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MSTCA COACHES INVITATIONAL | LARGE SCHOOLS

Wellesley boys go the distance at MSTCA Coaches Invitational

Roxbury Crossing, MA--1/26/2019--Jackson O'Toole of Wellesley anchored a 4x800m race at the MSTCA Coaches Invitational Large School track & field meet at the Reggie Lewis Center Saturday afternoon. (Nathan Klima) Topic: 27schtrack Reporter:The Boston Globe

Hundreds of athletes showed up to the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center on Saturday for the Large Schools MSTCA Coaches Invitational. But it was the distance boys from Wellesley who showed up big time.

With individual wins in the mile and 1000-meter run and a 4x800-meter relay first place finish, it was a successful day on the track for the Raiders’ boys.

“I just think hard work and good coaching,” said Wellesley head coach Larry Corda, when asked about the key to Saturday’s strong performances. “We had goals we wanted to achieve today, kind of worked towards them during the season and they achieved them today.”

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Three runners in the Raiders’ 4x800 doubled up. Wellesley junior Jackson O’Toole won the 1000-meter relay in 2:35.82 as he held off a late surge by Needham’s Cameron McLeod. O’Toole peered back, noticed McLeod and put on the jets.

“My strides were carrying me, not the other way around,” O’Toole said.

Wellesley’s 4x800-meter relay— with O’Toole anchoring — finished first (7:59.41) and fulfilled a team goal of cracking the 8 minute mark. Junior Jason Norris began for the Raiders and built a lead Wellesley never relinquished.

“After that first lap, I had to wade my around some people. By the third lap I was in the lead. There I was just driving,” Norris said.

Wellesley’s Colby Zarle was a double winner as well, winning the mile (4:18.54) and running a leg on the Raiders’ winning 4x800-meter relay.Nathan Klima for the Globe

Norris placed second in the mile at 4:22.93. His teammate, Colby Zarle, finished seconds ahead at 4:18.54 to take home the title.

“We’ve all been training well together, so I knew it was going to be a good race,” Zarle said after winning the mile.

On the girls’ side, Brookline sophomore Vivian McMahon ran strong out of the gate and finished strong, clocking out at 5:09.15 to win the 1-mile run.

“I hadn’t run the mile competitively this season, and throughout the whole race it was a very tight pack and I think that’s why I was able to get my time down so much today,” McMahon said. “I was really able to be pushed by my competitors.”

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McMahon used Saturday’s race as a tune-up for other postseason meets, where she will run the 2-mile.

“Today helps me with my speed, endurance, going into future meets,” McMahon said.

The Lowell girls’ 4x200-meter relay, with sophomore Elizabeth Tighe, senior Jordan Lamarre, senior Kemisha Lewis and freshman Casey Mitchell, ran a winning time of 1:46.71.

Lewis took the lead in the third leg and Mitchell ran anchor to secure the victory for the Red Raiders.

“I had a mindset of just run, don’t think too much, because we have a tendency of thinking too much,” Lewis said. “So we just went out there and did what we had to do.”

The girls, though pleased with their performances, know they can do even better.

“We know that we can do better than this,” Lamarre said. “Today was a great win for us but looking at this now we can definitely push ourselves to get a better time.”


Alex Bensley can be reached at alex.bensley@globe.com.