BSR Elite Scholastic Mile: Fast Times At Regis College

The sequel often never matches up. It’s often never quite like the original.

Not in this case. In fact, some might argue, it might have been even better.

The second annual BSR Elite Scholastic Mile on Friday night lived up to its billing and proved to be the perfect encore to its predecessor.

A year after the hugely-successful inaugural event, the spectators at Regis College and the throngs of viewers on BSR‘s live stream were treated to a pair of classic races in the boys’ and girls’ competition. Collectively, you couldn’t have asked for more when you have some of New England’s finest go toe-to-toe.

For the boys, nine of the 12 runners in the field ran under 4:12, including a pair of gifted tenth-graders. On the girls’ side, all but two of the 10 entries broke five minutes.

(Photos by Sterling Vernon @RhodeAndTrack Sports Photography. For more great shots, click HERE).

“It was a great day. To come out with a PR, even it was a tiny improvement, I’m really happy with it,” said Byron Grevious of Phillips Exeter Academy (NH), the boys’ individual champion. “I was replaying in my head coming to the meet what the atmosphere was like and how the race would play out. It was similar.”

Grevious, last year’s runner-up to individual winner Devon Kipyego of Saint Raphael Academy, finished with a PR of 4 minutes, 7.62 seconds, an effort that was just two hundredths of a second from Kipyego’s meet record.

The determined senior was able to hold off Tam Gavenas of Phillips Academy INH) in the closing stages to earn the win. Gavenas was timed in 4:09.15 for second. Loomis Chafee (CT) tenth-grader Alex Fisher was third in 4:09.20, a time that currently ranks No. 2 in the country among sophomores. Westford Academy’s Paul Bergeron was fourth in a best of 4:09.78, while Boston College High’s Chris Larnard was fifth with a five-second PR of 4:09.89.

With the aid of pacer Max Huang for the first two laps, Grevious led from the start of the race, held under perfect conditions with a moderately cool temperature and no wind. He took a tight pack through an open 400-meter split of 61 seconds.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “I think my legs might have been a little chilly, just because of the conditions, low 50s with the sun setting, but besides that I knew it felt comfortable to me. I had run 4:08, 4:07 and 4:07 indoors at BU, Millrose and Nike Indoor Nationals, so I was very comfortable with the pace. I know I wanted to push it a little harder than I think was possible tonight. Hopefully that will come later.”

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Running in single file, Grevious hit the 800m mark in 2:03, followed by Bergeron in second and several more in close proximity. The Westford Academy standout was within striking distance for most of the race. He was hovering in second and third during the middle laps, trying desperately to reel in Grevious.

“I kind of wish I got out a little better,” said Bergeron, a seventh-place finisher at last year’s race with a then-best of 4:10.62. “I was just worried that there would be a little more of a gap between Byron, the pacer and the guy behind him. I was really scared that if that gap got bigger it would be hard to close it. I kind of spent the second (lap) and the first half of the third (lap), just kind of trying to pass a guy in lane two. But that guy, he held on really well. I kind of wish I would have tucked in.”

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“It’s okay. It’s kind of the first race of the season. I think we have a lot left,” added the Stanford-bound senior, who was a runner-up in the 5K at the New Balance Nationals in March. “I personally, after indoor, had to take a couple of weeks off and build back slowly. All things considered, it’s like 4:10. Obviously, I wanted a lot more.”

At the 1,200m mark, passed through around 3:05, Grevious still remained strong, holding about a five-meter gap over Larnard, who moved into the second position. The Exeter runner increased his cushion as he hit the backstretch, only to have a fast-charging Gavenas close it right back with just over 200m left.

“I just need a fast time and knew I wouldn’t have a lot of chances to run a fast mile this season,” Gavenas said. “I was really lucky I had a little bit left in me.”

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Grevious admitted he didn’t hear what was transpiring behind him as he ran the last 200m of the race.

“I know I looked around my shoulder with about 150 (meters) just to get bearings on how much of a lead I had,” he said. “I was talking with Tam after. He thinks he was closing in 27 (seconds) high. I’m very close to him. He’s really strong. He’s got some wheels to him.”

