Two-hundred and twenty-eight events will be contested at six different meets. Each one, athletes had to meet qualifying standards to compete. Each one, athletes and teams will be giving it their all with hopes of prosperity at the end..
Be prepared for a plethora of state-leaders, PRs and perhaps, even, a state record or two at this week’s MIAA Division State Championships. From Thursday to Sunday, Division 1 through Division 6 will take place at different venues. While we know there are plenty more that could be included in this articles, we’re going to list 11 events (yes, we had to be different) that caught our eye the most, events that could be extra special during this four-day stretch of exciting track & field..
Don’t forget, our State Running team will be LIVE streaming the Division 1 and Division 2 meets.
Boys’ 400m – Division I (Saturday, 5:10 p.m.)
We put this one at the top simply because we think it just may be the best one of them all. The state record of 46.71 has been around for 44 years. If it doesn’t go down this weekend, we kind of think it will at the Meet of Champions (MOC) the following week. This event matches two of some of our state’s best-ever for the one-lapper – Malden’s Johnny Emmanuel and Nataenel Vigo-Catala of Haverhill. Two weeks ago, Emmanuel blazed to a state-leading 47.55 seconds to captures the 400m at the MSTCA Coaches Invitational. On May 6, Vigo-Catala ran away with the individual title at the Weston Twilight Invitational with an outdoor PR of 48.17. The talented junior has gone sub-48, finishing second at the adidas Indoor Nationals this past winter in 47.67. Right behind these two warriors are three others that have broken 50 seconds – Newton North teammates Myles Scott (49.09) and Quincy Scott (49.47) and Andover’s Neil Chowdhury (49.89). The weather is supposed to be perfect for the early evening race. The competition is also perfect for a fast time, a very fast time.
Boys’ Two Mile – Division 1 (Thursday, 5:15 p.m.)
Here we go again. We’re sure you haven’t forgotten what happened during the Meet of Champions this past winter when Framingham’s Sam Burgess held off Nathan Lopez of St. John’s and Westfield Academy’s Paul Bergeron to win an epic race in 8:59.27, just strides ahead of his two rivals at the finish line. All three are back for this race, and we could even have another runner that could make things interesting. ’Waltham’s Brendan Wilder opened quite a few eyes at Weston back in early May when he won the deuce with a best of 9:12.38. Since that performance, Wilder clocked a PR of 4:18 for the mile at the Coaches Invitational. He was also a double winner at the Dual County League Championships with victories in mile and two mile. Lopez had a monster race at the BSR Elite Scholastic Mile on May 5 where he ran a five-second best of 4:08.28. Burgess (4:10.28) and Bergeron (4:10.62) also had major PRs in that race. Bergeron also went 8:52.78 for 3,200m at the Arcadia (CA) Invitational in early April. This has the makings of another classic or at least a strong opening act for what could transpire at the MOC next Saturday.
Girls’ 800m – Division 1 (Thursday, 5:35 p.m.)
Fresh off her spectacular victory at this past Friday’s Track Night NYC where she ran a season best of 2:07.94, Amelia Everett will be back on the line in her speciality. As we said at the start of the season, we believe the Newton South senior is capable of breaking the state mark of 2:04.54 in this event. Will it happen this weekend? Maybe? Maybe not?. What we are expecting is a fast race; at the very least, a sub 2:07. Her current best is 2:06.19 from her third-place finish at the NSAF Outdoor Nationals last June. Everett has a legitimate competitor to push her in the race with the always-competitive Camille Jordan scheduled to answer the gun, The Brookline senior owns a best of 2:11.36 from last year’s New England Championships. She’s capable of going faster and breaking 2:10 this weekend with Everett in the race.
Boys’ 400m hurdles – Division 2 (Friday, 5:20 p.m.)
We expect this event to be a runaway victory for Sean Golemblewski. The reason we have it here is because we think it’s possible the Hopkinton senior might challenge the state mark of 53.3, set just four years ago by Brockton alum Jordan Williams. In only his third time running the event, the gifted hurdler defended his title at Weston with a PR of 53.95. Does he have enough to chop more than a half second of his best? Remember, this is an event he’s only run three previous times. He’s a newbie. Golemblewski has certainly demonstrated he has the potential to do it, or at least come close.
Girls’ High Jump – Division 2 (Sunday, 4:30 p.m.)
Four of the top five leapers in the state will be in this event, including Central Catholic’s Macy Daigle, who hold the No. 1 spot with a best of 5 feet, 7 inches from the MVC Championships just a few days ago. The meet record is 5-8. We think that mark is well within reach, especially with the competition that’s entered in this event. Occupying the 2-3-4 seeds are Peabody’s Lindsay Wilson (5-6), Leominster’s Diamani Canuto (5-5) and Concord-Carlisle’s Charlotte DiRocco (5-5).
Girls’ Long Jump – Division 2 (Sunday, 3 p.m.)
While we’re on the subject of jumps, how about this one? The No. 1 seed is Wellesley’s versatile sophomore Annie Comella who leaped an all-time best of 19-3 this season and is tied with Burlington’s Grace Hanifin at the top of the rankings. Seems like we could be saying good-bye to the one-year-old MR of 18-1.25 by Milford’s Kiyanni Simas.
Girls’ Pole Vault – Division 3 (Saturday, 2:30 p.m.)
Melinda Haagensen is in elite company. In the state’s history, only two other athletes have gone higher than the Westborough senior. At Weston Twilight, Haagensen put herself at the No. 3 spot all-time with a triumphant and state-leading 12-4. Could we see a new PR this weekend? Another two inches would put her in a tie for No. 2 all-time. The state record is 13-0.75 by former Weston great Samantha Shepard from 2001.
Girls 200m – Division 4 (Friday, 5:10 p.m.)
Pembroke’s Sarah Clafin, the state’s top-ranked sprinter in both the 100m and 200m, is the favorite here. So far, she’s the only runner to dip under 25 seconds for the half-lapper this season with her best of 24.81 from the Patriot League Outdoor Championships in mid May.. Clafin knows how to compete in big events like this weekend. Don’t forget, she was our 55m indoor titlist at MOC. Clafin will be challenged for the title with Burlington’s Grace Hanafin certainly capable of stealing the show. She comes in with a best of 25.11.
Boys’ Shot – Division 5 (Saturday at 3 p.m.)
One of the country’s top shot-putters from the indoor season will be inside the circle this weekend with Jacob Cookinham as our top seed. The Bishop Stang senior, who was third at the New Balance Nationals during the winter, has a best of 65-11 this season. That effort ranks him among the top 10 nationally. The University of Kansas-bound thrower has an all-time best of 67-4.5 from the East Coast Invitational in Providence, R.I., in mid January. Another performance like that at D5 will move him closer to that No. 1 spot in the nation, which we know he wants.
Boys’ Para 100m, 800m, Two Mile – Division 5 (Saturday, 5:20 p.m.; Thursday, 5:40 p.m.; Thursday, 5:15 p.m.)
We grouped all three of these events together because they’re the events that will feature nationally’-ranked Delmace Mayo. The inspiring Brighton sophomore has a best of 2:04.04 for the 800m and 9:36.71 in the two mile. He’ll be competing in the 100m for the first time. There’s no doubt in our mind he’ll produce an impressive time in this event on Saturday, like he often does in his other events whenever he competes.
Boys’ Shot – Division 6 (Saturday, 3 p.m.)
Our state’s other 60-footer is in this event with Parker Charter’s Theo Puterbaugh the No. 1 seed and odds-on-favorite to win on Saturday, Puterbaugh comes in with a best of 62-3,