BAA Invitational Mile/IK: It’s A Family Affair For Lamakina Siblings

With sub 2:20 speed for 800 meters, Sasha Lamakina has been one of our state’s top middle-distance specialist. Among the highlights of a successful indoor season, the Framingham sophomore finished second for 600m at the Meet of Champions.

Lamakina’s younger sister, Daria, an eighth-grader, is a young upcoming star. During the cross-country season in the fall, she earned All-American status at the Nationals.

Under perfect condition on the streets of the famed Boston Marathon, the Framingham siblings showcased their talents Saturday morning and turned their respective BAA Invitational races into a family affair.

Utilizing a patient approach, Sasha held back in second behind race leader Audrey Seeger of Wellesley for the first 1,400m of the mile. From there, she let her fast closing speed take over to blaze past her rival and capture the individual title in 5:23, two clicks ahead of Seeger. Newton North’s Rachel Newman was third at 5:43.

In the middle school 1K, Daria won a close race where four seconds separated the top four. She broke the tape in 3:18.58. Finishing second was Hopkinton’s Nina Clement at 3:21.14. She was followed by Newton’s Vivie Dupere (third, 3:21.54) and Wellesley’s Maddie Tuxbury (fourth, 3:22.29).

Sasha admitted her sister’s victory just 10 minutes earlier, provided some motivation to do the same in the high school race.

“I just wanted to give it all I had,” she said. “My sister won her race previously so that was in the back of my head. I knew I had a pretty decent kick so I wanted to use that to my ability.”

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Daria didn’t really have a pre-race plan. The gifted middle-schooler, who won the 3K at the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals this past fall and was 24th at the USATF National Junior Olympic X-C Championships in December, went in with a relaxed approach.

“It was my first race of the season. I sort of wanted to see where it would take me and have fun with it,” she said. “I didn’t really have a strategy.”

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Wellesley’s Eli Merritt took top honors in the boys’ mile race. Merritt led a close pack through most of the race. Holding a slim one-second advantage over Newton North’s Liam Sakakeeny at 1,200m, the Red Raider senior was able to breakaway from his rival and fast-charging Colin Fisher of Boston Latin in the closing stages to win in 4:36.59. Sakakeeny held on to second at 4:40.44. Fisher crossed the line in third in 4:41.05.

“I led the race pretty much the entire way,” said Merritt, who owns a PR of 4:20 for the mile. “I started in the second row, which was a little difficult to get up to the front. Once I got through, I just ran hard all the way through. I fought off Liam a little bit on the third lap and had some left at the end.”

In the boys’ MS race, Hopkinton’s Matthew Fitzgibbons proved victorious with a time of 3:08.51 for the 1K distance. Taking second and third were Boston’s Ed Kohl (3:11.97) and Newton’s Jamie Evans (3:12.61).

Belmont’s Ellie Shea of Emerging Elite competed in the women’s professional mile. Krissy Gear of HOKA Naz Elite made it back-to-back titles with a winning time of 4:42.45. Shea was timed in 4:55.26.



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