Postseason Updates: Girls Track, Boys Basketball


While the winter season is now complete for the Manchester Essex indoor track teams, Caroline MacKinnon kept on moving through the postseason meets all the way to the All-State Championship held at the Reggie Lewis Center on February 28. The junior qualified for the 36th iteration of the All-State meet by virtue of a second overall finish at the Division 5 Meet a week prior.

According to ME indoor track coach Nelson Desilvestre, MacKinnon broke her own school record and personal best in the 600 with a time of 1:39.43, good enough for the junior to finish 11th in the event and win her heat. She also gained a bit of revenge by edging out a North Reading rival who finished ahead of her in the Cape Ann League Championships.

That impressive finish was made even more impressive due to some confusion before the start of the race itself.

"We were a little hectic for a second when we did not hear the call for the 600 so she didn't get the warm-up we had hoped," explains Desilvestre. "But we did get everything squared away. I was a little worried that could affect her race. But she ran very smart and was in the back of the pack after the first 200, which is what we discussed prior to the race. She slowly moved up in the second 200 and with less than 100 to go she was able to pass everyone to take the lead going down the back stretch and win her heat. It was very well run and executed by her. It was a fantastic way to end the season."

While MacKinnon’s efforts marked the end of the postseason for local track teams, the Manchester Essex boys basketball team is just getting started. After receiving a bye in the preliminary round of the Div. 4 bracket, the Hornets will host Whittier Regional Vocation Technical High School at Manchester Essex Regional High School in the Round of 32 on March 4 at 6:30 p.m.

The Hornets finished 16-4 to win a share of the Cape Ann League crown and earn the 12th seed in the bracket, good enough to host a playoff game against the 21st-seeded Wildcats.

“I think they are a city-style-type basketball team,” Manchester Essex coach Tim St. Laurent says of Friday night’s opposition. “They’ve got some athletic kids, and they like to get up and down the court as fast as they can.”

Slowing down that transition game will be crucial if the Hornets want to advance to face the winner of Cathedral and Winthrop in the Round of 16.

“I think that they have some streaky scorers who they appear to try to get going, so we will try to limit them from getting going,” says St. Laurent.

The coach adds: “Some of the keys for us is that we move well all together and take good, qualify shots, play good, sound basketball. Another big key is to not let up transition points to them.”

And while scouting the opponent is important, the coach is adamant that continuing to focus on the fundamentals that helped the Hornets win 16 games this year is just as crucial.

“It will come down to execution and doing the things we do well, and playing hard like we usually do,” says St. Laurent.

manchester essex boys basketball team, manchester essex girls track team, caroline mackinnon, cape ann league, tim st. laurent