Middlesex League Championships: Lexington, Hogan Roll !

By Matthew Liberman
Over 2.4 miles of golf course loops, Burlington's Paul Hogan ran away with a comfortable victory in the Middlesex league championship meet. Hogan led the race through a fast early pace, stringing out the chase pack and then dropping the field before the mile mark. In marked contrast to last year's competition, in which Hogan was edged for second after a duel with Lexington's Nat Adams, this year the Burlington senior was dominant, finishing in a time of 12:12, over 30 seconds faster than runner-up Matthew Dynan. Due to the fast initial pace and buffeting wind, the race was linear from the start. Second in after Hogan was Dynan, who surged powerfully in the second half of the race to beat out Christian Gentile and Aaron Lucci, in third and fourth respectively. Asked about the race, Hogan commented, “I went out a bit too fast but still felt great. The hills were tough but it will help me get ready for states.” Certainly the state should watch out for this athlete in November.
In the team competition, the Lexington boys were dominant. A trio of finishers in Benjamin Jacobson, Zachary Manickas-Hill, and Benjamin Martell led the squad, taking places 5, 6, and 7, respectively. After their fourth and fifth runners (Ethan Isaacson and Christian Herlihy) finished 12th and 13th overall, the Minutemen secured an authoritative win with 43 points. This is their second consecutive league championship, following up an undefeated dual meet season. Senior Captain Ethan Isaacson remarked, “It's always great to win as a team, especially a championship meet. But now we're thinking about what's ahead--the class meet, and states. We're not satisfied yet.” Next year appears promising for Lexington as Jacobson, Martell, Manickas-Hill, and Herlihy will all be returning.
In the girl’s race, Leah Brams of Belmont was able to edge Gina D’Addario of Woburn in a winning time of 15:01. After running out to an early lead after the gun, she was able to maintain the top spot for the entire race. Brams was unable to drop D’Addario, as she finished in a time of 15:06 after sprinting to catch Brams in the final stretch.
Despite being plagued by injury, Lexington was able to win in convincing fashion with a score of 43, as Woburn finished in 2nd with a score of 57. The Minutemen were led by freshman Grace Leightheiser (15:38) , finishing 5th. Leightheiser has proven herself to be an elite runner, as this is only her first season of high school running. She was followed by sophomores Paige Lawler and Hannah Geller and freshman Alex Wolf, in 7th, 8th, and 9th respectively. Emma Houston rounded out the top five for Lexington, finishing 14th, to cap their score. The future is bright for Lexington as their top four finishers are freshmen and sophomores. This marked the 16th consecutive league championship for the girls, a strong end to their 16th consecutive undefeated season. Junior Stephanie Lukez of Lexington, who finished 19th in the championship race said that “The League Championship is a great way to end the season because it’s so much fun and everyone puts in 100% effort and then some. It really shows that all of our hard work pays off.”
We would like to acknowledge everyone for a job well done to those racers, coaches, and a special thanks to all those who helped to set up the meet and supply the awards. This was a great end to the 2013 Middlesex season. We wish good luck to those moving on to compete in Wrentham at Division 1 Class Meet, All-State meet, and hopefully Nationals in Oregon.