Throughout the week, Bay State Running will take a quick look at some of our top teams and individuals that will be competing at this weekend’s divisional state championships. Here we feature the Division 2A, 2B and 2C boys’ races that will take place at the Wrentham Developmental Center.
At Wrentham Developmental Center
Day/Time: Saturday/11 a.m.
Teams: Brockton, Greater New Bedford, Leominster, Essex North Shore Agric. & Tech, Revere, Southeaster Reg., Bristol Plymouth, Shawsheen Valley Tech, Lynn Classical, Whitter RVT, Greater Lawrence, Blackstone Valley Regional, Tantasqua Regional, Boston Latin Academy, Northeast Metro Reg. Voc., Masconomet Regional, Plymouth South, Silver Lake, Stoughton, South High Community, Walpole, Whitman-Hanson Regional, Dartmouth, Assabet Valley Regional, Minnechaug Regional, Norwood, Agawam, Westwood, Duxbury, Somerset Berkley Regional, Putnam Voc./Tech, Marblehead, Fitchburg, Holyoke
Teams To Watch: Walpole, Plymouth South, Marblehead, Boston City Schools
Outlook: It could get interesting up front with a few runner having the potential to win on Saturday. Among them is Plymouth South’s Noah Brilliant, who captured individual honors at the Patriots League XC Championships on Oct. 28 with a PR of 16:02.91. The PS junior also ran 16:13.15 at the Twilight Invitational a few weeks ago where he was 13th overall in the Medium School race. Westwood’s Greydon Gavin were also expecting to be with the leaders. He was eighth at the recent Tri Valley Championships where he posted a time of 16:20.30. There’s also Marblehead’s Isaac Gross, who clocked a best of 16:01.60 at the Ocean State Invitational and was the Northeastern Conference winner. A host of other runners are in that 16:20-16:30 range such as Walpole’s Seam Kerin, Brockton’s Seamus Canniff and Marblehead’s Nataniel Assa.
Look for Walpole and Plymouth South to be duking it out for the team hardware. The key from both schools could come from their fifth runner.
Day/Time: Saturday/12:30 p.m.
Teams: Longmeadow, Shepherd Hill, Melrose, Canton, Grafton, Northampton, Nashoba Regional, Burlington, Chelsea, Scituate, Middleboro, Dracut, Amherst-Pelham, Wayland, Wakefield-Memorial, Bedford, Ludlow, Marlborough, Holliston, East Longmeadow, Ashland, Burncoat, Nauset Regional, Tewksbury, Danvers, Pembroke, Newburyport, Falmouth, North Middlesex, Foxborough
Teams To Watch: Wakefield Memorial, Ludlow, Melrose
Outlook: Nashoba Regional’s Adam Balewicz was the Division 2A winner last year is the top runner to keep an eye on this weekend. He’s only competed in a limited number of races, but has shown he’s ready to get back in te winner’s circle. A few weeks ago, Balewicz looked very strong with a convincing victory in the Medium School race at the Twilight Invitational where he had a PR of 15:04.98 in a solo effort, winning the title by almost 40 seconds. A few weeks ago, the Cornell-bound senior captured the individual title at the Division B race at the Mid-Wach League Championships. Among some of the other top runners expected to challenge for podium placements his weekend are Ludlow’s Joseph Keroack and Melrose’s Caleb Barnes. Keroack won the recent WMass XC Championships at Stanley Park in 15:52.77. He was also second in the Medium School race at Twilight, clocking 15:42.47. Barnes was third at the Middlesex League Championships la little more than a week ago and went sub-16 at Twilight where he was 15th in the Large School race with a time of 15:45.10. Other strong harriers are Bedford’s Jonathan Garraway, Northampton’s Theodore King-Poliet, Falmouth’s Silas Garner and Wakefield’s Oliver Poister, to name a few.
Wakefield, a runner-ip in Div. 2A in 2022, is the strength of the field and appears ready to take the crown on Saturday. What works in their favor is pack mentality. In placing fourth at the Middlesex League Championships, the top-ranked team in the HOKA/BSR Power Rankings had a 27-second gap between its’ one through five with Poister leading the charge with a time of 16:00.52. Ludlow and Melrose are the squads we expect will be battling for the two and three spots.
Day/Time: Saturday/2 p.m..
Teams: Medfield, Gloucester, Chicopee, Hanover, Groton-Dunstable, Auburn, Apponequet Regional, Watertown, Wilmington, Dighton-Rehoboth, Dedham, Old Rochester, Norton, Martha’s Vineyard, Dover-Sherborn, Bishop Stang, Ursuline Academy, Archbishop Williams, Cardonal Spellman, Bishop Fenwick, Saint Mary’s, Fontbonne Academy, Saint Paul Diocesan, Pope Francis, Arlington Catholic, Lowell Catholic, Notre Dame Academy – Worcester, Notre Dame Cristo Rey, Saint John Paul II, Cristo Rey, Mount Alvernia, Whitinsville Christian, Bishop Connolly, Falmouth Academy, Saint Mary’s – Westfield, South Lancaster Academy, Riverview, South Shore Christian Academy
Teams To Watch: Groton Dunstable, Norton, Dover Sherborn, Whitinsville Christian
Outlook: In the individual race, we could have a number of runners still in contention in the closing stages of this race. Norton’s Andrew McConnell certainly has a shot. The Lancers senior was the overall winner at the Tri Valley League Championships where he was timed in a PR of 15:45.80. He also went sub-16 at the Twilight Invitational where he clocked 15:55.46 to place sixth in the Medium School race. Groton Dunstable teammates Neil Aradhya and Greyson Duane could also be among our leaders. Aradhya, a senior, was timed in a PR of 15:42.50 at the Frank Kelley Invitational, an effort that placed him third overall. He also dipped under 16 minutes at the Twilight Invite with a time of 15:46.49. Duane was second this past weekend at the Frank Mooney Invitational where he went 16:00.40. He ran a best of 15:54.80 at Twilight. Another top harrier is Whitinsville Christian’s Justin Vos, who was fourth at the Mooney Invite with a best of 16:09.20.
Groton Dunstable appears to be the clear-cut favorite for the team title. The Crusaders, ranked No. 2 in the recent HOKA/BSR Power Rankings, has the ability to get three of their runners across the line before anyone else gets their second with senior Zach Metzger also having potential to crack the top seven this weekend along with Duane and Aradhya. Look for Norton and Dover Sherborn to secure the next two positions, not necessarily in that order.