It all starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The top track & field athletes that have earned the qualifying standards, battling together inside the Reggie Lewis Center at the Meet of Champions. The best of the best all in one place. It doesn’t get any better than this, folks! Throughout the week, we’ll get you amped up for the Big Dance with full previews of all the individual events. Here we preview the girls’ throwing and jumping events – the shot, long jump and high jump.
Not sure we’ve ever had quite the season in this event like this year. Six athletes have thrown further than 40 feet this winter and four of them will be stepping into the circle on Saturday. Lowell’s Ronnie Jones is the No. 1 seed with a best of 43-8 from the Merrimack Valley Conference Championship on Feb. 10. She won the recent Div. 1 title with a heave of 40-8. Jones get the favorite nod, but only slightly. The field is loaded for this weekend’s meet. At No. 2, is Dedham’s Catherine Sargent, who has a seed of 41-5. Peabody’s Aaliyah Callahan (40-11) and Bishop Feehan’s Brooke Serak (40-10.5) have also gone further than 40 feet. Remember, all it takes is one big throw. Elena Chaplin of Ludlow is on the cusp of 40 feet with a best of 39-8. Could she shock the competition this weekend? In meets like this, you never know. We’ve seen it happen before.
Can she continue the momentum on Saturday? Grace Hanafin of Burlington is the top seed here after becoming our first athlete to exceed 19 feet this season. Our recent HOKA Athlete of the Week soared to a winning distance of 19-1.5 to take the individual title at the Division 3 state meet, an effprt that moved her to the No. 1 spot in the state rankings. Right behind Hanafin are four more athletes that have gone 18 feet or further. Representing that quartet are Wellesley sophomore Annie Comella (18-7), Durfee’s Shakira Cadet (18-3.5), Middleboro’s Isabel Wheeler (18-2.5) and Winchester’s Tessa Geddes (18-0). Don’t ignore the action at the far corner of the oval. It should be exciting!
Take your pick in this one. We have a host of individuals that are capable of taking the gold this weekend. Andover’s Ashley Sheldon is the No. 1 seed with a best of 5-6 from the Coaches Invitational on Jan. 29. Sheldon, whose also done 5-4, will be looking to rebound from this past Friday’s Div. 1 states where she was ninth overall at 4-10. Wilmington’s Mollie Osgood holds the No. 2 spot with a best of 5-5. Seven other athletes in this field have done 5-4 this season with nine more at 5-2. There will be a lot of new faces on the podium. Osgood is the top returnee from last year’s meet where she was tied for ninth overall.