Twenty-seven year-old Westfield native Jason Ayr ushered in spring with a fantastic finish at the 119th running of the Boston Marathon.
Ayr, a 2006 Westfield High School graduate, completed the race in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 14 seconds, good for 37th overall.
“Going into the first few miles,” Ayr said following the race, “I was just fighting through the crowd … My splits were up and down with the gusts of wind. I was able to pass people from mile eight to the finish (line).”
To overcome the blustery conditions, Ayr and several other marathon runners ran in packs to nullify the impact of the wind.
“If you stuck alone, the wind would eat you up for a mile,” he said.
Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa (2:09:17) reclaimed the title he won in 2013, the year of the Marathon bombings.
The Westfield Bombers’ boys’ volleyball team owned the high school spring sports season, exploding past Chicopee Comp in the Western Massachusetts Division 1 finals, sweeping the top-seeded Colts 25-9, 25-13, 25-16, to claim its first-ever championship title.
“This was the dream we had all year,” Westfield boys’ volleyball head coach Tyler Wingate said after celebrating his first championship victory.
For Chicopee Comp, winner of 17 games and holder of just two losses, it was a nightmare. Westfield had the Colts so rattled that they were hitting the ball out of bounds and into the net in the third set.
“I think we just wanted it more than them,” said Westfield’s Manny Golob, who helped fuel the team’s run.
Westfield went on to defeat Northern Champ Chelmsford in the state semifinals, 3-1, at Newton North High School. The Bombers won a high octane, four-set thriller, 21-25, 30-28, 25-15, 25-22.
Westfield’s state championship hopes were dashed by Southern Champ Needham in the finals, 3-0, at Babson College.
While the Westfield boys’ volleyball team completed its banner season, others focused on their task at hand.
Westfield boys’ lacrosse, which stunned Longmeadow in last year’s west sectional final, upsetting the perennial favorite, surged to the semifinals in 2015. The Southwick softball team came within one win of a championship berth. The Westfield Vocational-Technical baseball team (now known as Westfield Technical Academy) fielded one of its finest squads in recent memory, winning its first postseason game in decades.