By Stephen Mazzone - MileSplit MA
We took a glance at the entries for Saturday's Weston Twilight Invitational, held at two different locations (Weston High, Regis College), and picked out what we feel will be the events to watch. Don't be surprised if a multitude of meet records are broken this weekend. We have some talented fields!
Remember, MileSplit MA will be providing a LIVE feed of the Weston Twilight Invitational. Just click the link below.
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1. Girls 800m
The clear-cut favorite in this event is Samantha Friborg. The Acton-Boxbrough senior had a stellar indoor campaign where she captured the 1K at the All-State Meet and was fifth in the 800m at the New Balance Nationals where she clocked an all-time best of 2:08.76.
Friborg will not have it easy in this one, though. She'll toe the line with the always-tough Rachel Sessa. The Tewksbury senior was the state runner-up in this event in 2017 and recorded her PB of 2:10.99 at the New England Championships. Woburn's Avery Leydon could also contend up front. She has a seed time of 2:16.43 and was third for 600m at the All State Meet where she had a near best of 1:35.09.
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2. Boys Two Mile
You have to go with Andrew Mah in this race. The Newton North senior finished off one of his best indoor season this past winter where he thrice clocked 9:13 or better for the deuce.
We predict Mah will be aiming to improve on his all-time best of 9:12.27 from the New Balance Nationals in March at the nighttime meet.
The meet record of 9:13.84 by Marshfield's Joel Hubbard in 2011 is certainly in jeopardy. Mah will more than likely not be running solo for much of the eight-lapper. Saint John teammates Patrick Craemer (9:18.71) and Joshua Rahn (9:22.64) are two that are capable of making things difficult for their rival.
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3. 2000m Steeplechase
Newton South has won this event twice in the last three years with Clare Martin winning titles last year and in 2015 as a sophomore.
Another one of the talented Lions could make it happen this weekend. Caroline Barry, a fourth-place finisher in the mile last year, will be moving up in distance (with a few barriers) this year.
The Newton South senior was the state runner-up for 2M this past indoor season where he had her all-time best of 10:56.14.
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4. Boys 200m
This race includes 13 sprinters that have broken 23 seconds.Our top seed, and certainly the runner to keep an eye on this Saturday, is Somerville's Phillips Magre.
Magre was the state and New England champion for 300m this winter where he was consistently under 35 seconds. He comes into the meet with a seed time of 22.0. Based on what he did during indoor, he could dip under 22 seconds.
Lexington's Kazu Uda Thach could be Magre's biggest challenger. He has a seed time of 22.3.
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5. Boys 800m
The meet record for this event is 1:54.3, set way back in 2002 by former Concord Carlisle standout John Bauer. This 16-year-old mark could be in serious jeopardy in what we think may be one of the races of the night. On the line will be Lexington's Thomas Lingard, the recent two-time 1,000-meter state indoor champion.
Lingard ran 2:27 for the 1K this past winter and followed that effort a few weeks later by clocking a PR of 1:55.21 for 800m at the New Balance Nationals. He's a take-charge-type runner that is not afraid to lead a race from the start, and maintain it.
He'll be matched against Newton North's Theo Burba, who was one of our favorites last year. But in a scuffle at the start, Burba was knocked down to the track. He got up from the fall, but could never regain his strength and finished 35th overall in 2:09.
He'll be eyeing redemption this weekend with a victory. His all-time best from the outdoor nationals last June is 1:53.30, a second under the current record. There's also Lincoln-Sudbury's Robert Roosa, who ran 2:32 for the 1K this winter and later clocked 1:56.44 for 800m at NBN. If the weather cooperates and everyone is on their game, look for an opening 400m split near 56 seconds. From there, it will be a battle of guts to the finish.
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6. Boys 400m
This is a race that could very well be determined in the final 10 or 15 meters of the race. Who will win? Take your pick. It's up in the air on this one. Our top three competitors, as of this writing, are Watertown's Mange Camara, Needham's Davonte Burnett and Somerville's Phillips Magre. Camara and Magre have both clocked times under 49 seconds and Burnett is certainly capable of joining the duo in this seldom-run race for him. The meet record is 48.46.
Can it be broken? We're not ruling it out. Burnett is our defending 100m and 200m state champion and certainly knows when to show up with his 'A' game. Camara has sub 23-second speed for 200m and was second to Magre in the 300m dash at the New England's.
He has the fastest seed time for 400m with his PR of 48.46. Magre ran an indoor best of 48.97 to win the 400m at the Yale Track Classic in January and won last year's Eastern Division 1 meet with a PR of 48.76. You also can't forget 49-second guys, Peter Lindblom of Lincoln-Sudbury (49.5) and Pembroke's Christian Pulselli (49.7). This race has potential to have several under 50 seconds!