No shortage of state leaders in Division 2
In the Divisional Championships the first three place winners (Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4) and the next top 12 performances in the finals (including the relays) will advance to the MIAA All State Meet next weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center.
This becomes a critical component of the competitions this weekend because it adds a great deal of uncertainty to the race plan of those striving to qualify. Division 1 has a tremendous amount of depth, and by racing on Friday, they will set the initial time/mark needed to secure one of the 12 performance based qualifying spots. This is a good thing for the athletes of Division 2 because they will know exactly what they have to accomplish in order to advance if they happen to finish outside the top 3. Granted, it may not be safe to shoot for the bottom half of the top 12 because athletes from Division 3 and Division 4 may cause some displacement.
This will require some flexibility in race planning, and the athletes that truly understand the sport will be at a distinct advantage. Sprinters, jumpers, and throwers typically understand this concept because they compete in an advancing format each week. To distance runners this may be a foreign concept. It is rare at the high school level to have heats of anything over 600m. Runners who know the splits they need to hit and can execute those splits regardless of what is going on around them stand the best chance of advancing. The end result……you may see some mid-pack athletes take unusual risks if the pace is slow, and you may see some top athletes fail to advance if they do not manage the clock correctly. All of this will add to the excitement of the day.
We won’t know how Division 1 has impacted the rest of the state until Friday night, but you can follow all the action at home with our live results. Below is a look at all 13 events from the Division 2 Championships as they currently stand based on the performance lists released by the MIAA.
55 Meter Hurdles - Greg Boursiqout (Stoughton) is the #1 seed and the #1 hurdler in the state at 7.51. He leads the next closest competitior Peter Farlow (Needham) by almost a half second. In the hurdles world that is an eternity, but the 55m hurdles can be the most unpredictable event on the track. Barring a total disaster, Boursiqout should be able to manage the qualifying round and pick-up the win. 300 Meter Dash - The 300m may end up being a replay of the Hockomock League Finals. The top 3 seeds, and five of the top 10, hail from the Hock. Steve Gannon (Mansfield) just missed the meet record en route to the win and a time of 35.54. He will be tested again by Charles Ruffin of King Phillip at 35.61 and John Raduazzo of Oliver Ames at 35.83.
55 Meter Dash - Craig Langes (Woburn) may categorize himself as a long jumper, but many consider him a force to be reckoned with on the track. He is the top seed in the 55m with the state’s 4th fastest time of 6.53. But Craig will have his hands full because Anthony Arcari (Tewksbury), Keith Hamel (Dracut), and Valerio Silva (Woburn) are all within a tenth of a second. The evenly matched group will make for a great final, but lane selection and reaction time may make the difference.
55 Meter Hurdles - Greg Boursiqout (Stoughton) is the #1 seed and the #1 hurdler in the state at 7.51. He leads the next closest competitior Peter Farlow (Needham) by almost a half second. In the hurdles world that is an eternity, but the 55m hurdles can be the most unpredictable event on the track. Barring a total disaster, Boursiqout should be able to manage the qualifying round and pick-up the win.
300 Meter Dash - The 300m may end up being a replay of the Hockomock League Finals. The top 3 seeds, and five of the top 10, hail from the Hock. Steve Gannon (Mansfield) just missed the meet record en route to the win and a time of 35.54. He will be tested again by Charles Ruffin of King Phillip at 35.61 and John Raduazzo of Oliver Ames at 35.83.
600 Meter Run - 5 runners are all within one second of each other, and they occupy 5 of the top 10 spots in the state rankings. Jake Reed (North Middlesex) is the top seed at 1:23.06 and has run 1:55.97 for 800m outdoors. Kevin Hurd of Gloucester is the second seed at 1:23.10 and may have the best strength of the group. Hurd has run 2:35.29 for 1000m and may press the pace. James Anderson (Winchester) and Brad Porter (Reading) round-out the rest of the field that has run sub 1:24.00 and will certainly contend for the top spot.
1000 Meter Run - Joel Hubbard (Marshfield) was a preseason favorite in this event and he remains the top seed at 2:33.36. But Nick O’Leary of North Attleboro is battle tested as the result of racing Mansfield all season long in the Hockomock League. Last week O’Leary pressed Josh Lampron (the only runner to post a sub 2:30.00 time this year) at the Hockomock League Finals and looked very good in doing so. Ben Hiromura (Masconomet) and Klye Hurd have also been running well lately, posting 2:34.55 and 2:35.31 times respectively at their league finals.
