Massachusetts State Championships: Boys Highlights

Jonathan Green gasped for air after crossing the finish line of yesterday’s Div. 1 State Championship race as he walked slowly through the chute. The St. John’s of Shrewsbury harrier grabbed a Gatorade and slowly sipped it as he sat on the stairs of the trailer just beyond the finish area.


Then came the smile.


Green had every reason to be happy after reeling off a sterling time of 15 minutes, 41 seconds to outlast always-tough Joel Hubbard of Marshfield (15:42) and Wachusett’s Colin Bennie (15:46). The race proved to be the deepest off the day as eight runners dipped under 16 minutes on what is slowly becoming the legendary 3.1-mile Franklin Park layout.


Green’s strategy was flawless in perfect conditions to race. He stayed just off the lead in the early going, passing the mile in fifth in 4:55 and then began to push the pace hard. “I knew all the big guys were going to be here,” said Green. “It was just an incredible field. The plan was to go out a little slower just because I figured the guys were going to go out really fast - 4:40 or 4:45. I wasn’t comfortable but it was definitely solid.”


Seventh last year, Green was ready for the move that Peabody’s Nick Christansen (4th, 15:49) put in on the downside of Bear Cage Hill on the way to 2 miles. “The plan was to get up next to him and just be waiting for that move, which he threw,” said Green. “I still hung back a little. I took the lead in the Wilderness and threw a surge in. Joel has a very, very good kick. I knew he was only 20 or so meters behind me. I’m definitely happy with that (time). I knew it would be somewhere in the (15) 30s.


I felt comfortable when I took the lead, but before that I didn’t know if I had a chance or not. I knew the course. We came out here yesterday and just kind of looked at the course.”


Brookline (110 points) defeated Lowell (147) and Oliver Ames (177) to successfully defend its title from a year ago. Chernet Sisay and Mark Perry led the Warriors in 12th and 13th, respectively. Evan Sternstin was 27th and Matt Goroff placed 51st.


After capturing its third consecutive girls title, Bishop Feehan went to work in the boys Div. 2 race against defending champion Pembroke. Only 21 seconds separated the first five Shamrock runners as they edged out the Titans for the title. Bishop Feehan finished with 59 points to Pembroke’s 61.


Bishop Feehan coach Bob L’Homme praised the Shamrock’s fifth runner Alex Conway. The senior was a solid 25th in 16:57. “He’s had a great year,” said L’Homme. “Great year. We came in here thinking we could win. We knew we were close last week. Real close, it was five points. I knew we could make that up somewhere. When the boys have won state championships they have always been so close. And today was the closest. You run as a pack and you win as a pack. That’s what we were all about today.”


Pembroke’s Wesley Gallagher had plenty of challengers on his way to defending his Div. 2 title with a scintillating 15:43. Wakefield’s star harrier Stephen Robertson was the final runner to take on Gallagher and finished second in 15:44. Scott Carpenter of Lenox Memorial was third in 15:52 and Mike McConville of Hingham was clocked at the same time in taking fourth. Pembroke’s Christian Stafford and John Valeri joined Gallagher in the top 10 in fifth and sixth, respectively.


There was nothing easy about Gallagher’s win. He dropped back to third just past 2 miles in the Wilderness, but dug down deep to keep Robertson and Carpenter close. “They kind of broke away from me and I knew I had to give it everything I had,” said the personable Gallagher. “I was just pushing all the way. I could not let my teammates down. Stephen Robertson caught up to me near the end and I gave it everything I had on the last stretch to try and win it. I really thought about doing it for the team. I’d give up all my individual championships for a team championship. There’s no doubt in my mind.”




More coverage......


Meet Page and Results


Girls Highlights 


Photos - 800+ Photos by Peter Rufo


Video - By Rick George | More coming soon