On Saturday, February 23 three Swampscott High School student-athletes competed at the MIAA All-State Track & Field Championships held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Senior captain Robert Seymour, senior captain Peter Hale, and junior Matt Mahoney all earned the right to compete based on their performances in the MIAA Division III Championships held a week ago: a meet which saw Hale win the Division III title for a second year in a row, with Mahoney and Seymour qualifying based on having a top 24 performance across all divisions.
In summarizing the All-State meet, head boys' coach Joe Tenney stated, "Matt, Peter, and Rob did an amazing job today! I am nothing short of proud for each athlete and what they have accomplished this year."
Seymour started things off in the shot put. Assistant coach Peter Bush, who coaches the throwing events, explained the work that went into Seymour's practice plan before All-States: "After a disappointing finish at the Division III meet, we took time to identify the technical problems he was experiencing. Rob worked hard during his drill sessions at practice and he was able to get back into hitting in the fifties." Seymour, who has a personal best of 52'8", was back over the fifty foot barrier with his throw of 50'7.25" to earn him tenth place at the All-State meet. "It is all due to his dedication and desire to get better on a daily basis," continued Bush. "He started training in the fall and entered the indoor season stronger and more focused on his craft. Rob is one of the leaders of our throwing group and the coaching staff will continue to lean on him as we move forward."
As a junior, Seymour's personal best in the shot put indoors was 46'6".
On the track, Swampscott was represented with two distance runners in the two mile. Junior Matt Mahoney kicked things off in the unseeded heat of the two mile, moving up through the field to take second in his heat. "I thought Matt ran a very sound race, a very smart race," said distance coach Jeff Bartlett. "He's way ahead fitness wise where he was last year during indoor track, and he is emerging as one of the top returners for next year." Mahoney, whose previous personal best this season was 9:59, qualified with a 9:46.89 last weekend. Mahoney continued his PR streak by running a time of 9:44.50 after a fast start to the race. "The fast pace at the start didn't really hurt Matt because he's so strong," explained Bartlett. "Matt's dedication and commitment to the training plan worked out perfectly."
In the seeded section, senior captain Peter Hale was looking to mix it up with some of the best two milers in Massachusetts. Hale, the Eastern Massachusetts Division IV Cross-Country champion and Division III two-mile champion indoors, was in elite company. After a slow first half mile, the pace increased. Hitting the one mile in 4:46, Hale was moving up through the field with a few surges. "The guys who ended up finishing 1-2-3 in the race were in the last three spots during the first lap," mentioned Bartlett. "This was a different type of race in that there was a lot of shuffling around with guys trying to get around each other." Hale threw in a dominating last two laps, closing his last 400 with the fastest time he's ever done in any race. "Peter negative split and had a fantastic finish, and I know he's excited for next week. We're excited to let him rip and chase a time close to that elusive 9:20 barrier," said Bartlett. Hale's finish earned him a third place finish and a ticket to the New England Championships held next at the Reggie Lewis Center. "I think Peter ran extremely well and is priming up for New Englands. He's ready to rock and drop into the teens," added Tenney.
Stay tuned for more information relating to the Big Blue track season, with quotes from coaches and student-athletes, after their end of the season banquet!
The New England Championships will be held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston on March 2nd. Doors open at 8:30AM and admission is $10.