1 Mile Run - Although Josh Lampron’s 1000m time of 2:29.77 is impressive, the majority of the Massachusetts track world secretly wanted to see him move up in distance after his 4:17.19 mile performance at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. To our enjoyment, and the anguish of his fellow competitors, we got our wish. Lampron is the only one in the field to run sub 4:20, but several others may be ready. Teammates Kevin Thomas and Joel Hubbard of Marshfield know how to push the pace; their very talented team does it all the time in practice. Plus, having a teammate in the race is an advantage that most won’t be able to enjoy.
Chris Allen of King Phillip is the 5th seed at 4:27.21. He has spent most of the season running at the notoriously slow Franklin Field House and many believe he is poised to challenge the 4:20 barrier. Just behind Allen is Kieran Kinnare of Ipswich at 4:29.57. Kinnare has been flying under the radar this season in what is appears to be a very strategic approach to the post season. He has attended some big invitationals, but was usually entered in the relays and the second section of the distance events. Kinnare looked very strong this past month, but he is attempting to double in the mile and 2 mile. We will see what emphasis he places on the mile considering he is the #2 seed in the 2 mile.
2 Mile Run - The 2 mile features Shayne Collins of Mansfield who currently holds the #1 time in the country. His 9:22.28 entry time is almost 20 seconds ahead of #2 seed Kieran Kinnare of Ipswich. As stated above, Kinnare is attempting to double in the mile and 2 mile and Collins will certainly formulate a race plan based on that fact. In addition to Kinnare, Tyler Sullivan (Whitman-
Hanson), Brendan Robertson (Westborough), and Pat Ryan (Whitman-Hanson) have all run under 9:50. There is sure to be a battle for the 3 automatic qualifying spots.
Shot Put - Shawn Fournier of Central Catholic is the top seed and the only athlete with a mark over 50ft. The emphasis for the rest of the field will be to secure one of the 3 automatic qualifying spots; considering that 7 athletes from Division 1 have thrown 49ft or better. Grunde Brandso (Dartmouth), Kevin Conboy (Central Catholic) and Zack Laclair (North Attleboro) have all thrown +49ft and should be in the hunt.
High Jump - Steven Rapoza (Gr. New Bedford) and Greg Boursiquot (Stoughton) square off again. Both are top seeds in the 55m hurdles, and both have a chance to qualify in the high jump. Tristan Richardson (North Attleboro) is the top seed at 6’4”, but anybody over 6ft has a chance.
Long Jump - This is where Craig Langes can make a big impact in the team point total for Woburn. He leads the event and the state at 22’5”. Deron Smith and Jack McDonald have both jumped over 21ft and they are joined by 8 athletes that have jumped over 20ft. This should be one of the most exciting events of the day.
4x200 Meter Relay - Mansfield is #2 in the state and the #1 seed at 1:31.82, but if Woburn wants to be in contention for a team title they will need to win this one. They are the #2 seed at 1:31.99 and have 55m top seed Craig Langes listed to run. The Mansfield relay teams have been tough to beat this year and Woburn will have to run a flawless race to get it done.
4x800 Meter Relay - This is where Gloucester and Marshfield show their distance running depth and really shine. Gloucester is the top seed at 8:08.08 but Marshfield is not far behind at 8:09.95. It will be interesting to see where each team places their fastest runner.
Hiding in the performance list as the 5th seed is Mansfield. Their listed time if 8:21.60 is not indicative of their potential considering they have Shayne Collins and Josh Lampron slated to run. Collins has run 4:18.65 for the mile this year and Lampron has run 1:55.32 for 800m this indoor season. They could potentially run under 8:10.00 if Joe Cole and Kam Haleudeth have a good day.
4x400 Meter Relay - Mansfield again is the favorite here, having run just over 7 seconds faster than the #2 seed Marshfield. Mansfield’s time of 3:24.50 is #1 in the state and is #16 in the country. If Mansfield can replicate that type of performance, the battle will be for second place between Marshfield (3:32.04), Concord-Carlisle (3:22.99) and Reading (3:33.03). It should be a close race and a great way to end the meet.
Team Predictions (based on seed times/marks)
1. Mansfield (68)
2. Marshfield (40)
3. Woburn (37)
4. North Attleboro (31)
5. Central Catholic (25)
6. Reading (20)
7. Needham (17)
8. Concord-Carlisle (16)
9. Tewksbury (15)
10. Gloucester / Algonquin / Gr. New Bedford (14)
55 Meter Hurdles - Mansfield has 3 of the top 7 entries in this race. Jen Esposito is #6 in the state and the top seed at 8.66. Her teammates, Kristen McDonagh and Paige Grimes have run 8.80 and 8.92 respectively.
Trying to break up the Mansfield trio will be #2 seed Karla Ganley (Wellesley) at 8.67 and Adele McKiernan (Natick) at 8.82.
