Jake Scinto National High Jump Champion


NBON New England Boys Recap

Greensboro, NC is a long way from TF Green, Manchester, Logan, and Bradley International Airports, the most likely beginning points for the Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut contingents that headed down to New Balance Nationals to run this weekend. The distance didn’t seem to deter any of them from traveling, competing, and then dominating. For a part of the country that makes up a small fraction of its population, the damage it did was significant. Here are just some of the highlights from those states’ athletes that made the journey and competed in the championship events.


Boys Sprints/ Hurdles:

  •  Daniel Jamieson (Windsor, CT) blazed to a 

  • runner-up finish in the 100 meters (10.58), just .08 outside of the win. He then came back for 7th in the 200 (21.35), making him a two-time All-American.·       
  •   Freshman Craig Green of Falmouth, MA (10.88) was 14th in the prelims of the 100. He was the only freshman qualified in any of the boys championship sprint events.
  • · Dan Santalla (Torrington, CT) ran 56.61 for 12th in the 400 meter hurdles.

Boys Distance

  • Kevin Stanko (1:54.45) out of Simsbury, CT was 18th in the 800 meters. In what was a 
  • somewhat tactical championship event, the winning time and 8th place were separated by just 2 seconds.· 
  • Henry Wynne (Westport, CT) blazed to a runner-up finish in the boys mile, going 4:11.59 behind the champion Jacob Burcham.·
  • Chris Allen (King Philip, MA) took 9th place in the boys 2 mile on Friday night, running 9:08.08 in a tightly contested pack. Allen had to deal with a ton of traffic throughout, but managed an excellent time· N.E. was well represented in the 5000 meters, with 8 of the top 31 placers. Leading the way were Jake Feinstein (Sandy Hook, CT) and David Taranto (Burlington, MA) running identical times of 15:02.21, just ahead of Muad Hrezi (Naugatuck, CT), 14th in 15:07.77. Connor Doyle of Bishop Hendricken, RI (15:24.24), Nick Christiensen of Peabody, MA (15:25.30), Trevor Cawley of Cumberland, RI (15:28.37), and Colin Tierney of East Greenwich, RI (15:32.00) demonstrated the region’s distance depth
  • Mark Hegarty (Springfield Cathedral, MA) was 10th in the 2000 meter steeplechase (6:15.55), just missing a medal in the process. Quite a feat for an athlete running a race his state doesn’t contest!

Boys Jumps:

  • · The region claimed its next national champion with Jake Scinto of Cheshire, CT winnng the high jump in 6’8.75”, a height he cleared on his first attempt. Good thing, because he shared that mark with four other jumpers. Not to be forgotten is Steven Vasquez of Central Falls, RI, taking 6th at 6’6.75”.
  • Lebanon, NH’s Michael Cyphers won the Emerging Elite division of the Pole Vault, soaring 15’6” for the victory in the non-championship division.
  • Olisa Obiefuna (Saugus, MA) was 13th in the triple jump (45’.5”), but was unable to continue after his first attempt due to a leg injury he has battled throughout the spring season.


Boys Throws:

  • · Kevin Conway (163’3”) and Jeremy Octeau (156’10”) of Westerly, RI were 10th and 12th in the discus, showing off impressive depth from one school in the nation’s smallest state. Matt Graziano (150’0”) of Canton, CT was 14th in the discus as well.
  • · Joel Velez of Classical (207’3”) led a parade  of Rhode Islanders to the podium in the hammer throw, an event contested in just a few states, but one that could be coming to more soon. Charlie Ionnata of Barrington (205’10”), Rueben Horace of Warwick (198’5”), and Mahlik Handley of Wakefield (193’0”) were 2nd, 4th, and 6th respectively.
  • ·Adam Boucher (Toland, CT) wears the All-American crown for his 183’9” bomb in the javelin, placing 6th in the event. In 11th was Exeter, RI’s Zachary Hurd (170’8”).

Boys Decathlon:

  • · The anatomy of a national championship in the decathlon is simple- win four events and don’t let any of the others really hurt you. En route to 6720 points (not to mention a 643 point victory), Pembroke, MA’s Kris Horn did exactly that. He won the 100 (10.91), discus (126’5”), javelin (157’4”), and long jump (22’.25”), and even more than survived his scariest event, the pole vault, by soaring 11’3.5”, even though he had never cleared a height in competition. Not to be forgotten were All-Americans Ryan Webster (4th, 6061) of Hopkinton, MA, and Dan Santalla (5th, 6027) of Torrington, CT.

Boys Relays:

  • CT came to race in the 4x400, with Windsor (3:19.18) blazing under 3:20 for 8th, just one place ahead of Danbury (3:20.06). Windsor could be in the hunt for a title in 2013, as they bring back three legs from that impressive team.
  •  In a race that is in danger of being forgotten, Pembroke, MA ran 7:42 in the 4x800 for 8thin the 4x800, a time that is often good enough to medal. Senior Joe Vercollone’s 1:51 split was a big reason why they were in the position they were in. Danbury, CT (7:53.39) was not too far back in 22nd.
  •  In the 1600 meter sprint medley, Staples, CT got a blazing 1:52.15 800 meter anchor split from John Heil to run 3:27.20, winning the 2nd fastest section and taking 5th overall. Colin Bennie of Wachusett, MA (1:51.05) helped his team to 9th, just ahead of Acton-Boxboro (3:30.05) in the first (supposedly “slow”) heat. Hamden, CT (3:31.52) was not far behind in 14th.·       
  •   Chariho, RI took 3rd in a spirited 4x 1 mile race, running 17:37.10 for 3rd place. Mike Marsalla nearly came from behind to take the win, and after 6000 meters, the win was still very much in doubt. His 4:17 split, after being in a boot due to a leg injury, gets the Tough Guy of the weekend award.       
  •   In the final boys race, the championship DMR did not disappoint. With the first heat whetting the region’s appetite in the AM, Newtown, CT (10:28.67), Danbury, CT (10:32.70), Andover, MA (10:33.35), Peabody, MA (10:33.64), Ridgefield, CT (10:34.22), and Lowell, MA (10:37.42) all took top 12 places in the deep first race. But late in the evening, the duel had just begun. Colin Bennie (Wachusett, MA) handed off in the 1200 meter lead (3:03.68), with Marshfield’s Kevin Thomas just a second behind (3:04), and Pembroke sophomore Christian Stafford doing a great job to keep them close in 9th. Little position changing took place in the 400 leg, although Kris Horn did run 49.13 to keep Pembroke in range. All it took was a 1:54 leg from Joe Vercollone to bring Pembroke all the way back to the shoulder of Brothers TC and George Kelly. Less well known than Thomas or Hubbard were Marshfield’s middle legs, but Ryan Talanian and Joe Lasalle deserve steak dinners for their efforts at bringing the Rams into contention. In a mile for the ages, the top seven teams were all within striking distance with 200 meters to go. George Kelly appeared to be poising for the kill, but did not have the speed to match the move Pembroke’s Wes Gallagher made in the final straight. It appeared to be Pembroke’s race, but with 50 meters to go, Joel Hubbard of Marshfield found a gear that appeared at the right time. He surged by Gallagher, finishing a 4:08.82 split, and giving Marshfield (10:01.32) the national championship over a Pembroke (10:02.13)team whose town literally borders its rival. Wachusett ran well for 9th (10:17.09), and Mass. Showed its mettle once and for all.

Next up, the girls races tomorrow…