Spartans come back for repeat relay win

PORTSMOUTH – The Milford High School girls 4×100 relay team went into Saturday’s Division II meet at the defending champs, having set the division record in 2014.

But when junior Olivia Rougeau received the baton for the third leg, the Spartans’ title defense wasn’t in great shape.

“In the 4×100, we were really behind,” said Rougeau, who also ran the third leg a year ago. “When Amy (Arena) gave it to me, Coe-Brown was in front of us and I was like ‘we need to get ahead.’ I gave it my all trying to pass her and I did.

“It was the best feeling and when I handed it to Nicole (McMorrow), I just knew she was going to take it.”

McMorrow, who was the anchor leg last year as well, extended the Spartans lead, and while they didn’t top the division record again, they held onto their crown.

“We lost our second leg from last year because she tore her ACL, and we replaced her with Olivia Mabbett and she didn’t miss a beat,” McMorrow said. “It’s great winning the relay because it’s nice to do it as a team.”

Who is behind him

Eli Moskowitz spent some time looking over his shoulder on Saturday, but every time, it was in the final hundred meters of a race, as he cruised to the finish line.

With the Souhegan senior running all three distance events – plus a leg of the 4×800 relay – he needed to find ways to conserve his energy. That included avoiding starts that were too fast and left him with nothing at the end.

“I found that way of racing works best for me, to go out kind of easier, at least not out in front and then kick it in,” Moskowitz said. “It gives me confidence to be passing people. At the same time, just running that many events, it’s best to not take it out hard and just do my best to do the minimum to win. That’s what I was doing (Saturday).”

It worked, as he won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. With the division meet behind him, Moskowitz expects to focus on just one, maybe two, races at the MOCs on June 2, and one at New Englands.

And since he already set the state record in the 3,200 earlier this year, he’ll likely focus on the shorter distances.

“The next couple of weeks, I’m going to do less events,” he said. “I might still try to do a relay for the team, but I’m going to focus on one or two individual events, probably just one. I’m thinking the mile, bring the time down.”