2016 MIAA All-State Meet Boys Preview



Steve Infascelli runs down his top 3 events in this short Boys All State Video preview. After the video, checkout the Milesplitmass Staff article below previewing all the boys action for this weekends All State Finals at Reggie Lewis Center.

Boys All-State Meet Preview




2015 Winner: Sebastian Silveira, Andover 7.57

Meet Record: Greg Boursiqout, Stoughton 7.36 (2011)

On Saturday's starting line, there will only be one returner from last year's 55H final and it's Hunter Gray of Littleton. It's been a very strong winter for the Littleton hurdler, as he brought his personal best down to 7.79 (MA#2) and has won all but one 55H race this season. The one person to take down Gray could be the current state leader, Erick Duffy of North Andover. These two met up at the Elite Meet in January and Duffy edged Gray by 0.01 seconds to win in a fantastic 7.78. Since the Elite Meet, Duffy has been running very well and enters Saturday after making short work of the field at the D2 Champs. While Duffy might be entering his first 55H All-State final, the young man is well versed in taking risks and winning championships, as he is the defending Outdoor All-State Champion in the pole vault. Now will that be enough to stop Hunter Gray? We say he will come up just short, with Gray seeking revenge after falling victim to Duffy earlier this season. Hopefully the two state leaders don't get too focused on each other, as coming in hot will be Charlie Williams of Xaverian Brothers. Williams finished behind these two at the Elite Meet and just last Sunday he dropped a big PR of 7.81 to win D1 Champs.  



2015 Winner: Jonathan Derolus, Brockton 6.46

Meet Record: Christopher McConnell, Andover 6.34 (2009)

He tore up the Division 4 Championships last Friday night and we expect a similar storyline for the fastest boy in Massachusetts at this Saturday's All-State Meet. At the Divisional Championship meet, Abu Ceesay of Norton joined elite company when he put up an eye-popping MA#1 time of 6.47 to set a new meet record and win easily. A performance such as that one certainly sets the bar high for his competitors and definitely makes Ceesay the heavy favorite. But does that mean Ceesay will be able to sleep easy the night before the race? Well, we hope he is well for Saturday, but think that his only potential threats will be Davonte Burnett of Needham and Anthony Delasanta of Bishop Feehan. These two have both clocked in at a strong 6.56 and looked to be in excellent form at their respective divisional meets. And while he is currently MA#2 with his 6.55, we still feel that Jordan Howard of Medford will be the dark horse of the field. His big PR at the end January certainly shocked us-maybe he will do the same on Saturday!



2015 Winner: Chris Jewett, Woburn 35.02

Meet Record: Andrew Bolze, Hingham 34.32 (2014)

Will we see Abu Ceesay of Norton make it two for two on Saturday? After his excellent double at the D4 Championship, it's very possible. Once Ceesay was done lighting up the infield in the 55m, he flew around Reggie and posted a terrific personal best of 34.84. Though his time was quite impressive, it still fell 0.01 short of the state-leading time put by Anthony DeLasanta of Bishop Feehan the day before at the D3 Champs. The Feehan senior is a force to reckon with in the 300 and 400, and has already beaten Ceesay in the 300 at the Elite Meet in January. DeLasanta also displayed an incredible showcase of his speed when he came from behind and won the 4x400 at the D3 meet. While this is undoubtedly one of the toughest races of the day to call, we're going to pick DeLasanta nipping Ceesay at the line.




2015 Winner: Joe Luongo, St. John's Prep 1:19.36

Meet Record: Joe Luongo, St. John's Prep 1:19.36 (2015)

The only two questions for this race on Saturday are: how fast will Rodney Agyare-May run and how many records will he break? In late January, Agyare-May showed the country his speed when he a blazed a 1:18.94 to win the Elite Meet. It was an incredibly fast time, but it fell just short of Joe Luongo's state record (1:18.84) and just off Cas Loxom's (CT) New England record time 1:18.72. Since that near-record performance in January, it has been relatively easy going for Rodney with results of 1:19.2 to win the Armory Invite 600m and an easy 600m victory at the D4 meet last week. We imagine that coming so close to two big records earlier this season, Rodney has been stewing and waiting for his chance to top the record books. It won't be the end of the world if he comes up short, as we will have the junior for another year. Though we hope, for everyone's sake, that Rodney tops the charts on Saturday. While he might not beat Agyare-May, George Papoulis of Haverhill should be a lock for 2nd and he'll be trying his best to get pulled along for as long as possible and dip under 1:20.


