It was so close, but the Old Rochester boys’ track team came in second place at the Division 4 state track meet, just getting edged out by Newburyport by a mere 2 points. Several athletes had fantastic runs, but it would not be entirely enough to give the Bulldogs their first ever indoor-track state championship.
Sophomore hurdler Kevin Saccone started things off strong for the Bulldogs, where he exceeded his projected seed by two places to take fourth in the 55-meter hurdles in 8.44 seconds. Senior shot-putter Aaron Holick also surpassed his projected seed, taking fifth place with a massive heave of 47 feet, 4 inches.
Next came senior Nick Pacheco, who placed sixth in the mile with a 4:38, three seconds off of his personal best. Junior standout Mike Wyman won the 1000 meter run, blowing away the field with a time of 2:36. Dan Donohue came in a close second in the 300 meter dash, where he ran a 36.1. Since both Donohue and Wyman placed in the top 3 in their respective events, they will advance to the All-State meet next Saturday, where the best athletes in the state will be competing.
At the conclusion of the last individual event, the 2 mile, the Bulldogs had a slight lead over the Newburyport Clippers and the projected winners, Weston High School. The meet was so close that the relays would determine the champions.
The 4×200 meter relay was a thrilling race to watch. The Old Rochester squad of Kevin Saccone, Dan Donohue, Colin Knapton, and Kevin Noone won a tight race against Weston with a phenomenal time of 1:34.54. This time not only qualified the team for the All-State meet, but it also set a new school record for the event. The 4×800 meter relay was equally exciting, but Old Rochester’s Fred Murolo, Connor Medeiros-Sweet, Nick Pacheco, and Michael Kassabian could only muster an 8:51, good enough for 7th place.
Going into the final event, the 4×400 meter relay, Old Rochester and Newburyport were tied with 42 points apiece, with Weston in third place, trailing by 5 points. Each of the top three teams were in different heats, which made it hard for the teams to judge where they had to be to clinch the win for their team. Fred Murolo, Kevin Noone, Peter Krause, and Chris Demers each ran phenomenal times, but would lose to Newburyport’s relay team by a mere 2 seconds, giving the Clippers a fifth place to the Bulldogs seventh place. With this decisive race, the Newburyport Clippers clinched their second consecutive Division 4 title.
Despite the oh-so-close ending, the Bulldogs had a fantastic day, full of school records, All-State qualifications, personal bests, and a 2nd place overall finish.
By Michael Kassabian