MOC Preview: Boys’ Middle & Long Distance 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’ middle & long distance events.


Andover’s Colin Kirn came strides from doing it last year. In 2020, Walpole missed it by six hundredths of a second. BC High’s William Cole French was also within reach, coming less that a second from it in 2019. Not since Lexington’s Thomas Lingard ran a blazing 2 minutes, 27.68 seconds at the 2018 meet has anyone broken 2:30 for the 1,000-meter run at the MIAA Meet of Champions (formerly the All-State Championships). Six years after Lingard accomplished the milestone, we think it will happen this weekend.. Why are we so sure? It’s simple. The competition. It’s tight and it’s good. The top six seeds in this race have gone under 2:33 this season, beginning with St. John’s Prep’s Daniel Padney. The Eagles’ junior raced to a state-leading and PR of 2:31.27. He followed that effort by winning a close race with Boston College’s High’s Seamus Larnard at the Catholic Conference Championship where he clocked 2:33.02, .62 ahead of his rival. The next four in this field are Walpole’s Sean Kerin (2:32.43). Old Rochester’s Tyler Young (2:32.66), Acton-Boxbrough’s Ajay Raina (2:32.87) and Cambridge Rindge & Latin’s Jacob Bronstein (2:32.97). Look out for Raina! The A-B senior has been our leading 600m runner all season long and is skipping the three-lapper this weekend to focus on the 1,000m. With a 1:20.59 best for the 600m and 1:55 800m speed, Raina is certainly capable of running under 2:30 with the right kind of race. We’re guessing that’s one of the reasons that he is entered in this race. He not only feels he has a chance to win, but also go under the milestone. His only 1K this season was at a Dual County League meet back on Jan. 10 where he ran his current seed and beat Boston Latin’s Colin Fisher by a little more than half a second. Raina’s coming off a big win over Cameron Wailer of Brookline at the Div. 1 Championship where he ran 1:20.55.


BC High’s Chris Larnard comes in as the No. 1 seed after winning the Div. 1 Championship last week with a season best of 4:18.46. Larnard was fourth in this race last year and had an all-time best of 4:16.99 from his runner-up finish in Div. 1, a week before the MOC in 2023. Ludlow’s Logan Walsh (4:20.73) and Bedford’s Jonathan Garraway (4:21.75) are the next two seeds. Behind this talented trio is a slew of runners with seeds in the 4:22-4:23 range, 12 to be exact. That’s a fairly tight field. One name that sticks out among that dozen is Lowell’s Jack Courtney. The Red Raider senior has a best of 4:23.16 from the MVC Championship on Feb. 9. Courtney is a week removed from a big win in the two mile at the Div. 1 Championship where he was timed in a state-leading 9:12.71. He is not scheduled to compete in the deuce, focusing all his attention on this race. Based on his recent performance for the 2M at the D1 meet, Courtney proved hie’s capable of a time a lot faster than his seed and current PR. This race could get interesting, very interesting.

2 Mile

One runner that won’t be in this race is Westford Academy’s Paul Bergeron. The Stanford-bound senior, who was third in an epic race with eventual winner Sam Burgess of Framingham and St. John’s Prep’s Nathan Lopez, did not compete in any MSTCA or MIAA events this year. He recently smashed the state 5K record, running 14.17.78 at BU’s David Hemery Valentine Invitational two weeks ago. Without the sub nine-minute miler in the field, the race is somewhat wide open with a few we feel can steal the crown on Saturday. The No. 1 seed is Lexington’s Joseph Ryan, who ran a PR of 9:19.05 to finish second overall. Billerica’s Ryan Leslie is the two seed at 9:22.87. Leslie was fourth last year where he ran his all-time best of 9:12.34. Don’t forget Fisher, the Boston Latin senior. He’s a five seed with an indoor PR of 9:30.09, an effort that placed him fourth overall at the Div. 1 meet last week. The Wolfpack standout ran 4:19.31 for the mile this winter and clocked a 2M best of 9:13.65 to capture this event at the Div. 2 outdoor championships in late May. The field also includes sub 9:30 guys – John Wilson of BC High (9:27.75) and Marblehead’s Isaac Gross (9:27.85).

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