Competition’s Hot On Cool Night At Weston Twilight

Hurdles or no hurdles?

It doesn’t matter.

When it comes to 400 meters, Guiliana Ligor confirmed at Saturday’s 25th annual Weston Twilight Invitational that there’s simply no one better.

Under the lights on a cool night at the popular meet, which was sponsored by Marathon Sports and HOKA, the gifted junior from North Reading was “lights out” with PR performances and impressive victories in both events. After dipping nearly two seconds under her previous best in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:01.02, Ligor was back at it again less than two hours later to claim the 400m title. The Hornets star got out strong and powered her way down the final straightaway to hold off Framingham’s Abby Desmarais with a time of 56.74 to her rival’s 57.08 effort.

Ligor could sense from the beginning that she was on to something special in the 400m hurdles. Her effort ranks No. 4 all-time in the state.

“It felt really fast,” she said. “By the second hurdle, I knew I had it. I knew that time was going to be fast.”

Ligor, the reigning 400m IH state titlist, certainly had the competition to push her to a fast time. Finishing second was Weston’s Sloan Hinton in 1:02.59. Olivia LaBelle of Algonquin was third with a time of 1:03.86. La Belle would later earn gold in the 100m hurdles at 15.07. She owns a state-leading and PR of 14.34, set just three days earlier in a league meet with Shrewsbury.

As for Ligor, an All American pentathlete from the indoor season, she’s aiming to not only defend her 400m hurdle crown from last year’s Meet of Champions, but also possibly make a little history by season’s end or by the time she graduates in 2025.

“My goal in the future is to get the state record, which is about 59 (seconds),” she said. “That’s my goal.”

The current state mark is 59.52 by Medfield’s Alex Stanton in 2011.

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Westford Academy’s Ryan Kyle was also a double winner in the five-plus hour meet with a sweep of the boys’ hurdle events. The WA junior won the 400m IH in 54.74 and the 110m HH at14.48.

For the third straight year, Haverhill’s Natanael Vigo Catala claimed the boys’ 400m. The Georgetown-bound senior was already ahead of the field by the cutoff point and breezed to a hand-held time of 48.10. Finishing second was Brookline’s Andrew Bamberg in 48.90hh. Ayer Shirley’s Arthur Ribeiro was third at 49.50hh.

In the girls’ mile, held along with all the other middle- and long-distance events at Regis College, Nashoba Regional’s Caroline Collins and Westford Academy’s Abigail Hennessey engaged in an intense battle in the mile. Collins was able to edge Hennessey at the line with a PR of 4:53.17. Hennessey clocked 4:53.32 for second. Brookline’s Audrey Seeger also went sub-5, taking third at 4:59.84.

An hour later, Collins and Hennessey were matched up again as anchors for their respective sprint medley squads. Once again it was the Nashoba senior that came out on top in the end, passing the front-running Hennessey in the closing stages to secure the triumph. Collins, along with teammates Erin Farmer, Paulie Michel and Lailee Joyce, combined for a school-record time of 4:18.06, just a half second ahead of the Ghosts (4:18.65).

“I felt strong throughout the race,” Collins said. “I just came from running the mile at Regis so I knew it was in my legs. But honestly, I felt pretty good. I felt strong.”

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Nashoba’s Adam Balewicz became the state’s first sub nine-minute two miler, beating a talented field with a huge PR and nation No. 3 of 8:59.79. The Division 2 state cross-country champion was less than 40 meters ahead of runner-up Brendan Thomas, who was timed in a best of 9:06.77 for second. Cambridge Rindge & Latin’s Paulino Guevara Mateo was third at 9:11.38.

In the girls’ 2M, Westford Academy’s Emily Wedlake edged Needham’s Greta Hammer with a time of 10:59.73. Hammer was second at 10:59.87.

Chelmsford sophomore Gable Gray won the javelin with an eye-popping 199 feet, 4 inches, a best by nearly 25 feet! Gray’s previous best was 175-11 from his win in the Freshmen division of last year’s New Balance Nationals.

Defending 100m state champion Sarah Clafin of Pembroke won her specialty with a season best of 12.12. Andover’s Jason DeJesus broke 11 seconds for the first time to take the boys’ race with a 10.86 clocking.

Concord-Carlisle’s Elizabeth Reiling (25.96) and Boston Latin’s Max Deane (22.22) took the respective girls’ and boys’ 200m titles. Deane raced to a best of 21.88 in his preliminary heat.

“I was hoping my finals would be like my prelims, but I can’t complain,” he said. “It tied the state’s No. 1 time.”

Deane’s effort ties Lincoln Sudbury’s Nicholas Begic, who ran an identical clocking at the Jim Hoar Freshmen-Sophomore Invitational on Friday night.

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Wellesley’s Annie Comella captured the long jump with a leap of 18-8. She was also second in the 100m where she was timed in 12.57.


Regis College (Distance Events)

Weston (Sprint & Field Events)


Weston (Sprint & Distance Events)


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