The national championship meets this past weekend signifies the unofficial end to the 2022-23 year for our high school cross-country and track & field athletes. A few of our athletes will still compete at meets like the upcoming U20 Outdoor Championships, but most concluded their seasons over the weekend at either the New Balance Nationals, the Nike Outdoor Nationals or the adidas Outdoor Nationals. It’s a bittersweet time for us here at Bay State Running. We’ll get somewhat of a break from the continuous coverage we provide throughout the year. While we’ll still produce some content each and every week, we’re not afraid to admit that we are looking forward to the summer months as it will give us a chance to recharge our batteries and prepare for another exciting and busy year for our athletes in 2023-24. On the other side, we will miss the weekly competitions and getting a front-row seat to watch our athletes compete at their best. We’ll miss the seniors that have graduated, some that will continue to compete as collegians, including a few that we expect will make their marks at Division 1 level. It will be bittersweet, of course.
This past weekend once again provided an appropriate sendoff to another great year. Let’s take a look at what transpired at the three meets.
Our lone national champion was out in North Carolina at the adidas Outdoor Nationals. It was there that Bishop Stang shot-putter Jacob Cookinham unleashed the furthest throw of the weekend with an outdoor PR of 66 feet, 11.5 inches.
Our top distance runners proved on the national stage something we already knew. Right here in the Bay State, we have some of the best collectively in the nation. On Thursday, we had three that made All American in the 5,000-meter run at the New Balance Nationals. Catholic Memorial’s CJ Sullivan finished second overall in 14:29.94, a time we believe is a state record. We’re still waiting for confirmation on this, but right now it looks like the previous best for this distance was 14:31.41 by former Burlington and UMassLowell great Paul Hogan at New Balance in 2014. Framingham’s Sam Burgess (third, 14:33.41) and Uxbridge’s Aidan Ross (fifth, 14:47.98) also earned All American with a top-six finish. Kofi Fordjour of Boston Latin also broke 15 minutes, finishing seventh in 14:56.44.
How about the two mile and Nathan Lopez? One word – Wow! In the final meet of his high school career, the St. John Prep senior ran absolutely insane for the diehard fans that remained inside Franklin Field for the late-night race. Lopez destroyed the state record and his previous best by taking second overall in 8:44.54. Only individual winner Daniel Simmons ran faster with his winning time of 8:53.28. Just about 24 hours after his silver-medal performance in the 5K, Sullivan earned a milestone in the 2M by dipping under nine minutes for the first time with an 8:53.28 effort, good for fifth overall and his second All American finish. Brian Gamble of Brimmer & May, who was fourth at our BSR Elite Scholastic Mile back in early May, was 13th overall in 9:00.43. Finishing 26th was Oliver Ames’ Brendan Thomas at 9:06.47.
Northbridge’s Marcus Reilly didn’t back down in the mile where he came close to winning a national title. Reilly battled with eventual winner Devan Kipyego of Saint Raphael Academy in nearby Rhode Island in the late stages of the race. The junior standout ran strong to the end and placed third overall in an all-time best of 4:06.66.
Concord Carlisle foursome of Ray Pavlik, Charlie Kessler, Harrison Dow, and Henry Reichle finished fourth overall in the 4xMile Relay with a time of 17:37.37.The Patriots, who led on and off in the race, clocked a time that would have captured the Nike Indoor Nationals.
Competing on a track that will be her home next fall, University of Pennsylvania-commit Camille Jordan of Brookline had a PB of 4:52.73 in the mile. In the steeplechase, Hamilton-Wenham’s Abby Belville cracked the top 10, placing ninth with a time of 6:56.29.
We can’t forget about the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Oregon. Newton South’s Amelia Everett matched her runner-up finish from a year ago by crossing the line in 2:08.16, her fourth sub 2:10 of the season if you don’t count the relays. Speaking of the relays, her 2:08 anchor, along with the strong legs of teammates Ellie Jolly, Catherine Zong, and Emily Frawley, secured gold for the Lions in the Sprint Medley Relays where they clocked, 4:02.29, a time that ranks No. 7 in the nation and would have placed them third overall against an elite field at New Balance.
Continuing with relays, Newton North’s 4x400m squad came close to the current state mark of 3:18.14 by Northampton from 2018. The Tigers were less than a second from that record on Sunday at NBNO with a time of 3:18.93 to finish 12th overall. Lexington also broke 3:20 with a 3:19.74 effort and 16th place finish. In addition, Lexington ran the state’s fastest for the 4x100m on Friday with a time of 1:29.99.
Franklin’s Sarah Dumas continued to showcase her versatilty by placing second in the Pentathlon where she scored a best of 3,518 points. Dumas scored the most points (906) in the 100m hurdles where she was timed in 14.52. She scored 700-plus points in the high jump with a leap of 5-5 (759) and the 800m where she ran a PR of 2:28.35 (714).
Brookline ran our state’s No. 2 time in the 4x800m, taking 16th overall in 7:51.21. Lexington was 16th in the girls’ race at 9:27.16. In the SMR at New Balance. the Middlesex School made the podium by placing fourth overall in 3:27.65. Framingham was 12th in the girls’ race at 4:09.37. North Reading was solid in the 800m SMR, finishing ninth with a best of 1:48.68.
When it comes to nationals, the sprints are always full of talented athletes where mere tenths of a second can make the difference between a plethora of athletes advancing past the prelims. Wellesley’s Christopher Brooks was one of those athletes that, although he didn’t make it to the finals in the 200m, still ran a sensational time for the half-lapper. The Division 2 and Meet of Champions winner blazed to a time of 21.74, his third time under 22 seconds this spring. Methuen’s Darwin Jimenez raced to a fast 22.02 in his heat.
In the field events, Lexington’s Kaden Cassidy became the state’s first hammer thrower to exceed 200 feet by placing fourth overall with a distance of 202-8. Teammates Allen Jiang (11th, 193-9) and Jack Nigo (24th, 176-3) also fared well.
Dedham’s Catherine Sargent was among three MA athletes over 40 feet in the girls’ shot. She was ninth with a heave of 42-6.25. Newton North’s Skye Petrie-Cameron (15th, 40.6.25) and Lowell’s Ronnie Jones (17th, 40-2.25) also went 40-plus.
Cambridge Rindge & Latin’s Kylee Bernard won her heat and finished 16th overall in the 400m with a time of 55.95.