Westford’s Austin DeSisto sets 800-meter record
Westford Academy senior Austin DeSisto spent most of this month battling COVID-19 and its after-effects. On Wednesday morning at the MSTCA Distance Classic at the Reggie Lewis Center, DeSisto showed that he is returning to form.
Locked in a hammer and tong duel with Lunenburg’s Zach MacLure, DeSisto turned on the jets on the final lap to set a new meet record of 2:00.32 to win the 800 meters.
“I really wanted to go under two minutes,” DeSisto said. “But it gives me a lot of confidence to know that I’m starting to get back into shape and I can put in some fast times.”
The most entertaining race of the day came in the boys’ mile as Westford Academy’s Jack Graffeo, Nashoba’s Adam Balewicz and Wachusett’s Dylan Brenn turned the race into a three-way tie over the final laps. But it was Balewicz who had the final say as he jumped wide on the final turn to pass Graffeo and then held on to the finish line to set a new meet record of 4:28.12. Graffeo also broke the record with his second place time of 4:28.55.
The Westford girls team wouldn’t fare any better on Wednesday as sophomore Sydney Weiss and freshman Emily Wedlake came home with a 1-2 finish in the 800 meters to start the day of competition.
Shrewsbury’s Niko Manolakos went wire-to-wire to win the 1,000 meters, ahead of Lunenburg’s Chris Roy and Algonquin’s Chris Kardos, who emerged from the second slowest heat to claim a podium position. The girls 1,000 was dominated from start to finish by Lunenburg senior Abby Rodriquenz, who posted a time of 3:12.67 to best Walpole junior Caroline White by nearly five full seconds.
Another great performance came from Braintree’s Caitlyn Chang in the girls mile as she pulled away in the final two laps, coming home in 5:20.57 for Barnstable’s Lilly DeDecko and North Andover’s Luna Prochazkova.
One of the biggest stunners of the day came in the boys 2 mile, where Algonquin’s Joseph Lamburn took nearly 20 seconds off his starting time, pulling away with a fiery last lap to win in 10:13.51. Teammate Aiden Ruiz was third (10:22.80) while Gardner’s Tyler Meunier had a more than 30-second improvement from his no. 11 to separate the Algonquin duo and finished second (10:21.52).
In the girls 2 mile, leader Avery Murphy of Murdock didn’t finish, opening the door for Triton’s Erin Wallwork to cruise to a comfortable win in 12:06.15.
North Andover’s Makenna Dube threw a 33-7 in her first shot put of the day and she stayed on her feet for the rest of the rounds in the shot put. Scituate’s Lauren Thompson was second, nearly two feet behind. It was the same story with the shot put boys as Michael Zuo of the Academy of Advanced Mathematics and Science cleared 44-10 ¾ in the first round, setting a mark that only the Dighton-Rehoboth duo of Destin Michner (42-10 ¼) and Kevin Gousie (41-8 ¾) could even get within calling distance.
A quartet of relays were polished on the day. In the girls 4×800, Wachusett cruised to a comfortable victory over Littleton and Nashoba. In the boys 4×800, Shrewsbury came away with its first seed, easily beating Lunenburg and North Andover by nearly a quarter of a lap.
Barnstable repeated as DMR girls champions, breaking their meet record from last year with a time of 13:27.93. Whitman-Hanson and Lunenburg also reached the podium. In the final race of the day, Algonquin won the boys DMR after a long race battle with Parker Charter.