Top Athletes Shine At Weston Twilight


Last spring, Wachusett’s Colin Bennie traveled to Fitchburg and proceeded to thoroughly manhandle a deep, talented field to capture the state title in the 2 mile. If Bennie is looking to defend his title this time around, he’s not saying. The mega talent from Central Mass hasn’t ruled out dropping down in attempt to come away with state meet gold in the mile or even the 800.

Bennie’s at the top of his game and was in complete control in the mile at last night’s Weston Twilight Meet. He settled in early and let King Philip’s Owen Gosner handle the pacing duties before accelerating over the final 200 meters for a 4-minute, 21.25-second win. Bennie held off a hard finish by second-place finisher Gabe Montague of Newton North (4:21.76). Gosner never faltered as he finished a strong third in 4:22.98. The race was a deep one as the top eight finishers broke 4:30 in somewhat chilly conditions.

Bennie wasn’t about to run from the front against the formidable field that would have been perfectly content sitting on him. The slow, early finish set up a fast final 200 meters with Bennie and Montague pulling away from the pack.

“There were a lot of good kids in that race so I think coming into it everyone knew it would be a good race,” said the personable Bennie. “The temperature dropped quite a bit and I think everyone was a little surprised. We started a little slow but nobody really overreacted to that. It let everybody finish really strong, which was good.”

Bennie is pretty confident he’ll be up against iron-strong fields no matter what event he decides upon come state meet time. “I’m not sure yet (what he’s running at the state meet),” he said. “We’re still figuring it out. There’s a ton of strong runners this year so whatever race I run is going to be very competitive.”

Arlington Catholic’s Janelle Solviletti continued her banner spring season after running a personal best 2 mile of 11:23 at the Haverhill Invitational. Solviletti, who will run cross country and track at Marist College, made sure she was never more than a few steps behind Archbishop Williams’ Sarah Saccoach, who took over the pace shortly after 400 meters.

Saccoach continued to lead and moved hard with 200 meters remaining, losing everyone but Solviletti. Saccoach switched gears on the final straightaway, but Solviletti matched her and finally took the lead with 30 meters left. She crossed the finish line in a personal best of 5:07.04. The time was well under the 5:13 she ran during the winter and was just enough to beat Saccoach, who finished in 5:07.16. Newton South talent Kayla Burton claimed the bronze medal with her 5:08.38.

“We started off a little slow but it picked up at the 800,” said Solviletti. “I was planning on staying in the top five and kicking at the end – over the last 200 meters. I felt pretty strong at the end and had enough to kick it end.”

Saccoach, who was a full head and shoulders smaller than everyone in the field, wasn’t surprised she wound up in a straightway fight against Solviletti. “I know her and I kind of figured she’d be there,” said Saccoach. “She’s a good runner. I was planning on staying back and then picking it up as it (race) went on. I’m not used to it (runners sitting on her pace) but I like it because it pushes me.”

Marshfield’s Kelsey Sullivan had a huge evening in Weston. She leaped 16-9 to capture the win in the long jump and picked up a second gold medal when she won the 100 hurdles in 15.69. Whitman-Hanson’s Samantha Richner scored a mild upset by defeating Wachusett’s Amy Collins in the high jump with an impressive 5-6 effort. Collins took second with a leap of 5-4. In what was one of the fastest races of the night, Emily Ryan of Wellesley ripped a 22.61 to win the 200. Sierra Irvin of Hingham also had a stellar time of 22.98 to take second. Cambridge’s Sydney Fisher of Cambridge won the 100 in 12.68. Abby Epplett of Whitinsville was two seconds ahead of the 400 hurdle field with a winning time of 64.82.

Lexington’s Robin Gross and Kate Gobin of Wachusett battled over the final 50 meters where Gross pulled out the win in 58.50 as the temperature began to dip. Gobin was clocked in 59.10 and Macura Grace of Stoneham was also under 60 seconds with her 59.72. With Lowell’s Bryanna Allison entered in the 2 mile, and winning in 10:57.02, Newton North’s Meghan Bellerose was the clear favorite to capture the 800. Bellerose was never challenged as she roared away from the pack to win by nearly three seconds in 2:17.60. Cambridge’s Maya Halprin-Adams was second in 2:20.71.

Three sterling squads posted victories in the hurdles. Wellesley clinched the 4x100 in 51.10 and Lexington clocked a 4:12.63 to win the 4x400. Hamilton-Wenham took gold in the 4x800 in 9:51.38.

Newton South came up with some dominant performances on the boys’ side with Ryan Kim capturing both the shot put at 54-6-3/4 and the discus with a throw of 150-0. The Lions’ Jung Park continued to own the hurdles in Massachusetts with a win in the 110s in 14.64.

In the deepest event of the night, a staggering 12 runners broke 2 minutes in the 800. Somerville’s Andre Rolim was an easy winner in 1:54.62. Swampscott’s Peter Hale sprinted home to victory in the 2 mile at 9:19.59 and Peter Katsarakes of Lexington won the 400 hurdles in 56.51.

Rafael Guzman of Cambridge won the high jump with a 6-4 leap and Randolph’s Evandro DaCosta absolutely smashed the triple jump for a 45-7 victory.