By Keith Pearson/Staff Writer Westwood Press Posted Mar 03, 2010 @ 03:59 AM Last update Mar 03, 2010 @ 04:02 AM
Westwood resident and Xaverian Brothers senior John Bleday defended his MIAA Auerbach All-State mile title Friday with a winning time of 4:20.34 at the Reggie Lewis Center.
This year’s time was 0.45 seconds faster than when he won the crown as a junior. Bleday led wire-to-wire but had to hold off late charges by Darryl Varney of North Andover and Steve Sollowin of Weymouth. Bleday defeated Varney, who jumped from 18th in the same race a year ago to 0.81 behind Bleday, and Sollowin by 1.79.
Bleday came from behind the previous week to repeat his win at the MIAA Division 1 Indoor Championships, passing Sollowin on the final lap and prevail by 0.96 with a winning time of 4:19.59.
“It is very difficult to do,” said Hawks coach Phil Penza said of doing the double. “There was a lot of pressure on him, I think he is the only one to go back-to-back (in both the state championships and All-States in consecutive years).”
Bleday follows the hugely successful career of fellow Hawk, Mark Amirault, and will follow him by attending an Ivy League school as Bleday will attend Dartmouth in the fall while Amirault is at Princeton. He will not be only Westwood native to be on the track at an Ivy League school either, joining Columbia’s Jeff Moriarty.
“Distance runners have to be more disciplined, they are usually the brighter kid because it takes that mentality to be focused,” Penza said about the strict training regiments.
Bleday will be back at the Reggie Lewis Center on March 14 for the Nike Indoor Nationals. He will be looking to break his personal best of a 4:12.70 at the Terrier Classic in January.
Westwood High’s Chris Adams placed fifth in the shot put Friday at the All-State Meet. Adams recorded a top throw of 50-feet, 9 ¾-inches. According to coach Tom Davis, Adams had been ranked between fourth and eighth for much of the season. Ryan Davila of Lowell won the event with a throw of 57-4.
Nora Smith was a second off matching her personal-best time in the 1,000 meters with a time of 3:07.10 to take 13th place. Margo Gillis of Newton North edged Lincoln-Sudbury’s Andrea Keklak for the win in 2:55.41.
Tayla Allen did not qualify for the finals of the 55 dash, running 7.48 in the final heat of preliminaries and coming in 16th. Hingham’s Molly O’Dea was the top qualifier for the finals at 7.27 and won the final with a 7.20.
Adams will compete tomorrow at the New England Championships, which will also be held at the Reggie Lewis Center. The girls squad will take this weekend off to prepare for the Indoor Nationals. According to coach Jen Teehan, Allen will run the 200, Nicky Pettit the 5,000 and a decision on the 4x800 team of Rachael Keating, Smith, Pettit and Alison Campion competing is still up in the air.