We’re ready for another exciting indoor track & field season. To get you pumped up for the winter campaign, Bay State Running will preview some of the top athletes that we expect will make an impact over the next few months.
When the Meet of Champions roll around on Feb. 24, be prepared for a plethora of new faces occupying that No. 1 spot on the podium. At last year’s meet, seniors were prevalent in the winners’ circle. Only one returning champion is coming back this season on the boys’ side and two for the girls. But overall, as always, the talent is through the roof this year. We believe several of our Bay Staters will not only prosper at the state level, but regionally and nationally, too.
Here we preview with the girls’ sprints and hurdles, which includes the 55-meter dash, 300m and the 55m high hurdles.
in a race that is often determined by inches for individual honors, we have several that are a capable of earning gold at the Meet of Champions this winter. From last year’s meet, four of the top six finishers are coming back with defending champion and Pembroke senior Sarah Clafin leading the way. There’s also the 2-3-6 finishers from the 2023 meet – Concord-Carlisle junior Julienne Warner, Framingham senior Abby Desmarais, and Norton senior Jillian Strynar. All four concluded the season with PRs under 7.20 with Clafin and Werner at 7.12, Desmarais at 7.13 and Strynar a 7.17. Clafin would appear to be the favorite. She followed her indoor campaign with an unbeaten outdoor season against her state rivals in the 100m dash where she clocked a best of 12.01. Desmarais was second to Clafin at the MOC in June. Strynar kicked off this year’s indoor season with an impressive victory at the Mercury Games where she had a solid, early-season time of 7.35 in the prelims. With the level of talent in this event, there is a possibility we could have one or two under seven seconds by season’s end.
Desmarias is the top returnee in this event. The Framingham standout, who did not compete at the MOC, is the only sprinter that has broken 40 seconds for the 1.5 lapper from last year with her victory in the Division 1 Championship where she edged multiple all-stater and graduating senior and defending champion Kylee Bernard with a time of 39.83. Also coming back are Wachusett Regional junior Rahma Giwa and Central Catholic teammates Veralie Perrier and Anya Neira, who were sixth, eighth and ninth, respectively at the MOC. There’s also Wachusett’s Nyah Santana, who comes in with a 40.67 best from her victory at the Northeast Invitational last January, and Lowell’s Quinn Petzoid, who went 40.94 at the Divi. 1 meet. We have potential for a few under 40 seconds this year. The individual title does appear up for grabs.
The favorite here is Franklin’s versatile senior Sarah Dumas. The Panther standout, who is also a star pentathlete, was second at the MOC last year with a PR of 8.43. Her season, and year, took off from there. She followed here performance at the states by taking fourth at the New England’s and fourth in the Pentathlon at the New Balance Nationals in mid March. During the outdoor season, Dumas won the 100m hurdles and took runner-up honors at New Balance in the pnetathlon. She will be tough to beat, but is she untouchable? Not quite. There’s another athlete that we feel could make things interesting. Plymouth South’s Camryn Travis nearly matched Dumas’s PR with a best of 8.44 last year to capture the Patriot League Championships. A false start prevent Travis from challenging her Panther rival at the MOC. In the spring, Travis came back with a 14.89 best for the 100m hurdles and was third overall at the MOC. Other top hurdlers include Reading’s Katie Caraco (8.55 best), Billerica’s Nyrah Joseph (8.59 best) and West Bridgewater’s Aly Bassett (8.63 best).