Lexington senior Joshua Backert had arguably one of the most impressive performances in the boys events at the 2020 MIAA All-State Indoor Championships. Backert won the 600 meter dash title in a US #3 time of 1:20.19 as he knocked nearly a full second off his prior lifetime best in a Division 1 victory one week ago in 1:21.16.
The race itself was quite thrilling with Weston's Peter Diebold as the favorite coming in as the All-State Meet runner-up from a year ago. Newton South sophomore Justin Levy also inserted himself into the race to challenge both Diebold and Backert up front.
Diebold took control of the race at the break line following a two turn stagger taking the field thru the first 200 meters in 25 seconds and 400 meters in 51 seconds. He held the advantage on both Levy in second and Backert in third place coming off the final turn, but could sense he was fatiguing and tightening up at that point.
Backert seized the moment and sling shotted around both Levy and Diebold off the turn and closed fast wide to the outside to claim the MIAA All-State title for 600 meters. Backert let out an emphatic roar and beat his chest to his Lexington teammates and coaches sitting in the bleachers nearest to the first turn, which they reciprocated back in a roar of cheers themselves.
Levy at 1:20.64 would edge Diebold at 1:21.37 for the state runner-up spot and sets himself up well to return and compete for two All-State titles in 2021 and 2022 as only a tenth grader currently.
Diebold will certainly be seeking a redemption race at the New England Championships next weekend back at the Reggie Lewis Center.
This year has been a big improvement for Backert, who last year finished 10th at the MIAA All-State Meet with a time of 1:24.82. His time drops have to start gaining notice of major Division 1 college programs with his current US top 3 ranking in an event.
The outdoor season will be interesting to see which event becomes his primary event as he has PR's of 50.52 in the 400 meter dash and 1:00.79 in the 400 meter hurdles. Could we possibly see Backert step up to the open 800 as well?
Backert certainly aloud stated how he feels about the 600 yesterday at the MIAA All-State Meet. A roaring champion.