MOC Preview: Boys’ Sprinting & Hurdling Events

Just who are the top athletes that will be competing at Saturday’s Meet of Champions? Throughout the week, Bay State Running will preview all the individual events at this weekend’s competition, scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m., at the Reggie Lewis Center. Here we feature the boys’ sprinting & hurdling events.



The favorite nod, no doubt goes to Christopher Brooks. As is often the case with this event during championship time, it won’t be easy for the Wellesley senior, who is unbeaten against his MA rivals this season. Brooks raced to a PR of 6.39 seconds to captured the Large School race at the Coaches Invitational. He’s matched or broken 6.45, the next fastest seed time in this field, three times this season, including this past Friday’s Div. 2 Championship. The Raiders’ standout is the top returnee among all the entries, finishing as a runner-up last winter and matching that placement for the 100m during the spring. Brooks’ top competition should come from Acton-Boxborough’s Leonid Buriak (6.45), Bridgewater Raynham’s Kauan Bento (6.45) and Andover’s Jason DeJesus (6.46), to name a few.


We’re predicting a time in the low 34-second range in this event. The individual we feel is capable of running that time is our No. 1 seed and defending champion Natanael Vigo Catala. The Haverhill senior blazed to a PR of 34.25 to win the Div. 1 crown last week. Less than a week earlier, he raced to his previous best of 34.36 at win the MVC League Championship, a time that’s one hundredth of a second faster than what he did last year to win this event. Vigo Catala, a sub 48-second 400m runner, appears to be taking a well-calculated approach to prosper even more once the nationals roll around in mid March. He’s raced this event just thrice this year as opposed to 2023 when he competed in the 1.5 lapper six times. With the level of competition he’ll be facing on the state’s biggest stage, a new state record is certainly possible this weekend. The current mark is 34.16, set six years ago by former Needham star Davonte Burnett. The top contenders that will be facing Vigo Catala are Lincoln-Sudbury’s Nico Begic (34.69), Somerset-Berkerly’s Camden Rose (34.90) and Winchester’s Daniel Killian (34.97).


A runner that’s noticeably missing in this event is the state-leader and Div. 1 titlist Ajay Raina (1:20.59) of Acton-Boxborough, who is scheduled to compete in the 1,000m on Saturday. This prevents a match-up between our 1-2 finishers from last week’s Div. 1 meet and our only two runners to break 1:21 this season. Cameron Walter of Brookline, who was second to Raina at the divisional states, clocked his all-time best of 1:20.96 to also take runner-up honors to the A-B star in the Large School race of the Coaches Invitational in late January. He followed that effort by winning the Bay State Conference in 1:22.18 and racing to a time of 1:21.22 against Raina in his most recent competition. This week’s race should provide plenty of excitement, particularly down the final stretch. Behind Walter is No. 2 seed Michaal Veegh of Bishop Stang (1:21.53), Brockton’s Antonio Tobon (1:22.09) and Lexington’s Nayan Das (1:22.22). Veegh appears to have found lightning in a bottle in this event. He’s improved his time by more than four seconds from his seventh-place finish (1:25.85) in the Small School race of the Coaches Invitational in late January. Veegh won the Mayflower League Championship in 1:24.13 and ran his current PR to take top honors at the Div. 4 Championship this past Sunday.

55m HH

This race will be close. We have at least three hurdlers that could win on Saturday. The top seed is Brockton’s Lucas Andrade, who has potential to be a double winner. He’s also the No. 2 seed in the high jump. Andrade blazed to a PR of 7.52 to capture the individual title at the Div. 1 Championship last Thursday, a best by just under two tenths of a second. He’ll need a race similar to his recent victory to earn gold at the finish. Tied at the No. 2 seeds are Khai Yin of Lowell and Maxwell Crawford at Attleboro with identical times of 7.58. A potential match-up between Andrade and Yin never materialized at the divisional states last week due to a false start by Yin. That might provide extra motivation for the Lowell hurdler to excel this weekend. Crawford has been the most consistent of the trio with times between 7.58 and 7.66 in five of his last six meets.

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