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 Large School section concluded the two-day meet on Sunday.
Amanda Mangano (16'-11.5") of Mansfield got the meet rolling with an indoor best to grab the win in the girls long jump. The Green Hornets senior jumped far enough to reach a MA#5 performance this year with her leap, close to a foot ahead of her nearest competitor, Sarah Fernandes (16'-2.5") of New Bedford. Mangano now shares the fifth best mark in the state with Brookline's Jamie Chamberlain, who was only able to reach 16'-1" which was still enough to earn third in the event on Sunday. Meanwhile, Brockton's hurdler, Zio Barber-Amado (20'-7.5"), started his day with a close win on the boys side, besting North Andover's Tyler Glendon (20'-5.5"). Greater New Bedford's Alexander Dacruz (20'-1") rounded out the long jump top three to open the meet.
Team dominance on the boys' side of the meet started at the hurdles with the lone head-to-head showdowns between Brockton and Newton North. The Boxers took the first race with MA#1's Jordan Williams (7.75) running away from Newton North's Otis Love (7.86) in the first heat. Williams set his MA#1 mark (7.61) a day earlier at the MSTCA Team Pentathlon, which moved him up to US#18 in the process. Love's mark put him at MA#5 on the season while Williams' teammate and long jump champion, Zio Barber-Amado (8.08), finished off the Boxer 1-3 finish.
The state's top girls hurdler, Brookline's Jamie Chamberlain (8.85), continued her busy day with a win in the 55 meter hurdles. Though still off her state-leading mark, her performance would have placed her at fifth in the state. A fairly dominant win, Chamberlain cleared the field by nearly half a second, with Hopkinton's Annie Feather (9.32) and Walpole's Katie Murtagh (9.42) bringing up the rear in Heat 1, proving to be the fastest heat in the field.
Brockton continued to grab a hold of the meet in the 300m dash, placing seniors Marvin Dure (37.04) and Javier Donegan (37.16) in second and third out of Heat 3. The pair was only rivaled by Shrewsbury's Joseph O'Brien (36.33) out of the first heat. The Colonials senior used his speed to win his heat by over a second and claimed the Speed Classic victory in a MA#2 time. The field was spread out much more in the girls dash, as the top three finishers came from three different heats. The winner, Weymouth's Moye Aboli (44.26), edged out her competition to break the tape first while second place came from Heat 2, in Brookline's Vivian McMahon (44.32). Another close finish sealed out Shrewsbury's Julia Perugini (44.40) from the second heat while Heat 5's Maggie Mahoney (44.40) of Walpole sneaked onto the podium on time, edging out Perugini when the times were analyzed down to the thousandths.
Whereas the hurdles and 300 meters were dominated by Brockton, the Tigers of Newton North stormed back in the longest sprint, delivering a sweep of the 600 meter run. Leading the way, after his absence from last week's Winter Festival, was All-State 800m Champion, 600m Runner-Up and NBIN All-American Theo Burba. His return to the 200-meter oval at the Reggie Lewis Center brought about a MA#1 time of 1:22.69. He paced the field for teammates Raghav Kadambi (1:23.42) and Marco Leo (1:23.73) to follow him onto the podium, with Leo clearing the next closest competitor by an astonishing three seconds, with the trio clearing the rest of Heat 1 by nearly five seconds. Burba's teammates have officially broken out onto the long-sprints/mid-distance scene as their personal bests now place them at MA#3 and MA#4 respectively.
Massachusetts's best continued to emerge as the Speed Classic's 600 meter run rewrote the state's rankings on the season, both by male and female athletes. Leading the way in the girls' race was Division 1's Runner-Up from a year ago, Shrewsbury's Reagan Gilloly (1:38.19) with a new MA#1 in tow. Grabbing two silvers on the day, following her 300 meter dash second place finish, was Brookline's Vivian McMahon (1:39.43) in a MA#2 time from the second heat. And perhaps the most surprising result of the day came from Boston Latin's Annie Jackson (1:39.73). Not only did the Wolfpack junior demolish her first 600 meter race; she did so solely against the clock. Her MA#3 time of the season came from the very last heat of the event. Running essentially solo in Heat 12, Jackson gapped the field and won by nearly seven seconds. Her potential appears grand so she should be a name to watch moving forward in the 600 meter run.
Mansfield's Greg Waters (6.74) took a closely-contest 55 meter dash over Greater New Bedford's Sheldon Clark (6.76) and Weymouth's Christian Quinn (6.77) in the final individual event of the boys' competition. The Lady Boxers scored some late individual event fire power from freshman phenom Mia Dansby (7.42) Her win, out of Heat 4, moved her up to the fourth fastest short sprinter in the state along with a US#13 mark among the freshmen class. Dansby's win outshadowed North Andover's Trinity Tapper (7.50) and Hopkinton's Ashley Donnelly (7.52) performances from the first heat, which earned the pair a runner-up and third place finish at the Speed Classic. Additionally, Tapper moves up to MA#9 with Donnelly coming in at MA#12 as well.
Brockton (1:34.29) wrapped up their showing with a win in the boys 4x200 meter relay, just short of their MA#1 1:33.76 run in the Tri County League last week. Algonquin (1:35.18) and Natick (1:36.37) did their best to keep chase with the Boxers, rounding out the medalists. Hopkinton (1:49.59) claimed a MA#5 along with the relay win over Algonquin (1:52.27) and North Andover (1:52.79) on the girls side.
Shrewsbury (3:29.14) closed out the meet in fashion, upsetting the MA#1 Newton North quartet, while the Tigers were able to muster up, still, a strong 3:33.67 for second. The Colonials moved themselves up behind the Tigers in the state rankings as the only other team to have dipped below 3:30 so far. Officially, it was Weymouth's "C" team (3:41.98) that grabbed the final spot amongst the top three, as alternates switching in-and-out of the relay lineup likely explained it. Interestingly, Shrewsbury's depth was displayed as their "B" team managed to grab fourth out of the second heat, with a respectful 3:43.57.
The girls wrapped up the Speed Classic with North Andover (4:13.77 - MA#5) taking the title and state rankings boost. Out of the second heat, Boston Latin (4:15.26 - MA#6) continued to surprise their fans, as their focus on the clock in the slower heat earned them a second place finish. Walpole (4:16.11) narrowly avoided that focus as Shrewsbury (4:16.47) was dragged through that pace in Heat 2, with the Colonials narrowly missing out on a third place meet finish. The Rebels managed to out-lean for bronze and a MA#8 while the Colonials could only settle for a MA#9 time.