Wes Gallagher collected an individual title in the mile and a team title with Pembroke. (File photo)
What happens when you combine a cross country team with a future decathlete during an indoor championship? You get a division title. Pembroke took the versatility of Kris Horn and combined it with the foot speed of their middle distance stable to rack-up big points. Horn finished third in the 55m hurdles, second in the long jump, and ran 50.4 anchor leg to help win the 4x400m.
Wes Gallagher won the mile fairly easily in a meet record time of 4:17.09, with David Taranto of Burlington in second at 4:22.70. Then, the Pembroke distance squad made a statement with sophomore Christian Stafford finishing in third (4:23.57) and junior Pat Cunningham in fourth (4:25.61). 21 points in a single event is great way to start a meet and makes you very tough to beat. The group would later combine with Billy Stafford to win the 4x800m in 8:12.54 and crack 60 total points as a team. Pembroke finished the day with 71 total point; 28 better than second place Bishop Feehan.
The Hingham girls walked away with the team title and most of their damage was also done on the track. With the exception of Megan Patrolia’s third place finish in the long jump, every other point Hingham accumulated was in a running event. Although Jullie McConville won the 2 mile and Molly Clark finished second in the 55m, the difference maker was the relays. Hingham won the 4x200m, finished second in the 4x400m, and fifth in the 4x800m. A true team effort, and some soul searching to overcome the fatigue of a long meet, helped them pull away in the final hour. Hingham's 74 points was 33 points better than second place Northampton.
Freshman Liz Holmes from Foxboro won the mile in 5:05.35; less than two seconds off her MA#8 time of 5:03.75 from the McIntyre Elite meet. She also helped her Foxboro 4x800m team to a second place finish (9:43.90) behind race winner Bishop Feehan (9:42.60).
Olisa Obiefuna of Saugus launched himself to a new meet record of 23’2.75” in the long jump. His mark is MA#1, NE#1 and tied for US#17. Also surpassing the old meet record of 22’1.25 was Kris Horn of Pembroke who finished second at 22’4.50”.
Peter Hale put on his usual stoic face and simply went to work in the 2 mile. After a relatively modest 4:58 split at the mile, Hale started to drop splits, and people, as he cruised to a 4:40 second mile split and 9:38.14 finishing time for the win. The effort was just enough to hold off Stephen Robertson of Wakefield who finished with an identical 9:38.14 time. Hale was awarded the win when the times were broken down to 9:38.133 and 9:38.136.
A pair of MA#3 marks were set on the infield by two athletes that have become accustomed to the feat. John Ojukwu of Nashoba won the 55m in 6.53 and Nolan Raimo of Marblehead won the 55m hurdles in 7.76.
Adam Couitt of Somerset continues to display his tremendous athleticism. The sophomore won the high jump with a meet record clearance of 6’7.25” and then returned to finish second in the 55m at 6.64. He still leads New England in the high jump at 6’9”; a mark he set at the EAC Championships.
Northampton finished the high jump with a 1-2 finish and 18 team points. Leah Tompkins and Adrienne Pascucci both cleared 5’2”, but Tompkins would get the win based on misses at previous heights. After that, nine girls were gridlocked at 5’0”. Pascucci would later return to finish 5th in the 55m hurdles in 9.22.
Matt Taylor of Bishop Feehan had just enough to hold off the #2 ranked 300m runner in the state. Taylor edged Kiivone Howard of Foxboro (35.42 to 35.60) to take over the 5th spot in the state rankings. Kiivone remains at MA#2 with his 35.25 from the Hockomock League Championships last week.
Adrienne Thornton of O’Bryant retains her MA#2 ranking after a winning throw of 39’3.5”. Thornton also leads New England in the weight throw at 51’8.75”.
The girls 2 mile may have been the deepest field of the evening, and the event delivered the drama that was indicated by the performance list. Julie McConville of Hingham broke from the pack to win the race with a MA#4 clocking of 11:00.38. She remains at MA#2 with her 10:53.50 time from the Patriot League Indoor Meet #5. After McConville, the real fight started. Abby McNulty (Bishop Feehan) edged Camille Blackman (Longmeadow) for second at 11:06.53 to 11:07.04, respectively. Rounding out the top pack was Jordan O’Dea of Dennis-Yarmouth who finished fourth in 11:09.62. All the girls mentioned above are now ranked in the top ten in Massachusetts.
Taylor Worthy of Medfield posted a MA#5 time of 3:00.84 to win the girls 1000m. Chelsea Savage of Pembroke was a close second in 3:01.31 and Nora Smith of Westwood was just behind her at 3:01.35.
Five girls posted times under 1:40 in the 600m with Olivia Downey of Melrose getting the win in 1:38.66. The boys took notice and section #1 got off to a scorching start with Shea Cruikshank of Nashoba collecting the win (1:26.07) and bringing two others under 1:27.0. Shea would finish 5th overall and older brother Jair Cruikshank would end-up second overall after finishing just .29 behind Cameron Huber of Canton in section #4 (1:24.30 to 1:24.59).
The Bishop Feehan 4x200m team of Billy Ward, Jordan Majka, Matt Caine, and Matt Taylor set a meet recod of 1:32.19 en route to an almost two second win over Marblehead. The old record was 1:32.67 set back in 2007 by Milton.
Below are the performances entered for the meet that met the national silver standard.