In a race where huge PRs came in bunches New Hampshire’s Jacob Redman of Bedford was sixth overall with a sixth-plus second best of 4:09.89. Westford Academy’s Jack Graffeo improved on his best by nearly nine seconds, placing seventh with a time of 4:10.20. Sophomore Marshall Vernon of La Salle Academy was eighth with a sixth-second PR of 4:10.64, a time that is No. 4 nationwide for tenth-graders.

While his time was significantly under his previous best of 4:16.22 from his runner-up finish at the New England Championships this past winter, the ultra-confident Vernon indicated he was actually hoping for more.

“I knew this race was going to be packed to the brim with amazing talent,” he said. “I knew I had to come out here and compete. I told myself in all day in school today, 62, 62, 62, 62 (seconds). I wanted 4:08, and get myself under 4:10. Unfortunately that didn’t really happen. I messed up the last couple of laps.”

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“Messed up,” for Vernon was running near equal splits for the first and second half of the race. He was just over 2:04 as he passed through the opening 800m.

“It was perfect pacing by the pacer, perfect racing from everyone else. I was really happy to be a part of it,” he said. “I felt great at the 800. On the third lap I started feeling a little tired. As soon as I heard the bell, it was like a new awakening. I started kick at (1,200m). I started kicking harder with 300 meters to go. I got right back up to the guys….AS soon as I took the bend with a 100 (meters) to go, I got hocked down and my legs felt super heavy. Aerobically, I still felt good. That’s a good sign. I definitely am going to work on the speed at the end.”

Rounding out the finishers were Maine’s Maddox Jordan of Noble (ninth, 4:11.91), Littleton’s Bona Bradshaw (tenth, 4:17.93). Ludlow’s Logan Walsh (11th, 4:22.58) and New Hampshire’s Jamie Leto of Coe Brown (12th, 4:25.50).


“It was super fun. I am so grateful for Marathon Sports and HOKA for putting this together. It was so much great competition. It was a beautiful night. It was perfect for some fast running.”

Those were the words of Belmont’s Dana Lehr, who captured the girls’ race with an all-time best of 4:54.64. Lehr, a runner-up in the mile at the Meet of Champions this past winter, didn’t have it easy. The talented junior, who also competes for Emerging Elite, was followed closely behind by Rory Sullivan of Saint Raphael Academy (RI), who was timed in a best of 4:55.14 for second. Placing third overall was Tenley Nelson of Phillips Exeter (NH) in 4:56.07.

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With all 10 runners in the field separated by just a few seconds, Wellesley native Lily Jin of Emerging Elite led the pack through a split of 71 seconds for the opening 400m. She continued to lead on the backstretch before Sullivan and Lehr took over at around 600m. Sullivan held the front-runner position at the halfway mark (2:28) with Lehr taking over shortly after.

Sullivan admitted she wasn’t expecting to lead early in the race.

“That was not the plan. I wasn’t expecting that,” she said. “I knew if I wanted to run a good time, I kind of had to push it. I wasn’t expecting to be up there. The first lap I was kind of in the back. On the backstretch, I kind of made a move so I could get up more. I was not expecting to lead but i was just like, ‘I got to push the pace.’ You just have to kind of adapt to it once you’re running.”

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Lehr and Sullivan battled together through the remaining two laps with the Belmont runner having that extra gear down the final stretch to take the gold in a best by five seconds.

“I wanted to compete,” Lehr said. “That was my main goal. This was my first high-competition meet of the season, so I really wanted to put my best foot forward and try and have a great season-opener.”

Maine’s Samantha Moore of Portland was fourth overall in 4:56.07. She was followed by Oyster River (NH) teammates MacKenzie Cook (fifth, 4:57.06)) and Haley Kavanagh (sixth, 4:57.38). Rounding out the finishers were Maine’s Teanne Ewings of Houlton (seventh, 4:57.48) and Cary Drake of York (eighth, 4:59.06), Ipswich’s Lucy McLean (ninth, 5:00.39) and Jin (tenth, 5:08.70).



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