BAND OF brothers. MHS state-qualified athletes (from left) Gabe Buffonge, Ben Donovan, Caleb Barnes, Will Dugan, Ryan Cotugno, Stone Liu, and Ellis Iurilli-Hough helped Melrose earn some medal at the Div. 3 State Finals at Westfield State. Missing from photo: Trentyn Hodges. (courtesy photo)


Gabe Buffonge advances to All States



WESTFIELD—The Melrose High boy’s outdoor track team competed at the Div. 3 State Championship at Westfield State from May 27-29 and used their powerful distance runners, hurdlers and sprinters to help collect medals on the day.

Melrose bronze medalist Gabe Buffonge will see another day and will represent Melrose at All States this weekend. His time of 15.84 in the 110 hurdles nearly topped the pack of all athletes in the division.

Melrose showed particular strength in their distance running and saw 2-miler Caleb Barnes, freshman, medal in 8th in the 2 mile with a time of 9:59.67. That was a race that Melrose showed depth in, as teammate Elis lurilli-Hough finished a strong 14th.

Melrose was just as adept in the 1 mile and saw fine efforts by lurilli-Hough with a 11th place finish of 4:40.13. Senior captain Ryan Cotugno also had a day and was neck-in-neck with his teammate in the mile, with a 12th place finish and a time of 4:41.45. Cotugno finished his tremendous high school career also by representing Melrose in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:05 for a 14th place finish.


THE MELROSE High boy’s outdoor track team saved the best for last in a medal-winning day at the Div. 3 State Finals at Westfield States. (courtesy photo)


Another senior runner who saved his best for last was captain Will Dugan, who ran the 1 mile for a finish of 4:53. His teammate Caleb Barnes was with him in the pack with a time of 4:49.

Hurdles was represented by Melrose’s Russell O’Donnell, who nearly medaled with a 10th place finish and a time of 61.35. Triple jump was competed by Trentyn Hodges who reached 39’00 for a great 15th place finish.

Collectively, the group put together a very competitive 4×800 relay team. Ryan Cotugno, Will Dugan, Elis lurilli-Hough and senior Ben Donovan finished 13th with a time of 8:47.97.

While Buffonge continues to All States, Melrose says goodbye to their senior athletes who competed over the weekend: Ryan Cotugno, Will Dugan and Ben Donovan.

Proud coach Tim Morris has seen years of their talent on display and will miss their commitment and grit. “Our seniors were very dedicated and showed steady improvement in their 4 years,” he says. “They displayed leadership by toughening it out through injuries. Ryan, Will and Ben had one last run in that relay and once again showed the grit that we will miss.”