After thirteen's a tie?

Newton North collected two championships, although they have to share one with Mansfield.


Based on the performance list entering the meet, the Newton North boys were projected to score 24 points.  Even further down the list, Mansfield was projected to only score 14 points.  Both should have finished mid-pack if the performance list had any significant impact on the outcome of the championship.  Thankfully for both teams, seed times mean little.

Entering the 4x200m, Lowell, Pembroke, and Mansfield were all deadlocked at 24 points.  Newton North was in 6th with only 19 points, but still within striking distance.  Like any good meet, everything came down to the 4x400m.  Newton North got the win they needed (3:24.34), while Mansfield finished 4th (3:26.03). Pembroke slipped to 6th (3:28.06), while Lowell did not have a team in the race after failing to qualify at the Division 1 Championships.

In the end, Mansfield and Newton North would end-up tied at 29 points after a fantastic 4x400m battle; sharing a team title that was earned by crafty coaching and gritty team efforts.  Weeks ago the coaching staff at Newton North made the decision to hold Ryan Lucken out of the 300m so he could double in the 4x400m and 4x200m.  Both teams did their work in the trenches, collecting very few points from winning individual events. As for Mansfield, this is their third consecutive team title and the group displayed all the poise and confidence one would expect from a defending champion.

A steady stream of points from Carla Forbes and Kayla Wong had the Newton North girls leading Lincoln-Sudbury 31 to 18 heading into the 4x800m.  An impressive winning performance by Lincoln-Sudbury  (9:23.14) shrunk that gap to just 3 points, but L-S was out of athletes.  Newton North would punctuate the win by ripping a MA#1 time of 3:56.77 in the 4x400m, increasing the final margin of victory to 13 points.  Wachusett made a run at second place with a serious challenge to Carla Forbes by Laura Williamson in the anchor leg of the 4x400m, but they would fall short in the event and end the day in third overall (26 points). Forbes added 18 individual points to the effort with a state record jump of 20’1.25 to win the long jump and a second place finish in the 55m.


Event Highlights

Briana Robitaille opened the meet with a 7.27 MA#3 qualifying time, and that should have been an indication of things to come.  The Attleboro junior returned in the finals to post a MA#2 time of 7.20, just edging Carla Forbes of Newton North at the line.  Sophomore Amanda Riley of Notre Dame Academy finished third (7.31), and without a senior in the top six places, the young sprinters made a statement.

Rebecca Robinson was shot out of a cannon when she exploded from the line in the 300m.  The senior from Arlington took the field out in a blistering pace and remained largely unchallenged as she captured her third consecutive state title in the event.  Her 39.51 time is MA#1, NE#2, and US#13.

Laurie Femmel of Natick took out the 600m with authority, but the workload upfront proved to be just a bit too much as Kendal Knous of Franklin demonstrated tremendous strength over the final 200m.  Knous led a pack of four girls under 1:35; getting the win in 1:34.04.  Her time is MA#1, NE#3, and US#7.

The girls 1000m was full of surprises.  What was not a surprise was the dominating performance of Marika Crowe.  The Lincoln-Sudbury senior was in championship form as she cruised to a 2:55.95 winning time.  Bryanna Allison of Lowell was the most significant surprise, finishing second overall after winning the first section. Allison posted a MA#2 time of 2:56.57 to reach the podium.  Crowe remains atop the state rankings with her mark.  She now has the two fastest times in the state this season.

Catarina Rocha (Peabody) did exactly what we hope she would; she took the pace out at a record clip and never relinquished the lead.  She finished with a new meet record of 4:50.38, ranking her 9th in the country and 8th all-time in Massachusetts.  Rocha had a little help in the effort from a tenacious freshman who shadowed the pre-race favorite for most of their trips around the oval. Liz Holmes of Foxboro finished second, posting the fastest time in the country by a freshman of 4:55.74.  Fellow freshman Olivia Lantz of Manchester Essex finished third in 5:07.29.

Julie McConville (Hingham) patiently waited for her opportunity to pounce in the 2 mile, and when she did, the rest of the field just could not respond.  McConville caused a break and ran away with the race, finishing with a new MA#1 time of 10:48.66.  Abbie McNulty of Bishop Feehan quietly worked her way up to second (10:57.46) and Maggie Mullins of Andover was third (10:58.02).

