Exciting Races, Fast Times At Twilight Invitational (Small, Medium Schools)

Deven Moreau’s confidence is sky high!

And why wouldn’t it be?

The Greater Lowell Tech senior has been red-hot the last few weeks with big wins at the Frank Kelley Invitational on Sept. 30 and last week’s Bay State Invitational. Moreau made it three straight in as many weeks on Friday night with his latest and most impressive of the triumvirate.

Blazing through the finish line with authority, the Gryphon standout captured the Small School race at the Bob Glennon Twiliight invitational with a winning time of 15 minutes, 4.9 seconds, the fastest effort of the night on the Cape Cod Fairgrounds. Moreau was able to hold off a strong effort by Littleton’s Timothy Rank, who was just a few strides behind in second at 15:06.2. Bona Bradshaw, also of Littleton, was third in 15:26.8.

“I knew as long as I was with the pack I have the mental and physical ability to win it, so I came out here to prove it,” he said. “Sub 15 (minutes) is up next, man. That’s the goal.”

By design, Moreau didn’t take the lead until late in the race. He was in about seventh place after the first loop of the 5K course. By the midway point, he moved into second and forged to the front near the open barn with about a half mile remaining.

“I didn’t want to be the person opening up with a 4:30 (first mile), or something stupid, ” Moreau said. “I wanted to watch my prey and pounce when the time came.”

Parker Charter won the team title, scoring 111 points. East Greenwich (RI) was second with 131 points. Henry Jacobsen (fifth, 15:33.3) and Caleb Hatlevig (eighth, 15:43) led the way for Parker Charter.

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Competing in his first invitational meet of the season, Nashoba Regional’s Adam Balewicz dominated the Medium School race. Balewicz crossed the line with a time of 15:05, a very comfortable 250 meters ahead of runner-up Joseph Keroak of Ludlow, who was timed in 15:42.5.

Balewicz admitted that leading up to this weekend’s meet he had intentions of breaking 15 minutes.

“That was my goal,” he said. “I was sick last week and that kind of changed it. I was just going for the win. I felt super good out there and decided to push and see what I can do. I had no idea how fast I was going until I got to that final straightaway and saw 14:40 something on the clock. I tried to break it and got a little bit short. I got a couple more races that I’m confident I can do it.”

Groton Dunstable and Ludlow each finished with 99 points based on their top five runners. Groton Dunstable was awarded the victory, thanks to the finish of its No. 6 runner.

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Whitinsville Christian freshman Emily Flagg continued her breakthrough season by taking the Small School girls’ race. Flagg posteda big-time PR with an impressive 18:13.5 clocking. West Bridgewater’s Ella Dunbury (second, 18:20.3) and Oxford’s Cameron Davis (third, 18:20.7) took the next two spots.

“This is my second time doing Twilight and my first doing the 5K,” Flagg said. “I was super excited to race alongside all my teammates. I’ve heard good things about this course so I just went in with a good mindset.”

Flagg admitted she was surprised by what she saw on the digital clock at the finish.

“This is not what I expected to run today at all,” she said.

Whitinsville Christian fell just short of the team title. Defending RI state champion East Greenwich went home with the hardware, scoring 61 points. The Crusaders finished with 67 points.

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The final race of the night proved to be the most exciting. Just a tenth of a second separated the top three in the Medium School race with Holliston’s Carmen Luisi just eking out a win over teammate Maggie Kuchman and Marblehead’s Mari O’Connell in a mad dash to the finish. Luisi was timed in 17:47.9 with Kuchman and O’Connell going 2-3 with identical times of 17:48.0.

All three runners worked together throughout the race with no initial surges made.

“It was definitely a really competitive race,” Luisi said. “We kind of worked together and pushed on the hills.”

Oyster River (NH) easily grabbed the team prize with a low 47 points. Holliston secured second with 116 points.

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In the other races…

Ayer Shirley Jake Leone (10:44.9) and Pentucket’s Susan Wisiniewski (12:23.1) won the freshmen boys’ and girls’ race, while Mashpee’s Greg Auger (12:35.7) and Dennis Yarmouth’s Kerri Clark 15:05.6) took the novice boys’ and girls’ race, both of which covered 2.1 miles.

In the JV races, Oyster River’s Brendan Banafato (17:33.9) and Academy of Notre Dame’s Lily Beland (19:39.0) were the respective boys’ and girls’ winners.

Brockton’s Seamus Canniff (16:21.9) and Bridgewater-Raynham’s Cambden Strandberg (19:09.6) won the Sophomore boys’ and girls’ race.

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