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Milford’s Kiyanni Simas, Southeastern’s Chris Gregory push to the finish at MSTCA Invitational

Southeastern’s Chris Gregory (right) leans across to beat Brookline’s Bradley Jocelyn at the wire and win the boys' 110-meter hurdles.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Kiyanni Simas had one more chance. Seeded first in the girls’ long jump Saturday at the MSTCA Invitational at BC High, the Milford junior had gone through five of six attempts. Her best leap of 17 feet, 9¾ inches was behind Burlington’s Grace Hanafin, who was leading with 17-10½.

Riddled with stress, Simas forced herself to relax. Focusing solely on her movement, Simas bounded down the straightaway, brought her right leg up with extra power and landed with force. When the dust settled, she measured out at 18-7, earning the win.

“I was like, ‘It’s just because I’m stressing out too much. If I just relax, then it’s fine,’” Simas recalled thinking before her last attempt. “I do that a lot. I stress out.”


Amid the pressure, Simas not only delivered in the long jump, but also won the girls’ 100-meter dash (12.49 seconds). She was awarded girls’ overall athlete of the meet for her efforts.

“I’m just really happy for Kiyanni. She deserves it. She keeps winning medal after medal, probably going to need a bigger closet to keep them all,” Milford assistant coach Fernando Rua said.

There were no team scores, only individual honors. Southeastern senior Chris Gregory won boys’ athlete of the meet after winning the 110 hurdles (15.33) and finishing third in the high jump (6-0).

For Gregory, coming from a Division 4 school, the opportunity to compete against bigger programs and stack himself against some of the best in the state meant as much to him as the hardware.

“I like people who are faster than me. I like working with people who are better than me because that pushes me to compete harder,” Gregory said.

Other highlights included sprinter/jumper Mari McBride headlining a strong team effort from Lexington. The senior was the only other athlete besides Simas to win two individual events, finishing first in the girls’ high jump (5-0) and the 400 (58.54).


Lexington’s Ava Criniti is hugged by her coach Rebecca Trachsel following her win in the girls' 2-mile.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Other Lexington winners included Ava Criniti in the girls’ 2 mile (state-best 11:04.46), Jayden Bai in the boys’ 200 (22.73), and the boys’ 4x400 of Bai, Joshua Lee, Ioannis Kontothanassis and Branndon Uda-Thach (3:27.56).

With temperatures eclipsing 84 degrees, Lexington coach Rebecca Trachsel believed the strong showing came just in time before championship season.

“They’re all dealing with the heat, so you just hope that they can sort of put that aside and embrace the fact that they’re doing it for the team,” Trachsel said.

Bellingham’s Natalie Krysta, who won the girls’ discus (130-2) and finished second in the girls’ shot put (36-1¼), was named girls’ field athlete of the meet, and Wellesley’s Rory Clare was named top runner after finishing second in the 2-mile (11:06.76) and third in the mile (5:15.89).

South Hadley’s Jonas Clarke took boys’ top running honors for his 100 win (10.66), and Apponequet’s Logan Miller’s winning 175-4 heave in the javelin earned him top thrower.

New Bedford’s Demetri Fontelle kicks up the sand after sticking his landing in the boys' long jump.Barry Chin/Globe Staff
Brooke Bibbo of Burlington reacts after she threw a personal best 39 feet, 7 1/2 inches to win the girls' shot put.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Joseph Pohoryles can be reached at joseph.pohoryles@globe.com.