The took the track in three separate races on Saturday in Pembroke, nicknamed "Track Town Massachusetts" after Pembroke's many state titles.
Sophomore Matt Mahoney started things off for the Big Blue, running the two mile in the first of two heats. Many runners took off to the front of the pack at the start of the race, going out much faster than Mahoney intended on running. Remaining calm, Mahoney got into a groove and began running consistent 75 second laps, which put him on pace for a 10:00 two-mile time.
Slowly moving up through the field, Mahoney eventually found himself on the shoulder of the leader. Mahoney did not stay there long, passing the runner while continuing to run even splits.
Running solo the last couple laps, Mahoney continued to hit his splits and kicked it in to run under 10 minutes for the first time ever, running a time of 9:59.29, a personal best time by fourteen seconds, for 12th place.
The time is 49 seconds faster than his personal best from his freshman year of track.
In the faster section of the two mile, junior Peter Hale would be facing the 2011 cross-country state champion, Wesley Gallagher of Pembroke, who focused on the one-mile indoors. Hale's number one goal was to finish top four and qualify for the All-State Championships, making it the third season this year he would qualify.
The start was shaky, and Hale found himself boxed inside of a tight pack with nowhere to go. With no one moving to the front to push the pace, the pack came through the mile in a slow time. This was clearly going to be a race with the main goal of placing in the top four. After Gallagher dropped a 65-second lap, the pack opened up and Peter was able to get rolling. Using his strong kick, Hale closed the gap on the top two finishers, finishing with an outdoor personal best of 9:32.29 for 3rd place.
Hale's third place finish means he will race at this weekend's All-State Championships held in Fitchburg, Massachusetts; a great opportunity for a fast race against loaded competition.
In the one mile, senior captain Nick Hartmann just missed on being in the faster section but did not disappoint. Hartmann did not get caught up in the frantic start, instead running a smart race to gain ground throughout the race. Hartmann's strength allowed him to run a fast final lap, which brought him home with a lifetime personal best of 4:39.78.
Hartmann's time would earn him a 13th place finish. Hartmann would later return to the track to help the 4x800 meter relay team earn an 8th place finish.
The sprinting and hurdling events also produced many PR's and some very fast times. Senior Matt Nardiello got things started in the 400m hurdles finishing second overall with a time of 58.29. Even though it was not his best time, Nardiello's second place finish guaranteed him a spot in this Saturday's All-State meet.
In the 100m dash, senior D'Aaron Ennis and junior Zach Blonder ran well and turned in solid performances. Ennis's 12.40 and Blonder's 11.75 were both electronically timed personal bests.
Senior Phil Smith and sophomore Maleek Newsome competed in the stacked 200 meter dash field. Even though Smith did not record a personal record, it was not for lack of effort as he finished with a 24.0. Newsome's electronically timed 23.78 is a personall record and the coaching staff is expecting great things from him next spring.
In the 400 meter dash, junior Declan McClung ran an extremely fast 51.37, earning him a sixth place finish. This is the fourth straight meet McClung has produced a time in the 51 range, and he was two tenths of a second off of qualifying for All-States.
In the field events, senior James Beane and junior Rob Seymour represented the throwing crew very well with some solid performances.
In his last meet, Beane finished seventh overall with a 137'7" throw. Seymour won his flight and earned a trip to the finals in the shot put. Seymour came in as the sixth seed and with a personal record 48'2" throw moved up to third place, earning him a trip to All-States.
The end of meet featured all three relay teams competing for the Big Blue. In the 4x800 meter relay, junior Peter Hale got things going with a 2:02.56 split. Senior Nick Hartmann took the baton and ran a great 2:07.64 second leg to hand off to freshman Bennett Smith, who ran a 2:11.24. Senior Ryan Kelley brought things home and ran a 2:09.01 anchor leg. Their 8:30.45 time earned them an 8th place finish.
In the 4x400 meter relay, senior Eric Murphy ran the first leg in 55.75. He then handed off to sophomore Ian Munnely, who finished with a 56.81 split. Up next was senior Matt Nardiello, who finished with a 56.83 split and handed off to junior Declan McClung, who split a 55.51.
In the 4x100 meter relay, sophomore Maleek Newsome got out of the blocks quickly and handed off to senior Phil Smith. Smith's strong straightaway second leg led to a strong third leg by senior Bill Legere. The final exchange to junior Zach Blonder was near perfection and produced a time of 46.00.
Overall, the Big Blue finished seventh place as a team with a score of 26 points.
Three Big Blue athletes will represent Swampscott at the All-State Championships, hosted by Fitchburg State College: Matt Nardiello (400 hurdles), Rob Seymour (shot put), and Peter Hale (two mile).