. Jenny Robinson took nine medals, winning the 3000, 1500 and softball throw. Nicole Pettiglio took home two medals while Lauren Pettiglio medalled in four events, winning the 3000 and the triple jump.
The Nitehawks also received tremendous efforts from all of their team members including Mike Pettiglio (one medal), Chris Pettiglio (three medals and gold in the triple jump), Will Scarlett (three medals), Matt Smith (seven medals and gold in the triple jump), Ben Brewer (six medals), Eric Lipsier (medalled in triple jump finals), Mike Bresnahan (two medals), Max Enos (Shot-Put), Mike Georgiades (nine medals and gold in the 800M and 1500M), Liam Keohan (two medals), Derek Amodei (two medals), Sal Razionale (one medal), Sean Greene (one medal) and Michael Cusack (two medals).
Tim, Ryan and Andreas also teamed up with Michael Cusack to win the 4x100M dash in the thrilling final event of the meet. The Hawks fell behind early in this race due to a slight slip during the first baton pass. Andreas made a strong comeback by running a tremendous second leg, picking up a full five yards on the leader. Ryan flew through the back turn, passing the race leader like he was standing still and passed the baton to Marchese. As the crowd of fans roared their excitement, Tim bolted down the final stretch, holding off the New Britain Striders' 100M gold medallist for the victory.
To prepare for the meet, most of the young athletes participated in the Nitehawks' Track and Soccer Summer Camp. According to Ivanov, all of the Nitehawks play competitive soccer with the Nitehawks/CCYS throughout the year. The work they do in soccer gives them a solid foundation to participate in fitness sports such as track and field. It also provides them the opportunity to shine in several other complementary sporting events including the Needham meet.
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