MSTCA Warrior Invitational Produces Stellar Efforts

It’s only April, the start of the outdoor season where the weather hasn’t exactly cooperated for optimum performances.

That was certainly hard to tell by the results of Wednesday’s Warrior Invitational, the first statewide meet of the spring campaign.

In 2023, it took until mid May until we had our first runner under 50 seconds in the 400-meter run.

Now we already have two.

On a chilly track at Foxboro High, Norwell’s Noah Mulligan dipped under the mark and two more were less than a second from doing the same. Less than a week after Lexington’s McKenna O’Hare-Gibson ran 49.99 seconds in a league meet, Mulligan survived a close battle to claim individual honors at the Warrior Invite with a state-leading 49.88. The Clipper junior was followed by Milford’s Ben Parson (second, 50.80) and Ayer Shirley’s Arthur Ribeiro (third, 50.93).

A mere lean at the finish proved to be the difference in the 800m where Weston’s Ben Travers edged Brookline’s Cameron Walter with both timed in a state No. 1 of 1:57.41. In all, six runners broke two minutes.

The long jump featured a near 23-footer from Mansfield’s Chamberlain Guthrie. The Division 3 winner and Meet of Champions runner-up during the indoor season, leaped to an outdoor PR of 22-10.5. Despite his superlative effort, he didn’t win by much. Less than five inches behind was Wellesley’s Nick Nicolazzo at 22-6. Placing third was St. John’s Prep’s Tireni Asenuga with a best of 22-2.

Tantasqua’s Bryce Tessier ran away from the field in the 400m hurdles. Tessier was the only hurdler to break 60 seconds and won the race by more than two seconds with his 57.83 clocking, a best by nearly five seconds.

Ancil Alexander of Taunton captured the shot with a heave of 49-9.5. Sebastian Grillo of Westborough was second at 49-1.

Other strong performances on the boys’ side included a victory by Boston Latin’s Colin Fisher in the mile (4:23.56) and an 8:16.86 effort by Walpole’s triumphant 4x800m squad in a race they won by almost 15 seconds!

For the girls, Pembroke’s Sarah Claflin, the defending 100m titlist from last year’s MOC, got her season off to a great start. The speedy senior won her specialty with a strong, early-season time of 12.27, a mere one hundredth of a second ahead of runner-up and Mansfield junior Chloe Guthrie.

Isabel Galuska of Weymouth raced to an outdoor best of 2:18.23 to break the tape in the 800m. Groton Dunstable tenth-grader Meghan McEleney was second at 2:20.30.

Coming off an indoor season where she claimed the individual title at the MOC and was a runner-up at the New England’s, Norton’s Zoe Santos took the high jump with a leap of 5-4.

Nipmuc’s Riley Restic withstood a close encounter with Weston’s Solana Varela in the 400m hurdles. Restic took the top prize in 1:08.34, while Varela was timed in 1:08.48.

In the javelin, last year’s MOC winner Noran Kobaly was far ahead of the field with a toss of 115-7 under less-than-ideal conditions.

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