GARDNER — Nick Carleo crossed the finish line in Saturday’s MIAA All-State meet at Gardner Golf Course in awe of his first-place finish, shouting “I won! I won!” while his teammates rushed to congratulate the Newburyport sophomore as the new Division 2 state champion.
It was a significant improvement on last year’s race, in which Carleo ran nearly two minutes slower than Saturday’s 14-minute-15-second finish and came in seventh.
“I thought it was possible but knew it was going to be hard today,” Carleo said. “It hurt a lot, but it was expected.”
Burlington senior Paul Hogan finished six seconds behind Carleo. Hogan was also second in last year’s All-State meet and finished first in the Division 4 EMass meet last week. He’ll run in the Northeast Regional Foot Locker race in two weeks, and then at the collegiate level next fall.
Pembroke won the Division 2 state team title for the fourth straight time with the help of seniors Christian Stafford (third in 14:32) and John Valeri (sixth in 14:43). Pembroke scored 49 points to top Hopedale (104) and Medfield (138).
Newton North senior Gabe Montague topped off his cross-country season as the Division 1 state champion. Montague beat his time at last week’s EMass meet by more than a minute and finished in 14:27, 10 seconds ahead of King Philip senior Owen Gonser.
“Gabe won the race today by losing last week,” Newton North coach James Blackburn said. “When he lost, no one was picking him today. So that motivated him. He was determined, and he did it.”
Mansfield took first place in Division 1 with 105 points, with Lowell close behind (134).
The day did not go as expected in Division 1 for the girls. Bishop Feehan senior Abbie McNulty, who was favored to win the state title, collapsed around the 2-mile mark and was unable to finish. She was fine after the race but noticeably upset.
“We did all we set out to do, and things happen,” Bishop Feehan coach Bob L’Homme said. “Tomorrow’s another day, and we’ll just keep on running.”
Saturday was Bishop Feehan’s first time competing in the All-State meet as a Division 1 team, where it finished third overall after four consecutive years as the Division 2 state champions.
Lowell sophomore Kaley Richards (16:54) came in first in the Division 1 race, followed by Lincoln-Sudbury junior Sydney Clary. Richards finished 34th last year in 20:14, and Clary was nearly two minutes faster than she was in last year’s race.
Clary led her team to second overall with 109 points, just behind Needham, which won the state title with 83 points, led by Margie Cullen’s third-place finish in 17:26.
“I wanted to win, but I was really suffering,” Clary said. “It took a lot out of me. This is the hardest race I’ve ever run.”
In her first season running cross-country, Manchester Essex junior Olivia Lantz (16:56) won the Division 2 state title, only three seconds ahead of Danvers junior Catalina Dominick. The win was a surprise to Lantz, who recalled watching Dominick run nearly 20 seconds faster than her in last week’s EMass race.
“I hadn’t exposed myself to that competition before,” Lantz said. “So I came in mentally focused.’’
Hamilton-Wenham (56) won the state title in Division 2 with 56 points. Manchester Essex (115) and Tyngsboro (135) rounded out the top three.