Duren continued her phenomenal season with a big year-over-year jump to win a first-place podium spot.
Last year as a sophomore, Central Catholic’s Katharine Duren finished eighth at the All-State Meet in the 55-meter hurdles. Normally, anyone would be elated with that, but during her race, she fell at a hurdle and went on to finish with a time of 10.43 seconds.
A year later, and determined all season long to be the best in the state, Duren had no flaws whatsoever at Saturday’s meet, flying over each hurdle with ease to come away with the title with a time of 8.19 seconds.
“I have been working really hard these last few weeks with really getting my starts down because a few weeks ago I didn’t do all that great with my starts so I wanted to work on that and it paid off,” she said.
Duren was asked about her mental approach to the race, knowing that she was once again up against the very best.
“I just tell myself that you prepared, you worked hard, you shouldn’t be worried and there’s no need to be nervous so just to stay calm in these situations,” she said.
The other Central place finisher was Kaleigh Lane, who was eighth in the 600 at 1:37.83.
Two other individuals took home first places, including Tewksbury’s Makayla Paige and Billerica’s Nicole Anderson.
Paige won the 600-meters for the second straight year – and was second as a freshman – with a time of 1:30.61.
“No matter the situation is, winning all-states is an incredible accomplishment,” said Tewksbury head coach Fran Cusick. “You are the best in your event in the entire state and Massachusetts is a very good state for track-and-field. I think Makayla was feeling the triple (event day) from last week’s (divisional meet) in her legs. She did the 600, 300 and 4×200 relay and that’s a really hard triple to do. I think she was still feeling it during the week but that being said, she ran a tremendous race. She took it from the gun and just dominated.”
Anderson was battled tested throughout her 1,000 meter race behind strong efforts from Annie Jackson of Boston Latin early on and then Emma Sullivan of Shepard Hill Regional several different times, before Anderson got some space on the final straightaway.
“It was a little different than last week,” said Anderson. “I’m not quite sure how it played out with the girls fighting for second position, but one of the biggest changes was that, Annie Jackson got right on my shoulders. She came out really hard out of the barrel and she got right on my shoulder after the first lap so I knew right then that the (rest of the runners) wanted it just as bad I did and it would be a really tough race.”
Anderson then joined her twin sister Deidra, as well as Hannah Doherty and Sydney Diorio to place fifth in the 4×800 relay race with a collective time of 9:33.62. Right before Nicole’s 1,000 race, Deidra, who was seeded 17th, placed eighth in the mile with an incredible personal-record time of 5:13.63.
North Andover had a very strong day. Sarah Lavery was fourth in the high jump at 5-6, Kelcy Dion and Courtney Dalke were fifth and seventh in the 600 at 1:36.80 and 1:37.55, and then the two of them along with Ainsley Dion and Katie Wojcik were fourth in the 4×400 at 4:03.45.
Andover had two place finishers with Jodi Parrott seventh in the hurdles at 8.19 seconds and Molly Kiley eighth in the two-mile at 11:19.15.