The third day of MIAA Divisionals gets underway at 4:30 PM on Friday from the Reggie Lewis Center with the MIAA Division 3 Championships. No shortage of standout athletes and storylines to follow as we hit the mid way point of divisional week. Let's take a first look over the boys field in Division 3.
One of the top athletes to watch in the meet is Walpole senior Shane Grant, who has such versatile range that he is entered and has the leading time this season for the mile (4:21.40), 1000 (2:29.01), and 600 (1:22.87). It may or may not be likely that he actually attempts to compete in all three races and scratches from at least one since all contested in such a short period of rest with the rapid fire nature of the meet. It would be remarkable if does make the attempt though.
Last year, Grant pulled off a double of Division 3 titles in taking the mile (4:30.43) and 1000 (2:35.13) before focusing on the 1000 exclusively at the MIAA All-State Meet (3rd, 2:31) and New England Championships (8th, 2:35).
He could make the mile and 1000 more strategic races as he owns the fastest time in the mile by 7 seconds and fastest time in the 1000 by 9 seconds. The 600 meter race in between where he would have to empty the tank a bit as Stoughton junior Nathaniel Peters at 1:22.93 season best only a few tenths a second off Grant's top performance of the season in the event.
Grant is not the only returning boys champion from the 2019 Division 3 Championships. The current state leading and US #11 ranked David Peters of Stoughton returns to go for a second straight Division 3 title. Last year's MIAA All-State champion as well, Peters has a season best and PR of 7.40 this season. He has not raced in many major meets this season outside of his victory at the Boston Holiday Challenge while competing primarily in Hockomock League meets instead.
Peters is also one of the better long jumpers in the season as the top seed for Friday and MA #5 ranked in the event with a season best leap of 22'3.50". Peters also owns the third fastest time in the 300 meter dash for Division 3 coming into today at 35.94.
The lone sub 35 entrant in the boys 300 is Billerica Memorial senior Stephen Harris with a swift 34.85 credited to his name this winter. The MVC champion is ranked #2 in the state for the event and has only lost twice this season to Division 2 champ and state leader Derek Chalmers of Wellesley as well as Rhode Island state leader Steven Doss of La Salle Academy. Harris is hoping to help lead the Billerica boys to a team title as they are projected to be a team battle with the Peters-led Stoughton squad as well as Walpole with Grant potentially tripling individually or jumping on their top seeded 4x800 meter relay at 8:05.05.
Speaking of the relays, Billerica may have their eyes set on a sweep of all three relays as they rank as the fastest time in Division 3 for the 4x200 at 1:31.49, 4x400 at 3:27.45, and second fastest behind only Walpole in the 4x800 at 8:06.53. Those events could be the point push late in the meet needed to push Billerica over the top of the rest of the top tier teams in the standings.
The field events could be a battleground as well for our top teams with Stoughton already have Peters as a favorite to win the long jump, while teammate Elisha Teneues-Claude has cleared a state leading and US #14 height of 6'8" to be the top seed in that event by 6 inches.
Meanwhile, the shot put could see another 10 points generated for Stoughton with the lone 50 plus foot throwers in the field with Mark Edge having uncorked a throw of 50'1.25" this season.
Two defending Division 3 champions who return but not as the top seeds are Bryan Santos of Shepherd Hill in the 55 meter dash and Alex Brown of Hopkinton in the two mile run. Both are seeded second, but cannot be counted out at all to repeat behind top seeds Luke Chapman of Pembroke in the boys 55 meter dash at a Division leading clocking of 6.55 and Kyle Sarner of Oliver Ames in the boys two mile at 9:32.50 for his season best.
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