The first event-special hit the track this weekend with the MSTCA's Speed Classic running at the Reggie Lewis Center. The event maxed out at the 600m (the longer sprint) and only offered the long jump, giving a sprinter-friendly vibe in the halls. The Small School section opened up action on Saturday, with the Large Schools coming in on Sunday to wrap up action.
The girls opened up action on the infield, taking their first jumps a little before noon. Notre Dame Academy's Ana Bertarelli (16'-10") jumped a season's best by nearly a foot to take the victory while tying the MA#6 mark. The Small School Winter Festival runner-up, Murdock's Alexia Allard (16'-9.5"), reached an indoor best as the sophomore continues her strong start to the season, claiming second in the event. Megan Lawlor (16'-7.25") of North Reading was off her MA#2 mark set at the beginning of the month but she still managed to finish off the podium. On the boy's side, the outdoor D3/D4 long jump champion, Stoughton's David Peters (21'-1.25") got back to his winning ways, improving his season's best by over nine inches, jumping into the top ten in the state at MA#9. Peters had the long jump well under control as he nearly beat second place's Jeremy Medeiros (20'-1.75") of Somerset-Berkley by a foot. And starting a busy day at Reggie, Hudson's Michael Blake (20'-1") grabbed third in the long jump in an indoor personal best. Yet, Blake had plenty more to give later in the meet.
The meet featured no-final events which allowed for the best to compete, fast-to-slow, based on seed entries. As expected, the results yielded similarly as the boys hurdles were won by competitors from the first heat. North Reading's William Lord (7.78) shaved a tenth of a second off his season's best to both win the event and slot himself in at MA#3, behind Stoughton's Peters and his 7.70 run in the Hockomock last Saturday. On the other side of the tape this time, the Black Knights junior had to settle for third in 8.01 while Pentucket's Jack Clohisy (7.92) continues the tradition of strong Pentucket hurdlers taking the runner-up honors. Clohisy's time moves him up to fifth in the state as of this posting.
The girls' results followed the trend set early by the boys as the race favorites came out with appropriate performances to justify their seeds. MA#4's Katelyn Gorgenyi of North Reading was not at the top of her game but her 8.96 was still enough to escape the first heat with a win that lasted throughout the rounds. Westborough's Grace Desmond (8.98) just missed out on the win but moved herself into a MA#8 with her first sub-9.00 showing on the indoor oval. Somerset-Berkley's Kathryn Sullivan (9.05) rounded out the top three earning herself a MA#9 in the process.
Issues with the official clock resulted in the boys' 300m first heat reporting back only hand-time results. Whether the results will hold up in the Massachusetts Top 10 will be assessed through the season and justified by repeat performances. But for the time being, the top three finishers (while considering 0.4 seconds added on for hand-times) find themselves with the state's fastest 300 meter times this season. Leading the way was Watertown's Mange Camara. The Indoor New England 300m Runner-Up (34.2h) outraced Hudson's Michael Blake (34.8h), who already scored a third place finish in the long jump. Last week's Small School Winterfest 600m champion, Murdock's Richard Swanson (34.9h), raced down to contest the long-sprint, grabbing a third place finish. Swanson's range should be noted as his 1:24.53 600m from last week still has him in the Massachusetts Top 10, raising question to what he may contest by divisionals week.
The first sub-40 girls' 300m in MA was run this afternoon coming from Oakmont's Alyssa Madden. The Spartan senior (39.90) shaved off two seconds to jump up to MA#1 and US#12 in grabbing the Speed Classic 300m win. Anna Roman of Norwell (41.43 - MA#3) and Pentucket's sophomore Syeira Campbell (42.32 - MA#6) also moved themselves up the MA Top 10 list, earning second and third places respectively in a hotly-contested heat.
Foxborough's Will Regan (1:24.90) broke out at the right time to nab himself a personal best in the 600m to narrowly escape Lunenburg's David Gardner (1:24.94) who raced the clock in the second heat to grab a silver medal. Meanwhile, Blackstone-Millville's Cole Bolduc (1:25.48) made his indoor debut at the 600m, to the tune of a third place finish and a MA#12 spot. Regan and Gardner both clocked MA#5 and MA#7 times on the season as well.
Massachusetts #1 and US#2 freshman 600m runner in the winter continued her dominance as Murdock's Lilly Digman (1:40.09) comfortably controlled her race to win the 600 meter run over Newburyport sophomore Libert Palermino (1:41.29 - MA#4). The Digman-Palermino action today may precede exciting potential in early January's Auerbach Freshman-Sophomore Invitational with interesting storylines to follow. Natick's Nicole Frail (MA#2) and Newton North's Charlotte Kouroriez (MA#3) are likely to race the same event in the Large School section. The state may be kept from seeing the four athletes fend for each other until the All-State competition. But the early season progress has shown that the girls 600 meter run is being led by the state's youth, further demonstrated by today's results as South Hadley's Jocelyn Rondeau (1:42.69) clocked the top finish for upperclassmen, claiming the third position.
At long last, Hudson's Blake (6.58) finally got to race his premier event, just shy of his season's best, but still strong enough to pull off the win on a busy day. Watertown's Camara (6.66 - MA#12) continued his long day with a second place finish behind Blake while East Bridgewater's Giovanni Caciatore (6.83) beat out a three-way tie at 6.83 to claim the third top spot on the day. In the girls' dash, the meet had its lone repeat winner of the day as Notre Dame Academy's Bertarelli (7.53) took the long jump and the 55m dash, with the latter to the tune of a MA#12 time. Newburyport's Julia Tribastone (7.60) followed behind with Ashland's Elena Pellegrini (7.69) in tow with each runner distancing themselves well enough to comfortably finish the first heat, which ultimately proved to be the fastest.
East Bridgewater likely called on Caciatore to anchor their 4x200 relay as the first upset of the day came from the second heat with the Vikings taking the win in 1:34.79 over Bishop Feehan (1:35.60) from the first heat. The times move the schools up to MA#7 and MA#10 while Murdock (1:35.72) rounded out the top times on the day, also from Heat 2, earning a MA#11. Mis-seedings followed in the girls' race with Westborough (1:49.76) running a solo effort from Heat 3 to grab a MA#6 and the win, as they won their heat by nearly five seconds. North Reading (1:50.64) and Ashland (1:51.07) followed in out of the first heat to round out the second and third finishers
The meet concluded with the 4x400m relays with traditional small school power, Pentucket (3:39.71), showing off their depth throughout the meet, and grabbing the second place finish and an early-season MA#16. But it was Groton-Dunstable (3:38.19) that sneaked by to win the Speed Classic 4x400m relay, while Triton (3:41.89) made it interesting, grabbing third place from the second heat. Much was the same in the girls' race as well with Triton (4:24.92) also grabbing the bronze finishing honors and Stoughton (4:24.00) mixing it up for second. Yet, it was Groton-Dunstable (4:23.43) once again completing the Speed Classic 4x400m sweep, outsprinting Stoughton to the line to end the meet.