Jonas Clarke of South Hadley looks more and more like the sprinter of the future in Massachusetts track.
Those in attendance at the Div. 5 championships yesterday at the Reggie Lewis Center would wholeheartedly agree.
Clarke sailed through his preliminary heat before blasting away from the field in the 55-meter final in a meet record of 6.41 seconds. The time bettered the previous mark of 6.48 set in 2018 by Oakmont's John Caouette. Zack Fisher of Carver had a good final, finishing second in 6.62.
The quick accelerating Clarke won't go into next Saturday's All-States intimidated by anyone in the field. "Next week is going to be a good one," Clarke predicted. "It felt like a good start. It was one of the the better ones I've had. The whole start is important and I still have a lot to work on."
Amesbury's Francisco Laracuente has his eye on the school record after defeating Dash Christy of Martha's Vineyard in a 55 hurdle photo finish, 7.93 to 7.94. "I knew it was that close," said Laracuente. "The preliminaries were close and I was able to catch up in the final. I felt rough getting to the second hurdle, but three thru seven went smoothly."
Amesbury took the team competition with 46 points and Dover-Sherborn clinched the runner-up position with 41 points.
Lauren Sablone of Austin Prep just missed a meet record in the 55 dash, but was more than a little satisfied with a personal-best win in 7.24. Sablone overcame an average start in the preliminary heat to accelerated over the final 20 meters of the final for the win. "The start in preliminaries didn't feel great," said the ripped Sablone. "Honestly, it's the competition next to me that makes me run better. From the gun I knew it was close. Even at the halfway point, I knew we were even. After that I knew I could pull away."
Sablone picked up her second win a half hour later when she stormed away from Gardner's Savannah Pineda to capture the 300 in a personal best of 39.86. Pineda was a strong second in 40.29.
Sablone's hamstrings were very tight after, but she didn't care. "I'm in a lot of pain but the good kind," she said with a smile. "I didn't think I would get the meet record. I wanted to win and get a PR. I had a good lane in lane five. I wanted to make it to the stagger as quick as I could."
Still not done, Sablone teamed up with Jenna Albanese, Emily Hickey and Olivia Caruso to break the meet record in the 4x200 in 1:46.67. The Cougars took the team title with 51 points to edge out South Hadley's 42 points.
Emily Boutin of Pope Francis and Bethany Steiner of Millis pounded out the laps well ahead of the mile field with Boutin a step behind Steiner. The race was looking like it was going to come down to a sprint finish until Boutin surged into the lead with 300 meters left and stormed home in a meet record of 5:00.38. That time lowered the 5:00.51 standard set back in 2015 by Manchester Essex's Olivia Lantz. Steiner finished strong to take second in 5:05.47.
Boutin credited Steiner for keeping the pace quick and admitted she was struggling during the middle laps. "The middle laps definitely wore me down," said Boutin. "I went for it with a lap and a half to go. I'm known for having a pretty good kick so I usually wait and use whatever I have left."
Boutin capped off a successful double when she ran away from the field to take the 2 mile in 11:08.12. Mia Cromell of Manchester Essex left the field behind in the 1000 and pushed for the tape to finish in 3:00.8. William Kennedy, also of Manchester Essex, won the mile comfortably in 4:24.55. In the 2 mile, Arlington's Sean Kay broke his own meet record of 9:32.95 with a 9:26.51 and Samantha Schoenberg of Bromfield tied the high jump meet record with a leap of 5-4.