It was a wild day in Boston on Saturday for the New England Championships. PRs were destroyed as two 8th seeds, a 9th seed, and two 13th seeds joined a group of favorites in winning titles, and a race of maybe 1700 strides culminated with the two top finishers recording the same time to the hundredth of a second. All but New Hampshire of the New England states were in attendance. Two meet records were broken, and another was tied.
Although athletes from the two most populated states of Massachusetts and Connecticut took the big chunk of the top places, the Rhode island guys came away with four golds and Maine girls also captured one. Both the Massachusetts guys and girls took five wins, while the Connecticut boys took four titles and the girls a dominating seven.
Scored on a 10-8-6-4-2-1 basis for the top six places in the 13 events, the boys score was:
CT 142, MA 132, RI 76, ME 35, VT 18.
For the girls the scoring went:
CT 188, MA 149, ME 40, RI 14, VT 12.
Many of the athletes used the great facilities at Reggie Lewis to crush their PRs. The top seven runners in the girls' 1000m all ran PRs, and for winner Mia-Claire Kezal of Thornton Academy ME it was likely going to be a PR since it was her first time running the event this season after capturing the 800m in her state championship. Kezal had run a 2:14.77 in the 800m in January, but her 2:19.41 in her Class A state championship converted to only the 8th best 1000m time coming in. So after averaging about 34.8 seconds for her State's 800m, Kezal averaged 34.7 seconds for five laps in the 1000m to get the win.
Just as astounding on the guys' side, Jacob Connolly of East Greenwich RI had run a 4:05.30 in the 1500m for 3rd in his state championship, a time that earned him a 13th seed going into the NE mile that had a number of big scratches including Gavin and Callum Sherry of Conard CT. So while running his first ever indoor mile, Connolly basically covers the extra 167 meters in 8 1/2 seconds if you compare it to his State's 1500m. His 4:13.88 winning time placed him at US #23.
A breakdown of the action in all of the New England Championship events follows, and the links table at the bottom connects to the different areas of expertise.
One event that gets the short end of the stick at New England's is the pole vault, as only the high jump, long jump, and shot put are included among the field events. Some PV athletes headed down to the US Army - Eastern States championships on March 1st at the Armory, and Jack Vecello of Frontier MA captured the win by skying to 16-3 while Fairfield Ludlowe CT's Steven Ditelberg placed 4th with a 14-6 clearance. On the girl's side, Classical RI's Allyson Humphries cleared 10-6 for 4th. On to Nationals for a talented group of New England's vaulters.
Many of the athletes from all the events (or their Nationals equivalents such as 60m, 200m, 400m and 800m) will be heading on to the Nationals meets at the Armory and Ocean Breeze facilities in NYC starting on Thursday. Luck to all.
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