In terms of his health, Thomas Colbert hasn’t exactly had luck on his side this season, experiencing both the flu and Covid over the last few months.
The Norwell High senior believe those ailments are all behind him now.
It sure looked that way at Saturday’s MSTCA State Qualifier. Corbett looked healthy and strong in winning the mile with a season best of 4 minutes, 36.22 seconds on the Reggie Lewis Center oval. He finished comfortably ahead of Greater Lowell’ Tech’s Seamus Tully, who secured runner-up honors with a time of 4:39.77.
Fittingly, the meet kicked off with small ceremony honoring longtime Boston Herald sports reporter Joe Reardon, the dedicated track & field writer, who passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 2.
Corbett admitted he was extra motivated to excel with the memory of the late Reardon on his mind.
“I knew Joe pretty well so I kind of wanted to win this race so that I could honor him a little bit,” he said. “It felt good. It felt fun. I was happy to be here.”
After passing the test at the State Qualifier, Corbett is hoping to continue the momentum at Wednesday’s MIAA Division 5 State Championships at Reggie Lewis.
“Every day I feel healthier than I was the day before.” said Corbett, who owns a best of 4:27.52 for the mile. “I am just hoping to get out and do the best I can. I think I can. I hope I can. I know I am going to have some good competition at the division meet. I am hoping and praying for the best. Everyone races their best at that meet. We’ll see what happens.”
Bridgewater-Raynham teammates Kauan Bento and Evan Bray went 1-2 in the 55-meter dash. Bento raced to a school record of 6.50, while Bray was timed in a best of 6.59.
It was relief for Bento, who has been chasing the school record of 6.51 since the start of the season, a record he’s been so close to eclipsing a number of times.
“This was a .05 (best),” he said. “I was a hundredth off (the record) for the longest time. I kept running that time. I knew as long as I was running consistent, towards the end of the season is when I wanted to start picking things up, running a little faster and getting ready for the states and the nationals. I’m happy I ran this today and got it out of the way and now can focus on the states, and do the best I can.”
For Bray, his effort was not only a best but put him under the 6.61 qualifying time needed for the 60m dash at next month’s New Balance Nationals, along with Bray.
“It feel amazing,” he said. “Last year I was struggling to even break seven (seconds) for a long time. This year, to come out and qualify for nationals, run a sub (seven), it feels amazing. I’ve tried for so long.”
Holliston teammate Maggie Kuchman and Carmen Luisi looked impressive in winning their respective events. Kuchman coasted to a four-second best to capture the mile in a time of 5:05.45. Luisi took the 600m in a PR of 1:37.32. Holliston also had a win from Annabelle Lynch in the 1,000m (3:03.83).
Kuchman’s time ranks No. 6 in the state. It was her first all-out effort in the event, this season. She ran solo for much of the eight-lap race and was 15 seconds ahead of her closest pursuer at the end.
“Going into it, I wanted a strong start,” she said. “I kind of just focused on being stable that first 1,000 (meters) and making sure I still have something left in the tank. For the last three laps, I just went with what I had, and pushed hard.”
It was a bit more difficult for Luisi to earn her crown. The Panther senior had to hold off a gallant effort by Whitinsville Christian’s Emma Wierenga the last 50 meters. Wierenga was just a few strides behind at the finish, clocking a best of 1:37.64. Luisi and Wierenga’s times rank seventh and ninth. respectively, for the three-lapper.
Luisi, who leads the state in the 1K (2:53.25), was running the 600m to continue to work on her speed for the longer races. She’ll be aiming for her first sub five-minute effort in the mile at this coming week’s divisional state meet. Her current PR is 5:05.
“It’s been my goal for such a long time,” said Luisi about a sub-5. “It’s definitely something I want to do.”
In the 300m, Durfee’s Aidan Lanciault (36.07) and Weston’s Sloan Hinton won the respective boys’ and girls’ titles. Revere’s Joao Victor (JV) Cunha was the first to break the tape in the 600m, turning away the strong efforts of 2-3 finishers, Connor Stach of Parker Charter (1:24.42) and Wakefield’s William Mezikofsky (1:24.88).