Kayla Wong (Newton North) and Nicole Genard (Somerville) posted nearly identical times (8.2992 to 8.2999) in section #1 of the girls 55 meter hurdles prelims.  Jen Esposito was next, blowing out her section in 8.23, and Vanessa Clerveaux did the same in section #3 (8.14).  The quality running set-up the rematch of the season, and the center of the track would be occupied by four of the best to ever run the event in the state.

Clerveaux was nearly flawless in the final, setting a new state record of 7.98 en route to an impressive win.  Esposito made it a race, climbing to #3 all-time with her 8.03 clocking.  Wong would earn 6 points for her Newton North team in third (8.13) and Ally Saccone of Old Rochester would break-up the group by stealing fourth in a very impressive 8.21.

Brockton and Chelmsford just own the 4x200m relay in Massachusetts.  The Brockton girls were just off their state leading time from last week, but still won decisively in 1:44.31.  Chelmsford made a little more noise in their title run by posting a new meet and state record time of 1:29.70.  Catholic Memorial gave them a bit of a scare in the final leg but Chelmsford was not to be denied.

Amy Collins of Wachusett took over the #1 ranking in the state with her winning clearance of 5’7”. She also ran a stellar opening leg of the 4x400m, splitting right around 60 seconds to give her team the lead.

Charles Ruffin of King Philip dropped the 300m and the long jump to focus on the 55m.  The move appeared to be a wise one as Ruffin posted a MA#1 time of 6.43 to win the event. Valerio Silva of Woburn was second (6.52) and John Ojukwu of Nashoba was third (6.60). Donovan Henry (Catholic Memorial) went on to win the 300m in a MA#2 time of 34.99.

Andre Rolim was in a class by himself in the 600m.  The junior from Somerville won the event in a state record time of 1:19.94.  He is now ranked US#4. JD Greenfield of Reading just edged Hayden Frechette-McCall of Wachusett at the line for second.  Both ended with identical 1:22.63 time on the clock, but the photo finish broke it down to 1:22.622 and 1:22.627.

Josh Lampron of Mansfield appears to be healthy and ready for the post season.  For the second week in a row, Lampron posted a sub 2:30 time in the 1000m; this time winning the envent in 2:28.65.  Joe Vercollone of Pembroke was second (2:29.89) and Ben Groleau of Framingham was third (2:30.73). Lampron also went on to post a 1:53 split in the 4x800m, leading his team to a 4th place finish (8:02.95).  Acton-Boxborough won the relay (7:59.19) behind the strong anchor leg finish of James Sullivan who had just enough to hold off a charging Sam Burrington of Brookline (7:59.98).  Sullivan also won the mile in 4:16.80 where he held off a charging Wes Gallagher of Pembroke who finished second in 4:17.29.

John Green (St. John’s Shrewsbury) and Stephen Robertson (Wakefield) broke away early in the boys 2 mile, leaving the rest o the pack with some big decisions to make.  Chernet Sisay (Brookline), Peter Hale (Swampscott), and Daniel McDonald-Meteer (Arlington) demonstrated tremendous patience and the pack eventually came back together.  Sisay took a run at the win, but Green pulled away with two laps to go to secure the title in 9:21.68.  Sisay was second (9:26.68) and Hale was third (9:27.53).

Four athletes ended the day at 6’6” in the boys high jump, but Gilberto Brown earned the win based on misses at previous heights. Adam Couitt (Somerset) finished second; followed by Alex Niemiec (Chicopee Comprehensive), and Jack Kahrs of Scituate.

It was a much closer win this week for Olisa Obiefuna of Sagus as he outdistanced Kris Horn of Pembroke by just over an inch.  Obiefuna ended the day at 22’6, while Horn finished second in 22’4.75.  Yosa Nosamiefan (B.C. High) was the only other athlete to jump over 22 feet, finishing third in 22’1.25”.

Swardic Mayanja of Newton North was dominant in the shot put, winning the event by over three feet.  His mark of 59’6.25 is the best throw in Massachusetts and New England this season.


More from the MIAA All-State Indoor Championships......

Meet Page


303 National Elite Marks

Race Video

Photos:  Peter Rufo | Newton Sports Photography