Madden is state champ; hardware earned by both teams


BOSTON—The Melrose High boys and girls indoor track had one of their best appearances at States in years when they competed at the Div. 3 Indoor Track State Finals at the Track at New Balance last Saturday.

A state champion was crowned on the boys’ side thanks to the efforts of Melrose junior Sam Madden, who became the Div. 3 State Champion in the high jump, which he won with a reach of 6’04.

He spoke of his achievement after the event. “It’s an amazing feel and with all the support I have gotten this year from my coaches family and friends it makes is even better,” says Madden.

He has qualified for All States this weekend along with the Melrose boys’ 4×400 relay team, who earned silver on Saturday. 

Madden, a standout football player, initially starting high jump as a means to stay in shape. But this year he reached his best ever height of 6’4, which he matched on Saturday. “It really took a turn for the better this year,” he says. “With an event like high jump having a positive mindset is just as important as anything. And I had a great week of practice and the goal on winning in my head all week.”

Overall, there was an abundance of records collected on both sides. 

Melrose’s girls team had an outstanding day thanks in part to Cadence L’Heureux who earned medals in 3 events: long jump, 600 and as a member of the 4×800 relay team that consisted of Darby Thompson, Emma Drago, and Amy Rowe, who collectively became state silver medalists with a second place finish. Melrose’s Reilly Powell had a strong day, earning two medals in the 1 mile (6th) and 2 mile (8th) Other runners who had qualified and competed were Ava Picone and Emma Drago in the 600, Abby Taylor and Dmitra Mukasa in the long jump, Adeline Lawlor and Maizie Frakt (PR) in the 1 mile. Additionally, Darby Thompson earned her PR by a time of two seconds in the 1000. 

“Everyone who ran exceeded expectations,” said Melrose girls head coach Shannon Kane. “The seniors on the team have done a great job helping to develop the team’s skill and mindset.” 

She pointed out the exemplary work of Cadence L’Heureux. “We can rely on her in high pressure situations. She’s adapt on the fly, unafraid to try something new.”

With both teams cracking the top 10 for place finishes as a team, it’s worth noting the dramatic upswing in team results. Last season Melrose placed 24th  (boys) and 32nd (girls) as teams and this season they placed 4th and 10th, highlighting a mark of great seasons.

Melrose’s boys’ team had one of their best team performances at states in many years with a fourth place finish thanks to several medal-grabbing efforts. The top of which was Sam Madden’s dynamic jump but Melrose also crowned a state silver medalist 4×400 relay team behind the work of Jevon Ssebugwawo, Matt Sarnoski, Adam Caldwell and Sam O’Donnell.

Teammate Josh Grant also landed on the podium with a 5th place finish in the 55 dash. Giancarolo Martinis-Torres got a PR during his preliminary race in the 55 dash and finished on the podium in 7th. Caleb Barnes medaled twice with a 5th place finish in the 2 mile and an 8th place finish in the mile. 

Those who qualified and competed for coach Tim Morris squad were Brendan Radzik in the 300 and long jump, Charlie Finocchiaro in the high jump, Tommy McElligot in the long jump, Matt Sarnoski and Sam O’Donnell in the 600, Adam Caldwell in the 1000 and Ben Dugan in the 1 mile.

Coach Tim Morris couldn’t be prouder of the team’s efforts all season. Depth prevailed in 2024. “Our kids kept improving all season long and we were able to stay away from injuries. We had a good blend of veterans and younger guys. Real multi spot athletes from soccer, cross country and football. We’re excited to have a state champ in Sam and other athletes who will move on to States.”

He tips his cap to his medaled athletes, particularly his seniors. “Senior Sam O’Donnell had a strong season in the 600 and relay. Adam Caldwell was another guy who had an outstanding season. Jovan [Ssebugwawo] worked hard all season to help the team in the 300 and relays. Sprinter Josh Grant is running his best time at the end of the season in the 55 meter along with Tommy McElligott, Tyler Lecomte and Brendan Radzik in the 4×200. And Giancarlo [Martinis-Torres] showed strong improved all winter and did the job on Saturday. Iron Man distance runner Caleb Barnes [junior] continues to be the team guy, running whatever we need. The mile, 2-mile and relays, sometimes on the same day!”

Coach Kane, meanwhile, loves the growth she’s seen in a year. “Overall, as a team, these girls have come a long way. Last season Cadence scored us one point in the 600. This season we had multiple points and came in 10th. We are still building every day and getting ready for Nationals and the outdoor season.”