Leading up to this weekend’s New Balance Nationals Indoor Championships, we’re going to highlight a few events that feature MA track & field athletes that could electrify the crowd a little more than the rest.
Boys’ Shot (Sunday)
The state has experienced some success in this event at the nationals the last few years with Innovation Academy alum Aidan Felty winning the individual title in 2019 and Newton North’s Max Klein capturing the crown last year. That trend should continue this weekend with nation-leader Jacob Cookinham of Bishop Stang stepping in the circle. The Kansas-bound senior owns a PR of 67-4.5. He nearly matched that effort this past weekend at the New England Championships where he had a toss of 67-3. The field will feature four of the top five shot-putters in the country. Among that group are Luke Himes (Heritage Christian, IN), Hayden Dixon (Schuyler County, MO) and Rodney Lora (Woodberry Forest), who are 2-3-5 in the national rankings. Himes is two feet behind Cookinham with a best of 65-4.5. Dixon (63-4.25) and Lora (63-2) have both gone 63-plus. Nonetheless, it won’t be easy for the trio, or anyone, to defeat Cookinham on Sunday. He has been super consistent all season long with four of his efforts this winter more than 66 feet. The New England record is 69-0.25 by former Woonsocket (RI) standout Tarik Robinson-OHagan. Cookinham has indicated before that it’s a mark he feels he’s capable of with one big throw. Cpuld that happen this weekend? Also entered in this event are Parker Charter’s Theo Puterbaugh, Peabody’s Alex Jackson, and Lexington’s Allen Jiang, who are all in the first flight.