The Central Catholic runner led an impressive showing from all the MVC teams. Duren Steals the Show With Division 2 State Meet Record

The Central Catholic runner led an impressive showing from all the MVC teams.

Earlier this winter season, MVC Sports Today ran a story about the talent and the depth of the hurdlers in the Merrimack Valley Conference on both the girls and the boys side.

One of the girls featured in the article by Central Catholic’s Katharine Duren and on Feb. 12, she proved that she is not only the best in the league, but in the state.

The junior tied the Eastern Mass Division 2 meet record of 8.20 seconds set by Jen Esposito of Mansfield back in 2012 with her first-place finish.

Central Catholic’s Katherine Duren, seen here atop the podium at the Feb. 7 MVC Championship, won the Division 2 55-meter hurdles, tying the meet record.

“I’ve been working on my starts and firing out of the blocks,” she said to the Boston Herald. “The preliminaries felt smooth and the start in the final felt really good. My second half of the race has been quicker than the start for most of the season.”

In addition to her first-place finish, Duren was part of the fifth-place 4×200 relay team along with Grace Lydon, Victoria Moda and Faith Lee, who came in at 1:47.66, and was also eighth in the long jump at 16-10.50.

Lee was also sixth in the 600 at 1:38.73.

Also scoring for Central – who finished third as a team – included third places from Emily DiMonico in the shot put (35-11.00) and Carla Bouchrouche in the 55-meter hurdles (8.91) and the 4×400 relay team of Bouchrouche, Elizabeth Dankert, Ciera LiCare and Kaleigh Lane, who had a combined time of 4:07.66.

Lane was also sixth in the 600 at 1:38.83 and Kelsey Seamans was eighth in the two-mile at 11:46.28.

North Andover finished sixth as a team and were led by two first place finishes. The 4×800 relay team of Aisling Callahan, Ainsley Dion, Kelcey Dion and Courtney Dalke broke a meet record with a combined time of 9:32.79. The other first-place came from Sarah Lavery in the high jump as she cleared 5-6.

Dalke was also second in the 600 at 1:37.26, while Kelcey Dion was third at 1:37.93 and Ainsley Dion was eighth at 1:40.64. The two Dion sisters joined Katie Wojcik and Dalke to finish fifth at 4:10.68. Gwendolyn Burton rounded out the scoring as she tied for sixth in the high jump clearing 4-10.

Chelmsford had one place finisher, Kathleen Dolan, who was seventh in the shot put throwing 32-06.50.

On the boys side, Central Catholic was second as a team with North Andover third and Chelmsford had one relay team place.

Leading the way for Central was Evan Mills, who won the 600 at 1:23.60 and Nathan Hebert, who won the 55-meter hurdles at 7.68 seconds. Mills also joined James Pothier, Kaiden Nobrega and James Sorenson to take fourth in the 4×400 with a time of 3:34.08. Hebert, Nobrega, Sorenson and Alex Hay finished seventh in the 4×200 with a time of 1:34.56.

Pothier also picked up a third in the 1,000 meters at 2:33.09, Jeyis Gomez was seventh in the high jump clearing 5-8 and then the 4×800 relay team of Luke Ryan, Bobby Baktiari, Cormac Crippen and Matt Giannasca finished seventh in the 4×800 with a time of 8:37.27.

North Andover had one winner, the 4×400 relay team of Andrew Holland, Peter Martel, Paul Fernandez and Jack Chace, who had a time of 3:29.69. The 4×200 team of Fernandez, Chace, Angel Gonzalez and Sebastian Vente finished second at 1:32.48, as did the 4×800 team of Jack Determan, Leniel Veguilla, Jett Stad and Matthew Chicko with a time of 8:05.58.

The other individual place finishers include Matthew Palmisano with a third in the high jump (6-0), fourth places by James Sorenson in the long jump (21-03), Osamuyimen Osayimwen in the shot put (45-05.75), Chicko in the 600 (1:24.79), a sixth from Connor McGarry in the 55-meter hurdles (8.12), a seventh from Matthew Grella in the shot put (43-05.75) and a tie for seventh by Nathan Jacques in the high jump (5-8).

Chelmsford’s lone place finish came from the 4×800 relay team of Matt Higgins, Matt Shoup, Ethan Lafontant and Stephen Spofford, who finished eighth at 3:36.02.


Dracut had one place finish on both the boys and girls side. DJ Gagnon was fourth in the shot put throwing 48-10.75 and Juliana DeMartino was seventh in the same event, tossing 32-10.75.

Jamie Pote

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