Boys NE Preview: Hingham's Bolze a Double Threat !


Andrew Bolze has high expectations for the New Balance Nationals in New York City the weekend of March 14-16.

But first the Hingham High (MA) star will be looking to take care of business at a place that’s a little closer to home.

Bolze, a two-time state titlist and nationally-ranked 300-meter runner, will be in Boston this Saturday for the New England Championship. He’s the defending champion in his specialty and there should be no reason to believe that he can’t do it again on the banked oval of the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center.

Bolze ran a state-record and all-time best of 34.19 (US #7) to win the MSTCA Elite Meet on Jan. 26.  That time is nearly a full-second faster than No. 2 seed, Connecticut state champion Shyden Pierce of Brien McMahon, who won the CIAC Class LL Championship a few weeks ago with a PB of 35.16. 

After winning the MIAA All State Meet this past weekend, the Harvard-bound Bolze indicated his overall goal for this indoor season is to win the 400 at the nationals. He’ll be focused on a strong performance at the NE meet to boost his confidence level.

The 300 is not the only event that the Massachusetts’ speedster has a great chance to earn gold. Bolze is also the top seed in the long jump. At last Saturday’s state meet, he copped his second individual title by leaping a winning distance of 23 feet, 8 inches, a PB effort that ranks No. 10 in the country.  The person who appears to be Bolze’s top competition is Bishop Hendricken (RI) junior Lee Moses. Moses, who claimed his second straight state title two weeks ago with a 22-7.75 effort, has also broken 23 feet this winter. At the beginning of February, he took the Class A title with a best of 23-0.5. Among some other top performers in the long jump are seniors Darion Sadri of Pioneer Valley (22-5.5) and Evandro DaCosta of Randolph (21-10) of the Bay State.

Fairfield Prep (CT) senior Christian Alvarado is the top seed and the defending champion in the two-mile run, a race that has potential to turn into a close battle between several legitimate contenders. Alvarado won his recent state meet with a time of 9:07 for 3,200 meters. He was also a second-place finisher in the mile at the Yale Track Classic last month with a season best of 4:16.27.

He’ll be joined on the line by four other runners that have run faster than 9:20 this season, including Darien (CT) junior Alexander Ostberg (9:13.5, 3,200), Massachusetts’ state champion Matt Mahoney, a senior from Swampscott (9:17.02), Ridgefield (CT) junior Austin Gilbert (9:19.32, 3200 meters) and King Philip (MA) senior Owen Gonser (9:19.65). The one runner that can’t be ignored is Dan Curts of Ellsworth in Maine. Curts’s best this season for the two-mile distance is 9:22.90. But at the USATF New England Championship at Harvard University on Monday, the talented senior ran a nation No. 1 clocking of 8:23.85 for the 3,000, an all-time best for any Maine runner and a time that computes to about a 9:00 two mile.

The mile run will be missing some of Massachusetts’ best runners, such as Newburyport junior Nick Carleo, who won the All-State Meet this past weekend in 4:15.29, as well as state runner-up, Burlington senior Paul Hogan, who crossed the line at 4:15.45. Both have opted to forego the New England’s to concentrate on the nationals. The race still should produce some excitement with a winning time between 4:15-4:17.

The top three runners in the field have all run in the 4:18 range. Medfield (MA) senior Sean Robertson was third this past weekend at the MIAA All State Meet where he ran a PB of 4:18.12. R.I. 1,500-meter state champion Jack Salisbury, a sophomore from La Salle Academy, finished second at the Yale Track Classic with his current best of 4:18.98 and Gray New Gloucester (ME) senior Will Shafer ran 4:18.22 at the WMC Championship on Feb. 8.   If the race comes down to the final lap, Salisbury and Shafer appear to have the edge. Salisbury, who also won his state’s 1,000 and has a best of 2:35.20 for that distance, has demonstrated a devastating kick numerous times this season. Shafer has 53-second speed for the 400 and has run 1:56 for the 800.

In the 1,000, Newton North (MA) senior Gabe Montague should be considered the favorite. He’s coming off a record-setting win at the MIAA All State Meet where he won with a meet mark and the country’s fastest clocking of 2:25.45. Montague, who was third at the New Balance Grand Prix junior mile, likes to push the pace hard. In his win this past weekend, he hit his opening 400 in 57 seconds. Certainly a runner that has the ability to contend with Montague is Gloucester (MA) junior Everest Crawford, who was second at the states with a more than three-second PB of 2:26.42. Crawford burst onto the scene last month when he captured the MSTCA Elite Meet by running a then-best of 2:29.53 in the first unseeded heat. Other strong runners in the field are Billerica (MA) junior Peter Garmon (2:28.15), Chelmsford (MA) junior Quinn Cooney (2:28.39) and Glastonbury (CT) sophomore Randall Neish (2:30.79).

The 600 could turn into a two-person race between St. John Prep (MA) junior Joe Luongo and defending champion Zachery Emrich, a senior from North Kingstown (RI). In last year’s race, Emrich set a R.I. state record by winning with a time of 1:20.58. The N.K. runner’s best time this season is 1:21.01 at the Rhody Track & Field Classic in January. Emrich has not really been pushed to the limit this year. He should have his biggest challenge this weekend with Luongo on the line. In his last three meets, the St. John standout has broken 1:21. He finished second at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 7 with a fast 1:20.23 clocking. He won the MIAA Division I Championship with a PB of 1:20.05 and this past Saturday took the individual title at the state meet where he ran 1:20.79.

B.C. High senior Jordan Samuels and Springfield Central senior Edison Perez, who were 1-2 at the MIAA All State Meet, are the top two seeds in the 55 hurdles. Samuels, a fifth-place finishers at the NE meet last year, ran his best of 7.48 to hold off Perez at the states. Perez was timed in 7.57. Other solid contenders include Fitch (CT) senior Tyler Latham (7.60), a winner at his state meet, New Britain (CT) senior Stephen Henry (7.65) and Newton North (MA) senior Nick Fofano (7.65).

The first three seeds in the 55 dash all won their respective state meets with Amherst-Pelham Regional (MA) junior Taj-Amir Torres owning the quickest time of 6.46. Classical (RI) senior Ilan Rich is No. 2 with a time of 6.50 and Waterford (CT) senior Julio Gil Martinez is third with a time of 6.52. In a race that is often separated by inches, especially in the bigger meets, it’s hard to predict who will break the tape in this event. Nine sprinters in the field have run faster than 6.60, a separation of just .13.

Darien (CT) senior Nicholas Lombardo will be hard to beat in the high jump. He won his state meet by tying his best of 6-8, a height he has achieved three times this season. Fellow Connecticut rival Jermaine Lascelles, a senior from Blooomfield, has done 6-6. Lebanon (NH) John Cioffredi, a recent state titlist, has also cleared 6-6.

Newton South (MA) senior Ryan Kim, a victor at the MIAA All State Meet, leads the contenders in the shot put with a best of 58-2. St. John Prep (MA) senior Evan Dombrowski was second to Kim with the No. 2 seed of 55-6.5.  Woonsocket (RI) senior Connor Fugere won the R.I. state meet a few weeks ago with a PB of 54-3.75.

In the 4x800, there is potential for a sub-eight minute effort by at least two schools. Cambridge Rindge & Latin and Burlington, who own the top two seeds, nearly did it at the MIAA All State Meet with Cambridge holding on for the win at 8:00.62 and Burlington taking runner-up honors in 8:00.84. Weymouth (MA) has the fastest time in the 4x200 at 1:31.78 and Lincoln Sudbury (MA) is the quickest in the 4x400 with a time of 3:25.80.