Championship Season Is Underway In The Bay State

It’s getting closer to crunch time.

The final invitational of the season will be held on Saturday with the MSTCA States Qualifier Meet. As the names states, this is a state qualifier, the final one, for the upcoming MIAA Division State Championships, which is slated for Feb. 15-18.

Since last Saturday and during this week, schools throughout the state have competed, or are competing, in their respective league championships. Yes, the Championship Season has officially arrived.

Over the last six days, we’ve had several of our athletes produce some championship-like performances with a few moving up in the state rankings. Peabody junior Alex Jackson is getting closer to the 60-foot mark in the shot. Last Thursday, the top-ranked Jackson unleashed an indoor best of 58-3.5 to take his specialty at an NEC meet. As a tenth-grader in 2023, Jackson finished fourth at the Meet of Champions during the winter season and was third in the spring. His latest effort is a best by three inches. On Jan. 6, he went 58-0.5 to earn gold at the Dartmouth Relays. He has an all-time best of 58-6, which he did to capture the shot at the Jim Hoar Freshmen-Sophomore Invitational.

Lexington’s Joseph Ryan became the fourth runner this season to break 9 minutes, 30 seconds for the two mile. Ryan was just under the mark at Monday’s ML-12 Varsity Championships where he was timed in a winning time of 9:29.62. His PR effort was just over three seconds faster than his 9:32.82 best from his triumph at the MSTCA Coaches Invitational Large School meet on Jan. 27. Billerica’s Ryan Leslie currently ranks No. 1 with his time of 9:22.87 from the Coaches Invitational Small School meet last month.

Carver’s Camren Allain is now tied for No. 1 in the high jump. Allain, a senior, leaped a best of 6-6 to secure individual honors at the South Shore League Championships on Monday. His effort matches the performance of state-leader and Brockton junior Lucas Andrade, who did the same height to win the Winter Festival Large School meet on Dec. 9.

At the start of the month, Plymouth North’s Macey Shriner became our new leader in the 600m. Shriner won the three-lapper at a Patriot League meet on Feb. 1 with a PR of 1:36.80. She overtook Wellesley’s Kayla Bohlin for the top spot by less than a tenth of a second. Bohlin ran 1:36.85 to capture the Coaches Invitational Large School meet in late January. Two days later, Shriner ran an all-time best of 5:02.69 for the mile at this past Saturday’s Boston University’s Bruce Lehane Scarlet & White Invitational.

In the two mile, Nashoba’s Caroline Collins moved to No. 2 in rankings after winning the deuce in 11:04.63 at the Mid Wach League Championships on Feb. 3. Brookline’s Lucia Werner sits atop the rankings with her best of 10:56.60 from the Coaches Invitational Large School meet.

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