MSTCA Boston Holiday Challenge: Top Girls’ Events To Watch


More than 1,200 athletes and a bunch of relay squads have met the qualifying standards for Wednesday’s MSTCA Boston Holiday Challenge (BHC), the popular regional competition that will take place this year at the TRACK at New Balance.

It certainly doesn’t surprise us that each event is loaded with talent. For the runners, they’ll be looking for take advantage of the one of the fastest ovals on the planet at the BHC. No doubt, most will be looking to reach the strict qualifiers for the New Balance Nationals in mid-March.

While each event appears to have some great competition, here’s some of the events that kinda grabbed our attention a little more than the rest.


Long Jump

The top three jumpers have gone over 18 feet. The next 13 have done 17-plus. This event has the potential to be very competitive with a number of athletes in the mix. Wellesley’s Anna Comella is the only one in the field to exceed 19 feet with her best and top-seed of 19-3. The Red Raiders junior recently leaped a season best of 17-7.25 in a Bay State Conference meet. No doubt she’ll be eyeing at least 18 feet at Wednesday’s meet. She should have the competition to push hert with Middleboro senior Isabel Wheeler (18:11.5) and Blomfield (CT) freshman Saphyr Brown (18-6.5) worthy contenders for a top spot on the podium. We can’t forget the other 13 that have seeds in the 17-foot range.

Shot Put

Don’t ignore the athletes inside the circle. This one has two that have seeds of more than 40 feet and another on the cusp. That impressive. The top seed is defending Meet Of Champions’ titlist Brooke Serak of Bishop Feehan, who won her crown with a PR of 41-8.25. Ludlow senior Elena Chaplin, who was fourth at that meet, comes in with a seed pf 40-8.25. Could Franklin senior Lily DeForge upset the field with one big throw. She’s the third seed at 39-3.25.


It doesn’t look as though anyone can touch E.O. Smith (CT) senior Gabriella Hernandez in this event. The last time she competed in MA was at last year’s New England Championships where she captured the individual title in 1:32.96. During a mega-successful indoor campaign in 2023, Hernandez clocked a PR of 1:31.69 at the CCC Indoor Championships. She’s also done 2:10 for the 800m and has 57-second speed for the 400m. She’ll be tough to beat if she’s on her game. Shaker (NY) senior Leonni Griffin (1:34.65) might be the biggest threat to Hernandez. Other runners like Archbishop Molloy (NY) senior Eva Gonzalez (1:36.76), Weston senior Sloan Hinton (1:38.71) and Framingham’s Sasha Lamakina (1:38.83) could make this race interesting to watch. But the star attraction appears to be Hernandez


Sub-three minutes will be on the mind of a few of our competitors in this event. This is one of those races where we could have three or more runners still in contention coming down that final stretch. Alexandra O’Rourke of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (NY) holds down the No. 1 seed with a time of 2:59.96. Right behind her is a bunch more that could win this race, such as Shaker (NY) junior Charlotte Dunkel (3:00.29). Wellesley sophomore Emma Tuxbury (3:00.46). E.O. Smith (CT) senior Alexis Buskey (3:01.16), and Marshfield junior Ava Brunswick (3:02.82)

400m – Championship race

This is a race where a lean at the finish could determine the winner. Our top four seeds have all clocked 56 seconds for the 400m with Jueness (NY) sophomore Julia Grant (56.37), junior Jada Wilson (59.94), West Warwick (RI) junior Xenia Raye (56.98) and senior Eva Gonzalez (56.99) all part of the sub-57 club. Four more in this race have seeds in the 57-second range.


The automatic qualifier for the New Balance Nationals is 1:45.5. We could have a few in that vicinity in this race. Classical (RI) has a listed seed of 1:45.0, the top time among the entries At No. 2 is always-tough Blomfield (CT) with a best of 1:45.49. Algonquin Regional is the three seed with a time of 1:47.77. The next four teams in this race have all broken 1:50. That quartet includes Pembroke (1:48.0). Marshfield (1:49.04), Lowell (1:49.18) and Cranston West, RI (1:49.71).

Mile – Championship race

Redemption will more than likely be on the mind of our No. 1 seed, Lebanon (PA) senior Logan St. John-Kletter. The last time she competed at the TRACK at New Balance was the NBN where she finished 58th overall with a time of 5:06 after running 4:53 just a few weeks earlier to win the PTFCA Indoor Championships. St. John-Kletter comes in with a top time pf 4:44.10. She’ll faces a talented field that features five more that have dipped under 4:50. Right behind her is junior Sophia McInnes (4:44.30). The next four are junior Dylan McElhinney (4:45.90). senior Nicole Humphries (4:46.80), Saratoga Springs (NY) senior Emily Bush (4:49.0), and Conard (CT) sophomore Tess Sherry (4:49.20). MA is represented by Holliston senior Carmen Luisi, who has a seed of 5:05.66.


This race matches defending RI state and New England champion Lisa Raye of West Warwick against Meet of Champions’ winner Sarah Clafin of Pembroke. Raye, a sophomore, comes in with a seed of 7.54. Clafin, a senior, is at 7.57. A few more in this race could make things interesting with Methuen’s Lauren Quarm (7.68), West Warwick junior Xenia Raye (7.74), Norton senior Jillian Strynar (7.76) and Comella (7.90) among the entries.

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