Lowell won all but three events against Central Catholic, while Billerica beat Haverhill, 65-35.
Last February at the MIAA All-State Track-and-Field Meet, the Lowell boys came away with the championship title compiling 44 points, which was six better than Wellesley. League rival Central Catholic didn’t score a single point.
Now 11 months later, on Jan. 9 at the Boston University Track and Tennis Facility, the two teams met with the MVC Dual Meet Championship on the line. Lowell, minus several big performers from last year including All State finalists David Ajama (high jump) and Brian Callery (shot put), returned a strong core of athletes this year headed up by Richmond Kwaateng, Samuel Mutiso and a host of other talented kids.
Central was returning just two kids who participated in individual events at last year’s All-State Meet with James Pothier and Dominic Tritto.
That being said, you would have thought that Lowell would have easily walked away with the title, but that wasn’t the case. Central certainly gave a terrific push and effort — especially early on when the meet was much closer — which fell short as Lowell took the MVC Division 1 Dual Meet Championship title with a 61-39 score.
“This is easily their best meet of the season,” said Lowell head coach Scott Ouellet. “We had great efforts across the board. We’re strong in the throws, the jumps, the sprints and the distance events, so all phases, we’re balanced. We have good depth. Our leaders, Samuel (Mutiso), Richmond (Kwaateng), Luis (Cadime) in the shot put — just really up and down – our distance guys are rock solid so we really don’t have a hole (in our line-up).”
The MVC runs three league meets with the first two consisting of every team facing the rest of the MVC teams. From there, the top two teams record wise, face off in the third series for the right to win the title, while the teams below record wise get paired off as well. Both Central and Lowell came into the meet with 9-1 records against MVC D1 teams, while Lowell was 19-1 overall comapred to Central’s 18-2 mark.
Lowell won all but three of the events against Central, while, there were five indivuals who combined for six overall first places, as well as one relay team, against the entire league. Richmond Kwaateng won both the 55-meter dash (6.57) and long jump (21-11.00) and then was part of the winning 4×200 relay team along with Jakob Rivers, Samuel Mutiso and Franco Recto with a combined time of 1:31.44.
Mutiso also won the 55-meter hurdles at 7.70 seconds, while other winners included David Vandi in the 1,000 (2:38.32), Ricky Thyne in the mile (4:32.24) and Luis Cadime in the shot put (49-04.50).
Central was led by senior Evan Mills, who was the team’s only overall winner as he took the 600 at 1:25.73. Also having strong performances included James Sorenson, who was fourth in the long jump (19-11), while taking fifths included Pothier in the 600 (1:26.85), Jeyis Gomez in the high jump (5-10) and Brendan Cesati in the shot put (42-10). Also the 4×400 relay team of Kaiden Nobrega, Sorenson, Bobby Bakhtiari and Mills were second at 3:33.22.
In the MVC Division 2 portion of the race, the Billerica boys came away with a 65-35 victory over Haverhill to earn the league title outright, as last year the Indians were co-champs with Tewksbury.
“The guys came out and performed their hardest and did what they have been doing all season,” said Billerica head coach Shaun Corum. “We have such a strong group of seniors. We went up against such a strong team in Haverhill, who really, really helped push ourselves to be our best. This was good, especially for the seniors and I’m really proud of them.”
Senior Stephen Harris had another strong day for Billerica. He re-broke his school record in the 300-meter dash with a time of 35.65. He then joined up with Ryan D’Agostino, William West and Rodrigo Freitas to take second place in the 4×200 relay with a combined time of 1:32.13.
Also placing in the top five in the overall competition, included Freitas with a third place in the 300 (36.17), taking fourths included Thomas Dinsmore in the 600 (1:26.72) and John Holdenin the mile (4:38.27), while Conor Doherty (10:10.22) and Brandon Marion (10:12.62) were fourth and fifth in the two-mile, and finally, D’Agostino was fifth in both the long jump (19-04.25) and the 55-meter dash (6.84).
Other overall first-place finishes came from Andover’s Michael Makiej in the high jump (6-4), Methuen’s Xavier Metivier in the two-mile (9:50.26), while the Methuen 4×400 relay team of John Dowgiert, Michael Soucy, Anthony Fortuna and Stanley Hanci, ran the best time in the state at 3:30.24. The next meet for all of these teams together will be the MVC Championship to be held on February 7 at the Reggie Lewis Center.