Outdoor T&F Preview: Boys’ Middle & Long Distance Events
Six pf the top eight have graduated from last year’s Meet of Champions, which means we’ll have plenty of new faces populating the podium this season. Andover’s Colin Kirn, who just missed earning a top-eight spot, taking ninth overall, appears to be our early-season favorite. Kirn captured the 1,000-meter run at the MOC this past winter and was the only runner to break 2:30 with a 2:29.99 effort the Merrimack Valley Conference Championships. Kirn has an all-time best of 1:55.44 from the New Balance Nationals last month. After his success in the 1K this year, where he was second at the MOC and fourth at the New England’s, look for the possibility of North Andover’s Camden Reiland to potentially go down in distance this spring and concentrate more on the 800m. He was eighth last year in the mile where he clocked 4:21.97. In the 1,000m this year, Reiland registered a PR of 2:31.82 at the New England’s, an eight-second improvement from what he did in 2022. He ran an all-time 800m best of 1:58.64 from the New Balance Nationals last month. Westford Academy’s Austin DeSisto, who was tenth at the MOC last spring and ran a PR of 1:56.78 at the Nike Outdoor Nationals, could be in the mix, too. During the indoor season, he had a best of 2:33.11 for the 1K from his victory at the MSTCA Coaches Invitational.
With the mile and two mile on separate days of the two-day MOC, expect to see more of our top distance runners doubling at the season-ending meet. Based on last year and what was witnessed on the indoor surface this winter, we could have a host of athletes in that 4;10-4:16 range this year. In terms of the MIAA, Uxbridge’s Aidan Ross is our top returnee in this event with a best of 4:10.69 from the Trials of Miles in NYC last spring. St. John’s Prep’s Nathan Lopez was a runner-up at the MOC last year where he ran a near best of 4:14.14 after defending his title in the two mile a few days earlier in 9:09.11. He has a best in the mile of 4:13.30 from his victory at the Div. 1 Championships last May. We’re also expecting a strong season from indoor mile winner, Tyler Tubman of Newton North. He has an all-time best of 4:16.18 from the Div. 1 Championships last May. He clocked an indoor best of 4:16.61 to win the division meet this winter and earned his gold at MOC with a 4:17.08 effort. Northbridge’s Marcus Reilly owns the fastest time among all MA runners with a 4:08.46 best from the Trials of Miles. He ran 4:07.04 during the 2022 indoor season. Much like he’s done in year’s past, we’re not expecting Reilly to participate in any MIAA events, including the MOC. He primarily competes for the Edge Elite Track Club at a host of high-level regional meets.
It’s not unrealistic to think that a nearly 20-year-old record could be broken in this event during the spring. The current mark is 8:50.82 by Newton North alum Chris Barnicle from the now-defunct Hartford Invitational. We have at least three runners we feel are capable of going sub nine minutes this season. With the potential for them to all be in the same race at the MOC, Barnicle’s record could be in serious jeopardy with the right kind of conditions. Who are these runners? We’ll give you a hint. Remember the indoor championships and the classic duel we witnessed inside Reggie Lewis on Feb. 25? Yup, we’re sure you guessed it. Our top three finishers from that race, Framingham’s Sam Burgess, Lopez and Westford Academy’s Paul Bergeron, will all be back. In their battle this winter, Burgess came close to his all-time best by taking individual honors in 8:59.27. Both Lopez (9:01.32) and Bergeron (9:04.07) ran their PRs. This trio likes to race hard come championship time as they proved at the MOC. You have to figure a potential bucket list checkoff (a state record) we’ll be a goal this season. Bergeron has already shown he’s ready for a memorable season. This past weekend, Bergeron clocked 8:52.78 for 3,200m at the Arcadia Invitational in California. The junior distance ace latest performance out west came just a few weeks after racing to a 5K best of 14:36.05 at the New Balance Nationals. Speaking of that race, you would have to figure that Catholic Memorial’s CJ Sullivan might be a threat this season. Sullivan established a new state record at NBN where he was timed in 14:31.08. The CM senior has a best of 9:11.37 for the 2M, which he did at the indoor nationals. Transfer that to the outdoor surface and increased confidence from his record run in the 5K, and that could make him a possible factor. There’s also Oliver Ames’ Ryan Sarney, who had a huge PR of 9:09.20 at New Balance. There’s also plenty more in this event that we’re expecting big things to happen. Among them are Billerica’s Ryan Leslie, Uxbridge’s Ross, Burlington’s Rithikh Prakash, North Andover’s Ryan Connolly and Littleton’s Timothy Rank, just to name a few. All five have broken 9:20 with all-time bests ranging from 9:14 to 9:18.