2015 Winner: PJ Garmon, Billerica 2:31.70

Meet Record: Gabe Montague, Newton North 2:25.45 (2014)

Seeing as the 1000m state leader, Tom Ratcliffe, is putting all his chips in the mile, we will have an exciting and unpredictable battle among the remaining top seeds on Saturday. Fresh off his thrilling victory and big PR of 2:30.96 at the D1 Championship, Colin Grip of Acton-Boxborough will enter Reggie riding high and looking for another big day. Though, once again he will have to put up with Esu Alemseged of CR&L, who led a majority of the D1 1000m until Grip out-leaned him at the line. If Alemseged wants to seek revenge and win the title, the CR&L senior should unleash his terrific half-mile speed early and make everyone suffer in the opening laps. But Grip and Alemseged won't be out their on their own, as Matt D'Anieri of Wellesley has taken his racing to the next level this winter and definitely has the tools for a victory. With quality half-mile speed and recent strong outing in the mile at New Balance Indoor Gran Prix (PR of 4:17.7), D'Anieri is going to be a deadly combo of strength and speed. Our prediction for Saturday's race is going to be D'Anieri, Alemseged, and then Grip.



2015 Winner: Thomas Ratcliffe, Concord Carlisle 4:13.78

Meet Record: Michael Banks, Wachusett 4:11.53 (2004)

It's not often you see a high school athlete that's disappointed after running 4:08 in a highly competitive junior mile at a professional meet. But that was the case for Tom Ratcliffe after taking 2nd place at the NB Indoor Grand Prix and running an indoor best of 4:08.74. Though I guess that's a good insight into Ratcliffe and what he expects from himself every time he steps onto the track. This leads us to believe that on Saturday, Ratcliffe will be coming out of the gates hard and not looking back. As he is almost ten seconds faster than the seoncd fastest seed, it will be Ratcliffe versus the clock and the pursuit of a new meet record. While Tom might be all alone out front, we will still have a fine fight for the remaining top spots. Grant Hauver of Wachusett will most likely be the strongest candidate for 2nd, as he is the only other runner beside Ratcliffe at sub-4:20 (PR of 4:19.80) and looked strong taking down solid fields at the Elite Meet and D1 Champs. Two other top finishers should be Zachary Manickas-Hill of Lexington and Liam Sullivan of Northampton. Both of them have clocked at low 4:20's for the mile the season and they'll be eager to stop Hauver, after he beat both of them at the Elite Meet. The dark horse for this race has to be Jack Crawford of Mansfield. In early January at a BU Mini meet, Crawford ran a big personal best 4:20.61. Though we haven't seen much from Crawford since that early season race, we feel that he could factor if he is healthy.



2 Mile

2015 Winner: Dan Ramona, Mansfield 9:25.41

Meet Record: Franklin Sanchez, Lynn Voc. 8:49.60 (1999)

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, Saturday's 2-mile will be the third installment in the Marcelo Rocha and Peter Monohan trilogy. They butted heads for the first time at the Elite Meet and Monahan walked away victorious with a 9:20.06 over Rocha's 9:24.98. A few weeks later the two would meet again at the D1 Championship, and this time it was Rocha taking the win in 9:15.07 and Monahan just behind in 9:16.64. At the D1 meet, Rocha wasn't looking to play games and ratcheted things up just 400m in. Monohan tried his best to stay close, but still hovered about 2-3 seconds behind Rocha for a majority of the race and only made up ground in the final 200m. These two will definitely be well out in front, but will also have company from the cross country all-state champion, Thomas D'Anieri of Wellesley. While D'Anieri is slightly behind Monahan and Rocha in term of PRs, we fell that he is more than capable of challenging the front duo and going sub-9:20. How do we see the race ending? Rocha, D'Anieri, Monahan.


