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Mired in a monthslong slump, Tewksbury’s Alex Arbogast found his footing in the 200 meters at the MIAA Division 4 state track championships

Tewksbury's Alex Arbogast broke through after a disappointing league meet to win the 200 meters.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

HINGHAM — As Tewksbury senior Alex Arbogast crossed the finish line of the boys’ 200-meter dash Friday, he pumped his arms in jubilation and let out a triumphant yell.

Arbogast’s winning 200-meter effort (22.23) and new personal-best time during Day 1 of the MIAA Division 4 state championships at Notre Dame Academy was cause for celebration, but the exhale of emotion encapsulated far more than just one day’s performance.

At the indoor Meet of Champions in February, Arbogast stumbled at the wire of the 55 dash and fell hard on his shoulder, resulting in a third-place finish despite being favored entering the event. The defeat sent Arbogast into a self-described tailspin, as he finished second in both the 100 (11.12) and 200 (22.46) at last week’s Merrimack Valley championship meet.


“I just kept watching the video of me falling over and over, and it just hurt. It really hurt,” said Arbogast, who will run track at Rhode Island next year. “Then that losing carried into conference play last week . . . I was just really questioning my worth in this sport.”

But with his big victory Friday and the 100 dash on tap during Sunday’s second leg of the meet, Arbogast’s confidence is once again riding high.

“It got me down, just hearing people seem like they’re over me and forgetting about me,” Arbogast said. “I knew how badly I wanted it today and this weekend, and today was a good start to let them know that I’m back.”

Pembroke's Sarah Claflin won a competitive 200 final with the fastest time in the state this season.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Meanwhile, the drama built for the girls’ 200 during the preliminary trials, when the event’s three favorites — Pembroke junior Sarah Claflin, Burlington senior Grace Hanafin, and Tewksbury senior Jayani Santos — each won their respective heats by over a full second.

But in the jam-packed final field, the favorite Claflin prevailed with a new personal-best time of 24.58 seconds — the fastest girls’ 200 time in the state this season.


“When we all ran such good trials, it definitely hyped me up a little bit,” Claflin said. “Overall, I’m very happy with how it went.”

Sawyer O'Riorden of Nashoba clears 12 feet to win the boys' pole vault.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Gloucester junior Finn O’Hara faced an uphill battle in the boys’ 800 run, sitting third as he rounded the final turn. But for the long-distance specialist — Friday was only O’Hara’s fourth time running an 800 — his gameplan to let the more experienced runners set the pace paid off with a first-place finish (1:56.56) and three-second personal best.

“I thought if I could just hang with them for the first lap, that aerobic capacity would come in and I could use that distance training at the last 200 [meters] to give it all my might,” O’Hara said.

The perennial powerhouse Burlington boys’ (50.33 points) lead second-place Tewksbury (38 points), behind Elijah Wolinski’s winning 400 hurdles (56.12). Rithikh Prakash’s winning 2-mile (9:24.38), and the team placing in seven of the eight events run thus far.

The Newburyport girls’ (37 points) hold a 14-point lead over second-place Pembroke (23 points) behind Hailey LaRosa (11:03.82) and Abby Kelly (11:16.97) placing first and third, respectively, in the 2-mile.

Holliston's Maggie Kuchman wins the 800-meter run. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

MIAA Division 4 Championship at Notre Dame Academy


200m — 1. Alex Arbogast, Tewksbury, 0:22.23; 2. Andrew Gleason, Pembroke, 0:22.42; 3. Lael Jean-Baptiste, Northeast, 0:22.64.

400m hurdles — 1. Elijah Wolinski, Burlington, 0:56.12; 2. Nate Gardner, Gloucester, 0:56.65; 3. Ben Cagemi, East Longmeadow, 0:57.58.

800m — 1. Finn O’Hara, Gloucester, 1:56.56; 2. Eric Sekyaya, Burlington, 1:57.05; 3. Carter Rauch, Bedford, 1:57.11.


2-mile — 1. Rithikh Prakash, Burlington, 9:24.38; 2. Henry Gartner, Falmouth, 9:26.53; 3. Bradford Duchesne, Newburyport, 9:27.79.

Pole vault — 1. Sawyer O’Riorden, Nashoba, 12 feet 0 inches; 2. Daniel Kolman, Newburyport, 11-6; 3. Logan Walsh, Ludlow, 11-0.

Triple jump — 1. Elijah Achonolu, Tewksbury, 43 feet 4.25 inches; 2. Ryan Cuvier, Tewksbury, 43-2.75; 3. Jalen Wise, Newburyport, 42-11.

Discus — 1. Logan Alfandari, Amherst-Pelham, 157 feet 3 inches; 2. Moniha Krouch, Amherst-Pelham, 144-1; 3. Patrick Norman, Pembroke, 142-3.

Pentathlon — 1. Jack Newton, Gloucester, 2886 points; 2. Dan O’Malley, Foxborough, 2885; 3. Paxton Green, Tewksbury, 2696.


200m — 1. Sarah Claflin, Pembroke, 0:24.58; 2. Grace Hanafin, Burlington, 0:25.1; 3. Jayani Santos, Tewksbury, 0:25.3.

400m hurdles — 1. Brooke McCarthy, Scituate, 1:07.06; 2. Audrey Callahan, Medfield, 1:08.62; 3. Faith Keroack, Ludlow, 1:09.73.

800m — 1. Maggie Kuchman, Holliston, 2:19.84; 2. Madeline Mahoney, Nauset, 2:21.7; 3. Blake Parker, Newburyport, 2:22.6.

2-mile — 1. Hailey LaRosa, Newburyport, 11:03.82; 2. Ella Bosselman, Holliston, 11:16.15; 3. Abigail Kelly, Newburyport, 11:16.97.

Triple jump — 1. Camilla Brewer, Northampton, 36 feet 6 inches; 2. Caitlin Heus-Smith, Wayland, 35-8.75; 3. Megan Hurd, Gloucester, 35-5.5.

Discus — 1. Ryann Welzel, Dighton-Rehoboth, 113 feet 1 inches; 2. Courtnegail Rose, Amherst-Pelham, 109-3; 3. Jessica Lin, Bedford, 108-10.

Pentathlon — 1. Catrena Ghattas, Pembroke, 2951 points; 2. Cora Laverty, Burlington, 2743; 3. Elizabeth Luo, Longmeadow, 2614.

Matty Wasserman can be reached at matty.wasserman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Matty_Wasserman.