May 2, 95 miles north of Beacon Academy off Exit 9 of I-95 on the track at Mt. Pleasant High School, the team from the beach put on a show.
The Rich McKinnon Invitational invited “hot shot” middle schools throughout the Wilmington area and into southeastern Pennsylvania. The Beacon girls, who haven’t lost a dual meet in four years, just wanted to be respectable.
“The way Coach B [Bamforth] talked about this meet, I thought we might get killed,” said Annie Judge, who pocketed gold medals in the 100 and 300 hurdles and the 4-by-100 relay, and a silver in the long jump.
“We step on the track in the sprint relays and other teams look at us like ‘who are these guys,’" said Katie Frederick, who ran on the gold medal 4-by-100 and 4-by-200 teams. The latter set a meet record in 1:53.5.
Beacon girls blew away the competition, scoring 140 points with the next closest school at 90. It was just one day after the girls impressed with a 100-point win at the Cape Henlopen Middle School Invitational.
“We had sixth-graders like Zoe Callard, Olivia Brosesky, Rose Minni and Tamesha Cannon that have talent, but they competed like high school athletes; it was just amazing,” said coach Tim Bamforth.
There were highlights all around for the Beacon girls, including Alia Marshall, who won the long jump at 15-feet-4-inches, the 400 meters in 1:03 and anchored the 800- and 1,60- meter relays.
Coaches Bamforth and Gilbert Maull, who thought they might "go out" with this class of eighth-graders, looked at all the talent returning and said, "We are definitely coming back.”