Latin Academy coach Brian Leussler’s pre-track meet rituals include number crunching to figure out what exactly he needs from the boys' and girls' indoor track teams to grab a win.
“I don’t know if other coaches do this, I create spreadsheets with every single [result] I can predict,” he said.
Heading into Day 2 of the Boston City indoor city championships, the girls were tied with O’Bryant at 52 points apiece. Leussler’s spreadsheet calculated he could expect 60 points from the final five events.
“So I have projections and I’m telling the kids all the time, ‘I need at least a fourth place from you or better, you need to do at least your best time,’” Leussler said. “I show the kids these spreadsheets ahead of time.”
In reality, away from little boxes and guessed numbers, the girls picked up 68 points in Day 2 for a total of 120 to leave second-place O’Bryant (83) in the dust. The win – after an undefeated (6-0) league schedule – was the Dragons third consecutive meet title.
“All season long we’re looking forward to this. I tell the kids, ‘This has got to be the best race you’ve had, best time all season long,’” Leussler said. “They did great.”
The afternoon started with a showdown between the dead-locked schools in the 1-mile run, but Latin Academy eighth grader Catherine Van Evan bested the Tiger’s Aislinn Donovan (6:43.89) by four seconds to grab first place in 6:39.77.
“We have a lot of really good younger talent in the seventh, eighth, ninth grade, which is really good,” Leussler said.
In the next event – the 600-meter run – youth prevailed again as Latin Academy grabbed the top three spots for 24 points to begin to pull away, led by freshman Britney Firmin’s 1:45.38. Seventh-grader Lila Musoil Clark (1:51.08) and Kara Atkinson (1:54.96) took second and third respectively.
“I feel pretty good about my race. I wanted to have even splits,” Frimin said. “I thought we all did our best today, so it was nice that we went out there and did what we had to do today.”
The Dragons added another 12 points in the 1,000-meter run with a 3, 4, 5 finished by the trio of Lucy Donovan, Ashley Dixin, and Paola Villatoro.
In the relays, the quartet of Ashley Lewis, Atkinson, Frimin, and Liegha Mills grabbed top prize in the 4 by 400 with a 37 seconds lead to West Roxbury (4:59.13), crossing at 4:22.56. The 4 by 200 came in second to West Roxbury (1:51.15) with a time of 1:54.91.
“We graduated 10 [seniors] last year, so the girls team is really coming up and doing great,” Leussle said.
West Roxbury finished in third place in team scores with 67 points.
Latin Academy's boys' team also extended its city meet win streak to three with 58 points. Again, it was O’Bryant which challenged the Dragons for first-place by adding 27 points to their Day 1 title to grab second with 51 points.
Coming into the first event, Latin Academy had 47 points and only placed in the 600-meter run and both relays. Tayo Stuppard earned one point with a sixth place time of 1:37.01 in the 600. The relay teams combined for 10 points with third and fourth place finishes in the 4x400-meter relay and 4x200-meter relay respectfully.
Dorchester grabbed third with 48 points.
Sarah Moomaw can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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