Boys Track 2024

THE WAKEFIELD High boys’ track and field team won the 2024 Div. 4 State Championship after a thrilling meet that came down to the wire at Westfield State on Saturday. It was the third outdoor state title for the boys’ team since 2018. (Courtesy Photo)

WESTFIELD — The long trip out to Westfield State University on Thursday and again on Saturday proved to be well worth it as the Warrior boys’ track and field team pulled off a thrilling victory at the Division 4 State Championship.

With many things that did not go as planned, the athletes came up big in other areas including all three relays at the end of the meet when Wakefield, Burlington and Pembroke were all still in it until the last event.

In the very end, the Warriors bested Burlington by 3 points and Pembroke by 5.5 points. The winning total for Wakefield was 78.5. Every inch on the field and every fraction of a second on the track was the difference.

The highlight of Thursday’s day one of competition was senior Joseph Patt reclaiming his State Championship title in the pentathlon. Patt was the champion as a sophomore and last year he placed 2nd while dealing with an injury leading up to the meet.

This year, he was in top form and it was evident from the first event that he was there to compete. His 110 meter hurdle race was a big personal best of 15.51 to kick things off and he led the meet from the start. Onto the long jump, he leaped 20’0.25”, which was one of the top jumps of the day and good enough to allow him to maintain the lead.   

It was the shot put that really allowed Patt to distance himself from the field of 12 qualifiers as he dropped a bomb of 42 ‘8.25 “. It was a personal best throw and number one throw of the whole field. Patt was then one of the final remaining in the high jump by clearing 5 ‘8.75”. Going into the final event, the 1500 meters, Patt had to endure nearly a mile of effort and completed the event in 4 minutes and 50 seconds to be crowned the champion once again.

Senior Ethan Gori ran a great race in the 200 meters to place 4th in a personal best of 22.53.

In the 400 hurdles, junior Brody Wyatt placed 11th with a time of 61.01. Junior Aidan Martin placed 27th in 64.25.

Senior William Mezikofksy had a strong race in the 800 meters with a personal best of 1:58.08 placing 6th. Junior Ethan Mezikofsky also ran a personal best of 1:59.52 placing 10th.

In the 2 mile, the Warriors had seven out of the 30 athletes competing. Senior Liam Taggart ran a smart and patient race to place 6th in a personal best of 9.42.12. Junior Andrew Nett was 11th in a personal best of 9:58.06. Senior Brendan Campea placed 13th in a personal best of 10:05.57 winning his section. Senior Ollie Polster was 15th running 10:12.92. Junior Brandon Nett ran 10:13.84 placing 17th. Senior Michael Arria placed 18th in 10:17.13. Sophomore Max Viselli finished with a time of 10:31.94 placing 26th.

Sophomore JaMauri Belmer placed 9th in the triple jump with a jump of 41’8.5”.

At the end of day one, the Warriors stood at 21 points which placed them in 3rd going into the second day of competition.

On Saturday, a trio of pole vaulters briefly put the Warriors in the lead. Junior Ryan Hogan had a very good day placing 3rd with a vault of 11 feet. Junior Henry Brown was 6th clearing 10’6”. Junior Jack Hodgdon tied for 7th clearing a personal best height of 10’6”.

Patt continued his winning ways following his pentathlon win to put another 10 points on the board by launching a 10 foot personal best of 171 ‘1″ for 1st in the javelin. He then raced over to the long jump with minimal warm up time and jumped 20’ 2.75” to place 15th.  Also in the javelin was junior Sean Callanan who placed 20th with a throw of 125’3”.

Junior Frankie Sullivan had a major breakthrough in the shot put when it mattered most, placing 4th overall with an outstanding throw of 47’4″. It was 4 feet better than his previous best.  The points Sullivan posted were critical in the final outcome of the meet.

In the mile, Taggart had his best race of the season and ran a personal best of 4:22.60  to place 6th, adding more points to the team score. Polster ran a time of 4:36.14 to place 22nd. Andrew Nett improved in the mile with a time of 4:38.12 after winning his heat and placing 25th overall. Junior George Palmer ran a personal best despite taking a tumble just feet from the finish line. He got back up to finish in 4:41.15. Arria finished in a time of 4:41.94. Campea ran 4:46.97. Freshman Alec Buonopane-Cohen ran 4:47.86.

In the 400 meters, sophomore Isaac Melo placed 11th with a time of 52.35.

Ethan Gori destroyed his previous personal best in the 100 meters while running the prelims in 11.04. He then ran another strong race in the 100 meter final to place 4th in 11.10.

The 4×800 meter relay team was victorious thanks to strong legs from Ethan Mezikofsky, Polster, William Mezikofsky and Taggart. Taggart held off a strong charge by an Amherst runner to get the win for the Warriors in 8:07.41.

The 4×100 meter relay team set a school record to take 2nd place and boost the Warriors back to 1st place in the team standings with one event to go. First year senior Logan Bayers led off, junior Adam Levy worked the back stretch and Melo set up Gori for a strong finish and the record of 43.63. Their new record breaks the 1996 record held by A. Lim, K. Spizuoco, T. Lyons, and M. Mahoney who ran a time of 43.65.

The Warriors went into the final event, the 4×400 meter relay, with a 2 point lead on Burlington and a 7.5 point lead over Pembroke who had a potentially winning team waiting to compete in the fast heat. Pembroke would be able to win the whole meet if they placed in the top 2 of the relay. Fortunately, Melo, just off the 4×100, the Mezikofskys, just off the 4×800 and Brody Wyatt were focused and knew what needed to be done. Despite only having a seed time of 3:35, they left everything on the track and held off a fast Burlington team with Wyatt as a worthy anchor to run 7 seconds faster than their entry time to win their heat in 3:28.88.

The only thing that the Warriors could do after that is wait.  

Pembroke did finish 2nd in the event but the Warriors’ time was good enough for 3rd place which allowed them to outscore the competition for the Division 4 State Championship title.

The win is the third outdoor championship in recent years, following the 2018 and 2022 titles and completes a year in which the Warriors won the indoor state title as well as the indoor and outdoor state relay championships.

“This was by far the most exciting meet that we have been a part of since taking over the program in 2009,” said head coach Ruben Reinoso. “You could not script a better ending to this meet. We needed every single athlete to step up in order to pull this off and the kids did just that.  

“I am so proud of the seniors, they have been a part of some really special teams and I am so happy to see them off as champions. Our seniors and captains have been able to carry the torch from previous teams and they truly have left our program better than how they found it. They have been great role models for our underclassmen and it shows in the way our whole team goes into these meets ready to compete.  

“I can honestly say that I am so lucky to work with such a dedicated group of athletes and coaches.”