Outdoor T*F Preview: Boys’ Jumping Events
There was abundance of talented high-jumpers this past indoor season with more than two dozen athletes clearing at least six feet and most of a top leapers expected to compete on the outdoor surface. Carver’s Camren Allain and Wakefield’s Lucas Kehoe both cleared a state best of 6-8 this past winter. Allain achieved the most success at season’s end. After taking runner-up honors at the Meet of Championships, he cleared his PR to take the top prize at the adidas Indoor Nationals. Kehoe did not compete at the divisional championships or the Meet of Champions at the end of the season, and last spring just missed out on making it to the podium at the MOC. We’re anticipating that the Warrior senior will be focused on a top finish in his final season as high-schooler. As he proved in his Middlesex League meet back on Dec. 30 when he cleared his all-time best, he’s capable of reaching big heights when everything falls into place. There’s also North Attleboro’s Nathan Shultz (6-7), St. John’s Prep’s Drew McStay (6-5) and indoor MOC winner Rowan McConkey (6-5), who have the potential to strike it reach.
Six of the top eight finishers at last year’s MOC have graduated. But the 1-2- finishers are coming back with St. John’s Prep’s Stephen Patrick and Middleboro’s Bolu Sotonwa. Just a half an inch separated the two athletes at the meet with Patrick soaring to a PR of 44-4 and Sotonwa taking second with a best of 44-3.5. More than a half dozen more went further than 43 feet last yearin an event that should be hotly contested at the championship level. Among those 43-footers are North Quincy’s Daithi Quinn (43-7.5). Randolph’s Gardy Augustin (43-6.5), Lynnfield’s Joe Cucciniello (43-3.5), St. John’s Prep’s Tireni Asenuga (43-2.5), Cardinal Spellman’s Nathaniel Monteiro (43-0) and Dedham’s Eyram Kplorfia (43-0).
We envision the potential for a 23-footer this spring, perhaps by more than one athlete. The top leaper in the state right now came just an inch from achieving that milestone this past indoor season with Nathan Shultz of North Attleboro. Shultz won the Meet of Champions with his all-time best of 22-11, a season that included three other performance more than 22 feet. Shultiz saw a big improvement at the sand pit this year. He was ranked just under the top 30 during the outdoor season in 2022 with a best of 21-5. There’s certainly plenty of other athletes that can make things interesting in the next few months. Westborough’s Alan Nguyen was second to Shultz at the MOC with a best of 22-6.5. Catholic Memorial’s Datrell Jones (22-2) and Wellesley’s Tyler Yen (22-1.75) were also among the 22-club this winter. A bunch more are right on the cusp of joining that group, including Brockton’s Christensen Paul (21-10.25), Stoughton’s Alex Hunyh (21-8) and Attleboro’s Adrian Rivera (21-7.5), Weymouth’s Brandon Riley (21-7.5) and Fitchburg’s Stephen Bate (21-7.5) to name a few.
The pole vault was populated by seniors at last year’s MOC with seven athletes making the podium. That leaves this event wide open. Westborough’s Nguyen was the only pole-vaulter to break up the party at last year’s meet, finishing fourth overall with a height of 13-6. Two more of our returnees come in with best of 12-6 with Acton-Boxborough’s Chris Osselmann Chai and Andover’s Tyler Drummey coming back.