Xaverian Brothers 4x200m Thriller Highlights New England’s

The region’s best came to shine.

While Connecticut proved to be the most dominate state at Saturday’s New England Championships, winning 13 of the 26 events and establishing five of the seven meet records that were broken, MA track & field athletes certainly did their job in showcasing their talents before a packed house at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center.

Of the five gold medals that were attained, the Xaverian Brothers’ 4×200-meter relay squad produced the biggest highlight of the Bay State and, few would argue, the entire meet. The foursome of Jordan Wilson, Charlie Comella, Henry Hasselbeck and Mitchell Kisgen finished just a lean at the finish ahead of Windsor (CT) with a meet record and new state No. 1 of 1 minute, 28.90, a mere two hundredths of a second in front of the Warriors.

The last stretch had the capacity crowd on its feet as Kisgen was able to spur his team to the win with a gutsy anchor leg, inching just past Windsor’s Hunter Howard the last few meters of the race.

“I felt I was where I needed top be,” he said. “I knew I was faster than him. He was great competition. I set myself up at the very end where I could slingshot off the {final) turn. I just had to give it all i had, empty the tank. I was able to just lean at the line and get the win. It was absolutely amazing.”

Did he think he got the win?

“To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure,” Kisgen said. “(My teammates) were all celebrating, so I thought I had it. It was so suspensible waiting for the time to come up.”

For the third time this season, Wachusett broke four minutes for the girls’ 4x400m relay. Last week, a sub -4 earned a title at the MIAA Meet of Champions. This weekend, it earned the Mountaineers a New England crown.

The foursome of Nyah Santana, Naomi Witt, Anna Namiotka and Rahma Giwa combined for a PR of 3:56.64. E. O. Smith was second at 3:58.14. Classical (RI) was third in 4:00.91.

“We had high expectations coming out here and I’m just really glad we were able to come here and push ourselves and make it to first place,” Giwa said.

Wachusett never trailed in the race and improved on its best of 3:59.49 from last week’s MOC.

Individually, MA collected three more victories with Brockton’s Lucas Andrade taking the 55m hurdles, Andover’s Jason DeJesus winning the 55m dash and Weston’s Ben Tavares capturing the 600m.

Tavares, who was third overall at last week’s MOC, was the top seed entering the New England’s. He improved on his previous best from that meet by nearly a second. From the unseeded section, Ayer Shirley’s Cole New was second in 1:21.65.

“The last lap, especially the last 100 (meters), the lactic (acid) was really hitting, but I just tried to push through,” Tavares said. “I really didn’t want to get passed. I knew my buddy Cole had a really fast time, so I knew I had to watch the clock, and run a fast time if I wanted to get the win.”

Andrade was nearly flawless in the 55m hurdles where he beat a talented field to win in an all-time best of 7.37, a time that ranks No. 13 in the nation.

“It feels great, man,” he said. “I was hoping for a PR today, at least under 7.4. I hit it today. I was so excited for it.”

DeJesus was an upset winner in the 55m dash where he broke the tape in a PR of 6.42. The Golden Warrior senior was sixth in the short dash at the Meet of Champions a week earlier.

DeJesus got added motivation from his finish at the MOC.

“I was disappointed in myself,” he said. “This week I worked hard because I knew I could definitely be here.”

Norton high-jumper Zoe Santos continued her momentum from last week’s victory at the MOC by taking runner-up honors at Saturday’s meet with a height of 5 feet, 7 inches. Central Catholic’s Macey Daigle, Case’s Hannah Santos and Reading’s Kate Caraco went 3-4-5 with identical leaps of 5-5.

Algonquin Regional finished fourth in the 4x200m relay with a state best of 1:44.77. Lowell was fifth in 1:45.83 to move to No. 3 in MA. North Andover’s Erika Wojcik was fourth in the 1,000m with a time of 2:58.88.

In the girls’ 55m, MOC winner Lauren Quarm of Methuen was third overall in 7.05. Framingham’s Abby Desmarais was fourth in 7.09.

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