Field Events

High Jump

2015 Winner: Kevin Hack, Nipmuc 6'8"

Meet Record: Corey Thomas, BC High 6'11" (2009)

We have been waiting for this day since early January and it is final here! In one corner will be Alexander Reduker of Newburyport entering with his US#3 mark of 6'10" and in the other corner will be Kevin Hack of Nipmuc and his US#13 personal best of 6'8". There isn't too much else to say about these two fine athletes, except we can't wait to see high they soar on Saturday!


Long Jump       

2015 Winner: Kevin Saccone, Old Rochester 22'1.25"

Meet Record: Andrew Bolze, Hingham 23'8" (2014)

Jared Prior of Newton North will take to the jumps runway, as the current state leader with his big jump of 22'0" in mid-January. That's a terrific mark and certainly makes Prior a threat, but since that state-leading mark he has only hit 21'3.5" and that makes us a little weary to call him the favorite. The biggest threat to Prior will most likely be the best jumper in Western Mass. and MA#2, Jericho Sylla of Amherst. Sylla has followed a similar trajectory to Prior, as he had a terrific jump of 21'9" at the Elite Meet, but hasn't quite gotten back into that territory since that meet. If Prior and Sylla are both hot and in the zone on Saturday, they should put up a fine fight for 1st and 2nd. But if they're careless, we could see either Sam Beaucejour of Needham, Paul Chong of Reading, Trevor Schofield of Needham steal the show.



Shot Put

2015 Winner: Leonardo Ramirez, Fitchburg 55'9.5"

Meet Record: Jeff Chakouian, Seekonk 61'9" (2000)

This time last year, Cole Stewart of Bishop Feehan was throwing a mediocre 47'1" and finishing a distant 23rd at the All State Meet. Fast forward to last outdoor season and he is now over fifty feet and has a personal best of 51'1". How far does he throw his first time out this winter? Well, at the Boston Holiday Challenge, Stewart got out to a new personal best of 55'0.75". A few weeks later, we saw a throw of  55'3.75" at the Dartmouth Relays and then just last week, Stewart got it all the way out to 57'10.25" at the D3 Champs. Stewart's impressive progression now has him as the state leader by over two feet and the clear favorite to win on Saturday.




2015 Winner: Andover 1:31.52

Meet Record: Chelmsford 1:29.70 (2012)

At the D4 Championship, Norton boys absolutely flew around the track and showed they are the real deal. The Lancers are going to be the fastest seed by almost a second and with Abu Ceesay as the anchor leg, we're not sure if anyone will be able to stop them on Saturday. The real fight looks to be for 2nd, as Lexington, Newton South, and Newton North, all put fast times at their divisional meets and are only separated by 0.25 seconds. That means it's going to come down to clean handoffs and smart racing.



2015 Winner: Natick 3:23.83

Meet Record: Mansfield 3:21.78 (2011)

If you saw the 4x400 battle between Newton North and Andover at D1 Champs, then your blood is already pumping for a rematch (Watch the replay here: D1 Champs 4x4 ). Now, take these two teams and throw in the Natick squad and you're going to have a sensational 4x400 to watch on Saturday. These squads are separated by less than a second and, as we saw last week, it's just going to be too close to call!


2015 Winner: Amherst 7:58.86

Meet Record: Westwood 7:57.69 (2011)

The Minutemen of Lexington are going to enter Saturday's 4x8 battle with the targets on their back after running 8:01.25 to win at D1 Champs. That state-leading performance came after a long day of fighting for team points and not a fresh leg on the quartet. On Saturday, three of the four (Manickas-Hill, Lingard, MacKenzie) will be doubling back from a previous open event, so obviously a bit better than all four doubling back. But will that be enough? We are going to say yes, as by beating a totally fresh squad from Westford Academy (MA#4 8:07.6) at D1 Champs, Lexington has proven they got what it takes to win no matter the circumstances. Still, Westford Academy is still a credible threat, as are the squads from Cambridge Rindge & Latin, Weymouth, and Algonquin.