Boston Holiday Challenge Draws Top Competition


Defending New England 600m titlist Nikki Merrill of Portsmouth (RI) will be at Wednesday's meet. 

Two days after celebrating Christmas with their families, athletes from throughout the state (and beyond) will be at the Reggie Lewis Center for Wednesday's annual Boston Holiday Challenge. The meet will include several opportunities for top-level and national-caliber performances.

The boys' shot has potential to be a heated competition with four athletes in the field that have exceeded more than 50 feet. Jordan Forrest of New Rochelle (NY) owns the top seed with a PB of 57-2.5. Aiden Felty of Innovation Academy (MA), who recently tossed a career best of 55-5, is among the top contenders. There's also Bay Staters' Kris Selenis of Athol (53-11) and Dylan Murad of Catholic Memorial (50-11.5).

The meet record of 10:44.38 for the girls' two-mile run is sure to go down at Reggie. The race will feature New York's Kelsey Chmiel of Saratoga Springs. Chmiel, a track and cross-country All American, finished second at the Nike Cross Nationals a few weeks ago. She is also the defending national outdoor two-mile champion and has a best of 9:59.62. The No. 2 seed is Caroline Fischer of Bishop Guertin (NH), who has a PB of 10:56. Chmiel and Fischer are also entered in the mile. Chmiel has a best of 4:51.

The boys' deuce features Connecticut's Drew Thompson of Fairfield Prep. Thompson captured the state and New England cross-country titles this past winter and was eighth at the recent Foot Locker Nationals. He comes into the meet with a best of 9:14. Hopedale's Brandon Hall, who was fourth at the Division 2 All State X-C Meet, is the No. 2 seed with a 9:27 best.

There's a good chance that the MR of 1:32.08 could get eclipsed in the boys' 4x200m relay with MA squads Fitchburg (1:31.83), Somerville (1:32.55) and Newton North (1:32.89)  all possible contenders.

Phillips Magre of Somerville (MA), who dipped under 49 seconds for 400m during the outdoor season last spring, is the No. 1 seed in the 300m with a PB of 35.09. Fitchburg's Angel Figueroa is also entered in Wednesday's race and clocked a PB of 35.83 at the recent Winter Festival Invitational. Magre is also the top seed in the high jump with a best of 6-8.

New England 600m champion Nikki Merrill of Portsmouth (RI) will return to Boston for the first time since her victory at the regional meet.  Merrill, who has a PB of 1:35.11, indicated recently that she is aiming for a time in the low 1:30 range. Among some of her top challengers are Hopkinton's Caitlyn Halloran (1:36.79), Sharon's Ariadne Tolay (1:36.89) and Shenendehowa's Hannah Reale (1:37.50) of Massachusetts.


TIME SCHEDULE

Pentathlon: 8:30 a.m.
55 M Hurdles -- Shot Put -- High Jump -- Long Jump -- 800 M Girls / 1000 M Boys
Field Events: 12:00 noon
SHOT PUT (Boys before Girls) --Top 7 to finals
WEIGHT THROW (Girls before Boys) --Top 7 to finals
LONG JUMP (Girls before Boys) --Top 7 to finals
HIGH JUMP (2 Pits) -- After 55M Dash Finals on infield
Running Events (rolling):
12 noon on the infield (8 lanes).

Hurdles & Dash trials serpentine seeding based on entry time, fast to slow, fastest 8 advance to
finals
55 Hurdles G/B TRIALS
55 Dash G/B TRIALS
55 Hurdles B/G FINALS
55 Dash G/B FINALS
1:00 p.m. on the oval. (Boys followed by Girls)
Freshman Mile FINAL --Sections on time, fastest section last
One Mile Run FINAL --Sections on time, fastest section last
600 Meters FINAL - Sections on time, fastest section last*
1000 Meters FINAL --Sections on time, fastest section last
300 Meters FINAL -- Sections on time, fastest section last *
Two Mile Run FINAL -- Sections on time, fastest section last

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