MSTCA Boston Holiday Challenge Recap

The blink of an eye. The snap of a finger.

The amount of time to do either was nearly the same that separated Daniel Killian the top four finishers in the 60-meter dash at Wednesday’s MSTCA Boston Holiday Challenge.

By the smallest of margins, the Winchester High junior emerged victorious at the TRACk at New Balance. Killian blazed to a meet record of 7.01 seconds, matching the effort of runner-up Stylz Mitchell of Xavier (CT). Just four hundredths of a second separated the first five with MA rivals Jason DeJesus of Andover (7.02), Minnechaug Regional’s Noah Brathwaite (7.03) and Bridgewater-Raynham’s Kauan Bento (7.05) taking the next three spots.

(Top Photo by BYRON FLAGG)

Killian didn’t realize he won until he saw his name flashed in the No. 1 position on the huge scoreboard inside the Boston facility.

“I just saw a bunch of guys and everyone was sort of close. I thought I was third or fourth,” he admitted. “I didn’t even think I won. I guess I was able to pull it out in the end. Everyone there ran a great race. Great competitors, great competition. It was just really fun to be out there.”

Killian’s performance continues what’s been a great start to his indoor season. At Wednesday’s meet, he improved on his state-leader with a time of 6.52 en route to his win. His previous best was 6.54 in a Middlesex League meet just six days earlier at the Reggie Lewis Center. Currently, DeJesus is ranked No. 2 in the state at 6.54

The 16-year-old Killian, who also took second in the 300m with a state No. 2 of 34.97. is looking to continue his momentum this season with a goal of winning the 55m at the Meet of Champions in late February

He knows it won’t be easy.

“There’s a lot of fast guys out there,” he said. “I just want to continue my progression and have a good time (at the Meet of Champions).”

YouTube player

The Bay State had 12 athletes or relay teams earn gold at the Holiday Challenge, a meet that draws athletes from throughout the northeast region and beyond.

Haverhill’s Natanael Vigo Catala established a new MR by capturing the Championship 400m. The Hillies senior was clocked a winning time of 48.38 seconds. Vigo Catala finished strong in the race, covering his last 200m in under 23 seconds to edge Maryland’s Nicholas Steed of Bishop McNamara, who was timed in 48. 54. Jaylin Santiago of Fordham Prep (CT) was third at 48.73.

Greater New Bedford’s Daniel Ward, the state-leader in the 600m, won his speciality on the banked oval, nearly matching his best with a time of 1:22.60. In a race that was expected to be competitive, seven in the field broke 1:25. Ayer Shirley’s Cole New (fifth, 1:24.01) and Brookline’s Cameron Walter (sixth, 1:24.25) secured spots on the podium with their placements.

Ward, who concentrated on the middle-distance events last season, has switched his focus to the shorter race this winter. He has strong range that includes a 49.53 best for the 400m and 2:37 for the 1K.

“(This) is a new race for me, I’m just learning,” said the GNB senior, who has a goal of sub 1:20 by the end of the season. “I want to focus on my 400m for outdoor. I want to jump down to 47 (seconds).”

YouTube player

Acton Boxborough took over the No. 1 spot in the state rankings in the 4x200m. The quartet of Leonid Buriak, Naoh Stegmeier, Christopher Osselmann and Kofi Armstrong combined for a meet record of 1:30.75 to edge Pembroke by just four hundredths of a second. La Salle Academy (RI) was third at 1:31.67.

Newton North also set a MR by taking the 4x400m with a time of 3:28.68. Connecticut’s William Hall (second, 3:28.74), La Salle Academy (third, 3:29.61) and Norwell (fourth, 3:29.85) also dipped under 3:30.

Lowell took the 4x800m with a time of 8:17.32, more than five seconds ahead of second-place East Lyme (CT), which was timed in 8:22.64.

The Red Raiders’ Khai Yin broke the tape in the 60m hurdles with a PR of 8.19. Also earning titles in the boys’ events were Wellesley’s Maxwell Hoffman in the mile (4:23.96), and Mansfield’s Chamberlain Guthrie in the long jump (21 feet, 10 inches).

On the girls’ side, Arlington’s Erin Moran cleared 10-6 to capture the pole vault. Defending state champion Brooke Serak of Bishop Feehan demonstrated her strength in the shot by claiming the crown with a heave of 38-9.25. Lincoln Sudbury’s Gabrielle Pierre was victorious in the triple jump with a distance of 39-3 and Walpole’s Sophia Axelrod was the best in the weight throw with a toss of 45-2.5.

In the 60m dash, Norton’s Jillian Strynar nearly upset heavily favored Lisa Raye. The West Warwick (RI) sophomore, the defending New England titlist, won the race in a record 7.71. Strynar was right on her heels, crossing the line in 7.78.

YouTube player

Share Your Thoughts