There will be plenty of top performances at Saturday’s MSTCA State Coaches Large School Invitational. Here a few that caught our eye for this weekend’s meet at Reggie Lewis.
Girls’ 55m hurdles
This race matches our top two finishers from the Northeast Invitational a couple of weeks ago – Franklin’s Sarah Dumas and Algonquin’s Olivia LaBelle. Dumas went home with the gold in this one, clocking a state best of 8.41 seconds. But the Panther senior certainly didn’t win easily. LaBelle was only a stride or two behind in a best of 8.49, currently ranked No. 3 in MA. The meet record of 8.02, set in 2004 by Tiana Reil of Hopkinton, seems out of reach. But expect the potential for a new state-leading time, a distinction that could go to either of these star hurdlers.
55m Dash (boys and girls)
Who’s the fastest runner in the Bay State? This race could determine it. Answering the gun at Saturday’s competition is the state 1-2 sprinters so far this season – Wellesley’s Christopher Brooks and Brockton’s Lucas Andrade. Brooks last race was his best, winning the Northeast Invitational with.a PR of 6.42. Andrade ran his best of 6.48 in a SEC league meet on Jan. 9. Andover’s Jason DeJesus, who is tied for fourth in the state with a best of 6.54, should also not be ignored.
How about the girls’ race? This event has three with seeds under 7.3 – Framingham’s Abby Desmarais (7.13), Methuen’s Lauren Quar (7.28) and Wellesley’s Annie Comella (7.28). Looks like this one could come down to the wire, too.
300m (boys & girls)
The 40-second barrier has not been broken for girls so far this season. It could happen on Saturday. The field includes a runner that did it last year, another that’s gone under 58 seconds for 400m and another that’s also proved it’s within reach. The Flyers’ Desmarais is the No. 1 seed with her best of 39.83 from last year’s win at the Division 1 Championships. This winter, the Flyer senior has a season best of 40.73 from her win at the Northeast Invitational. Wachusett Regional’s Rahma Giwa is the two seed with a time of 40.64. This will be the first 300m of the season for the talented junior, who ran a PR of 57.95 for the 400m at the Northeast Invitational, an effort that placed her second overall. Giwa’s teammate, Nyah Santana, could also challenge for the win and a possible sub-40. She has a seed of 40.67, a time she ran to take it all at the Northeast Invite last indoor season.
The boys’ race could get intense during the final stretch. It features two that have dipped under 35 seconds this season – Haverhill’s Naranael Vigo Catala and Winchester’s Daniel Killian. Vigo Catala was the Large School winner at the Winter Festival with a season best 34.95. He also captured the 400m at the Boston Holiday Challenge in an impressive 49.38. Killian won the 60m and 300m at the Holiday Challenge, taking the later in a best of 34.97. This race certainly has the makings of a classic with these two warriors on the line.
Could we have our first sub-8? It certainly has the potential matching a team that nearly did it two weeks ago against another that was on the cusp of doing it last week. Brookline hold the No. 1 seed after clocking 8:00.50 to take the 4×8 at the Northeast Invitational. Lexington holds the two spot with its 8:02.83 win at the Division 1 State Relays.
Shot (boys & girls)
The boys’ field features three athletes that have exceeded 50 feet with Peabody’s Alex Jackson leading the trio with a best and state-leading 58 feet, 0.5 inches. Haverhill teammates Connor Chmieiski (51-4.25) and Myles Robertson (51-0.5) have also gone 50-plus.
The girls’ shot could get intense with the 1-2-3 shot-putters in teh state rankings. The field is led by defending Meet of Champions winner and recent Northeast Invitational titlist Brooke Serak of Bishop Feehan. Serak has a best of 41-8.25 from the MOC and has a season best od 41-4 from Northeast. Haverhill’s Madeline Goncalves, who went 40-9.5 this season, is also in this field. There;s also Franklin’s Lily DeForge, who has a best of 39-2.75.