55 Meter Dash - Rebecca Robinson (Arlington) has been the clear favorite in everything she has entered this year and this race is no different. Her seed time of 7.19 is #1 in the state and puts her over a tenth of a second ahead of Shanteana Samuels of Monument. Samuels will have company with 4 girls that have run 7.48 or faster.
300 Meter Dash - Rebecca Robinson and Jen Esposito are #1 and #2 in the state and #5 and #16 in the country respectively. Robinson has a slight advantage over Esposito at 38.90, but Esposito has almost 2 seconds over #3 seed Cory Ryan of Norwood. There will be a great race up front for the win and another great race for 3rd place.
600 Meter Run -Laurie Femmel (Natick) is the top seed at 1:36.38, and then, there are 9 girls that have run under 1:42.00. Devyn Pryor (Dartmouth), Jade Paul (Stoughton), and Julia Heffernan (Westborough) have all run sub 1:40.00 and may challenge Femmel for the win.
1000 Meter Run - Emily Grotz set a new meet record of 3:01.31 last weekend at the Hockomock League Championships; a time that makes her the #1 seed. But, Kelsey Whitaker of Notre Dame Hingham won the McIntyre Elite Meet in 3:02.98 and has terrific strength. After Whitaker, there is a 2 second gap to Jenny Dudek (Agwam) who is the #3 qualifier and 5 other girls that have run under 3:11.00. Included in that pack is Abby Baker of Whitman-Hanson who recently ran 3:06.50 for 1000m and 5:20 for the mile in one meet.
1 Mile Run - The mile contains a tight pack of 6 around 5:20.00. Expect top seed Lanie Jowett (Central Catholic) to control the race from the gun. She has run 3:02.75 for 1000m and 5:09.92 in the outdoor mile. Challenging Jowett will be Katie Jessee of Concord Carlisle and Rachel Baker of Whitman-Hanson. Jessee and Baker are seeded at 5:15.13 and 5:17.14 respectively.
2 Mile Run - The Wellesley cross country team experienced a great deal of success this year because of their depth and pack running. They are bringing that same philosophy to the track with Eva Laurer as the #1 seed (11:20.70) and Jessie Kaliski as the #3 seed (11:30.32). Standing between them is Kayla Springford of Dracut who is the #2 seed at 11:28.71. Expect a tight pack and moderate pace as 5 girls jockey for position until about 800m to go.
Shot Put - Lauren Duggan of Norwood is the #2 thrower in the state and seeded #1 at 38’2”. Following her is Liz Galvin of Ipswich at 36’8” and then 4 girls who have marks over 35ft.
High Jump - This event features Kristen McDonagh of Mansfield who currently holds the #3 mark in the nation. It’s been quite some time since McDonagh lost a high jump competition, but the last time she jumped 5’8” was almost a month ago. Haley Laird (Algonquin) jumped 5’6” last week at the District E Invitational and has been steadily improving as the season continues. McDonagh is the clear favorite to win the event, but Laird may give her all she can handle. The height each girl opens at, and how many misses they have along the way may, be the difference maker.
Long Jump - Three sophomores have jumped over 16ft and all three have a chance to advance. Sydney Bennett (North Attleboro) is seeded 3rd at 16’9.25”, Maddy Shea (Walpole) is seeded 4th at 16’5”, and Briana Gagnon (Central Catholic) is seeded 6th at 16’0.5”. Michelle Savoie (Milford) is the top seed at 17’1.5” and is the only senior in the top 10.
4x200 Meter Relay - Mansfield is the #1 seed and leads the state at 1:45.15. Natick who is seeded #2 and is 8th in the state will need a near perfect race and a little help from the #3 seed Marshfield to close the almost 3 second gap.
4x800 Meter Relay - Central Catholic is the #3 team in the state and the #1 seed at 9:44.47. Laine Jowett has run 3:04.95 for 1000m and should be able to hold off any significant moves late in the race. The battle for 2nd and 3rd will be a good one with Needham and Agawam both seeded at 9:55.
4x400 Meter Relay - This could be the race of the day, with Tewksbury (4:05.48), Wellesley (4:05.85), Mansfield
(4:08.18), Marshfield (4:10.53) and Central Catholic (4:12.55) all fighting for the win and for much needed team points. Expect this one to stay close to the end.
Team Predictions (based on seed times/marks)
1. Mansfield (63)
2. Central Catholic (45)
3. Wellesley (38)
4. Ipswich (25)
5. Natick (24)
6. North Attleboro (21)
7. Oliver Ames (18)
8. Algonquin (16)
9. Reading (16)
10. Norwood (16)