Imagine breaking 50 seconds for 400 meters in a high school meet and finishing eighth overall? Sounds a little far-fetched, right?
Well, guess what? It happened on Saturday night during Day 2 of the MIAA Division I Championships
Malden’s Johnny Emmanuel orchestrated a memorable race at the Merrimack College facility. It was there that the Golden Tornado’s senior became only the second runner in the state’s history to dip under 47 seconds for the one-lapper with a winning time of 46.99! Emmanuel took chargeon the last turn to beat top rival Nataenel Vigo-Catala of Haverhill, who finished second in a season best and still-impressive 47.82. Newton North’s Quincy and Myles Scott secured the next two spots with times of 48.87 and 48.96, respectively.
“My coach has been telling me since indoor (track) that I could run under 47 (seconds),” Emmanuel said. “He has been helping me a lot. He’s helped me go from 49 (seconds) to 47 (seconds) this year.”
Emmanuel becomes only the second runner under 47 seconds for the 400m. Former Brockton standout Mike Sullivan clocked a state record of 46.71 for 440 yards, a time that converts to 46.44 for 400m.
In the team competition, Andover claimed the girls’ title with an 81.5-70 victory over second-place Lowell. Brookline was third with 65 points. The Golden Warriors scored in 11 events, including a combined 32.5 points in the pole vault and high jump.
“They’re amazing. We won two events all weekend, Thursday to Saturday” said Andover coach Peter Comeau, about the two-day meet. “We only won the pole vault and high jump, but we were scrappy in all the other events. We took those thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths and eighths, and everything came together. I can’t tell you how happy I am with this team and how great they are. This is probably the best feeling I’ve had in a long time.”
Just like the girls’ competition, Lexington also scored in 11 events to claim the boys’ crown. But unlike their counterparts, this one was a lot closer with the final verdict determined on the last event scored, the long jump. In that event, the Minutemen’s Amari Mow collected 10 points with a winning leap of 22 feet, 8 inches. His win enabled Lexington to move past eventual second-place finisher Acton Boxborough with a score of 92 points, five ahead the Colonials. Saint John’s Prep and Newton North tied for third with 84 points.
“It’s great,” said Lexington coach James Hall. “After Thursday, it wasn’t looking great. We did alright, but A-B and Newton North really stepped up. They looked like they were going to knock us out, but we re-grouped and had a big day today to close it out. It was a whole team victory – throws, jumps, sprints, distance, everything. It was a total team victory. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”