Laura Williamson of Wachusett Regional (Holden)
is one of the top middle-distance runners in Massachusetts. She has the performance to prove it, too, after finishing second at the MIAA All-State Indoor Track and Field Championships.
But Williamson doesn't profess to be a miracle worker. She doesn't have her sights set on the top spot, either — not this year anyway. Not until senior Andrea Keklak of Lincoln-Sudbury
graduates at least.
Keklak, already the owner of the nation's second-fastest time in the 1,000-meter run this season, did herself one better on Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. She beat the accomplished junior Williamson by nearly nine seconds, running a personal-best 2:47.93 and establishing a national indoor standard for the 2011 winter season, according to the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association.
Though the effort by the Princeton-bound Keklak wasn't enough to carry Lincoln-Sudbury to the team championship - the Warriors finished third - her sheer dominance and stature stood as one of the many meet highlights.Mansfield
captured both the boys and girls team championships with collective efforts equal to that of Keklak, who finished second in the 1,000 a year ago in the All-State Meet.
"You just have to let (Keklak) go," Williamson told the Worcester Telegram. "There's nothing you can do about that. I just had to focus on the runners around me."
By contrast, Keklak had no one around her to focus on. She was left to her own accords.
"Running by yourself is pretty hard,'' Keklak told the Boston Globe. "I was on the lookout for my splits and just really use my times as goals to motivate myself.''
While Williamson couldn't stay with Keklak in the 1,000, her second-place finish helped prevent Lincoln-Sudbury from possibly placing second overall as a team. Her 2:57.85 edged out L-S's Marika Crowe, who placed third at 2:59. Keklak and Crowe later teamed up with Emily Rudder and Madison Acton in the 4x800 relay to win the event at 9:20.1, the best time in the state this season and the sixth-best in the country.
Keklak's performance, however, wasn't the only one bearing national significance. In the boys 2-mile run, John Murray of
and Shayne Collins of Mansfield
traded the lead several times before Murray's burst over the final 200 meters earned him the victory at 9:08.69, second-best in the nation this season. Collins finished at 9:09:33, which is third-best in the U.S. this winter.
"Collins is one of the best competitors in the state and I'm fortunate to have him around," said Murray, who also won the MIAA Division 1 cross country title last fall. "I just tried to hang on his shoulder and he carried me through. He absolutely carried me through."
Collins time didn't win the 2-mile, but it did establish a Mansfield record, one that was previously held by his brother, Ryan, who now runs at the University of Virginia.
Ryan Collins ran a 9:10 two-mile race as a senior at Mansfield four years ago, and finished fourth in the country.
"I really wanted my brother's record,'' Collins said. "I figured if I go sub-9:10 I'd get a state championship. It's kind of crazy to go 9:09 and not get a state championship.''
In the boys 55 hurdles, defending New England champ Greg Boursiquot of
set a state record and national-best for the season with a 7.36-second finish during the preliminaries. He won the championship later in the day at 7.53, and figures to again be the favorite this Friday night in the 2011 New England Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center.
But Boursiquot also knows that senior Zach Langs of Windsor (Conn.)
ran a 7.55 at the CIAC Indoor Open Championship a week ago at the New Haven Athletic Center. As the defending New England champ, Boursiquot bears the target on his back.
"I know there's going to be strong competition," Boursiquot told the Quincy Patriot Ledger. "I've got some things I plan to work on this week. I just need to run my race and I'll be fine."
The Mansfield boys won their second straight MIAA indoor team title in grand fashion, accumulating 50 points and easily topping Andover (29 points) and New Bedford (27). The Hornets capped the day by setting a meet record in the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:21.78.
Mansfield, which won the MIAA Division 2 title the previous week, also ran what would have been a meet record in the 4x800, spinning a time of 8:00.1. Westwood
, however, took first place and crushed the old mark by turning in a time of 7:57.59.
The Mansfield girls, led by the two second-place finishes of Jen Esposito, captured the girls team title with 38 points. Newton North was second with 29 points, followed by Lincoln-Sudbury with 26.
Esposito took second-place finishes in the 300 and 55 hurdles - good for 16 points - finishing behind Rebecca Robinson of
in the 300. Robinson captured first place in both the 300 and 55 for the Spy Ponders.
Boston College recruit Kathy O'Keefe of Newton South
won her second consecutive indoor mile title with a time of 4:55.24.
Though there were no records established in the boys 1,000, the finish involving Joel Hubbard of Marshfield
and Billy Looney of Bishop Feehan (Attleboro)
took photo-finish honors. Hubbard edged Looney by 2:31.301 to 2:31.304.Jim Stout is the CBS MaxPreps Media Manager for the Eastern U.S. He may be reached at 845-367-2864 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.