HOKA Male Athlete(s) Of The Week: Nathan Lopez, Jacob Cookinham, C.J. Sullivan

Massachusetts once again showcased their talents, competing at one of three national championships this past weekend, primarily the New Balance Nationals Outdoor (NBNO) Championships in Philadelphia. Coming soon, we’ll provide a wrap-up of NBNO, the Nike Outdoor Nationals and the adidas Outdoor Nationals where we’ll highlight all the great happenings that occurred against the country’s finest track & field athletes.

While there were an abundance of worthy contenders for this week’s HOKA Athlete of the Week, it was hard to ignore the accomplishments of this week’s honorees. For boys, we’d like to congratulate St. John’s Prep’s Nathan Lopez, Bishop Stang’s Jacob Cookinham and Catholic Memorial’s CJ Sullivan as our recipients. Yes, we nominated three for the first time. It was just far too difficult to single out one, or even two. You’ll see why below.

Cookinham traveled to North Carolina where he competed in the shot at the adidas Outdoor Nationals. The Kansas-bound senior unleashed an outdoor best and nation No. 3 of 66 feet,11.5 inches. It was the furthest distance at all three national meets and won him a title by seven feet over his closest rival. Lopez didn’t win a national title but he certainly gave it his best shot! The Eagles’ distance ace raced to a 15-second PR of 8:44.54 to take runner-up honors at New Balance to Daniel Simmons of American Fork (UT), who won the race with a time of 8:41.23. Lopez effort smashed the previous state record of 8:50.52 by former Newton North great Chris Barnicle from 2004. His time is also is a New England mark and ranks No. 21 all-time in U.S. history among high-schoolers. As for Sullivan , he was second overall in the 5,000m at NBNO where he was timed in an all-time best of 14:29.94. Only individual winner Brian Dicola of Hatboro Horsham (PA), was faster this weekend with his time of 14:26.72. We believe Sullivan’s record may be a new state record. We’re still waiting for conformation on that.

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