By Christopher Smith
---- — BOSTON — Central Catholic hurdler Alex Dehullu hasn’t had the indoor track season he quite expected.
His best time in the 55-meter hurdle last year was 8.01. But he was seeded seventh with a top time of 8.05 this season entering yesterday’s Division 2 state track meet at the Reggie Lewis Center.
“I’ve had some bad meets this year,” Dehullu admitted. “I just haven’t been the same as I was last year.”
But Dehullu was at his very best yesterday. He ran a 7.83 to claim second place and advance to All-States. He finished just behind winner Ryan Maney of Reading (7.81).
“I’m very happy but a little disappointed I lost by .02,” he said, smiling. “But yeah, I’m good with second.”
Central senior Ryan Doherty said Dehullu is one of the best athletes on the track team.
“He comes out and competes every day,” Doherty said. “He wasn’t getting the times that he wanted. But he definitely competes. It’s not a lack of effort. It’s not a lack of talent.”
Dehullu’s goal yesterday was to beat his seed time.
“I knew I could do better than I have,” he said. “I just really wanted to get one of the top places and make All-States.”
Dehullu helped Central take fifth with 23 points in the boys meet. North Andover took 14th place with 12 points.
In the girls meet, North Andover finished 10th with 22 points. Central took 13th with 16 points.
Knights win 4x800
North Andover boys’ 4x800 relay was seeded fifth with a time of 8:19.26 entering the meet.
But not only are Dan Marino, Chris Dalke, Zach Frahlich and Jacob Johns headed to All-States, but the boys also are state champs. They won with a time of 8:12.58.
That obliterated the school record they already had set this year.
Johns ran the last leg, taking his team from third to first.
“It was incredible just to see him take off from those guys,” Frahlich said. “It was quite a sight. I handed it off and after that he just took off. It’s the best I’ve ever seen him run.”
Johns was very motivated before running.
“I told these guys if they could get me the baton in the top three, then I would take care of it and get the win,” Johns said. “The last lap hurt so bad. I was so scared of the guys coming behind me that I just knew I needed to get it.”
Marino added: “We were aiming for top three to get us to All-States, trying to qualify for nationals. We’ve just been looking at this as a goal all season long. It feels good to finally reach it.”
Chris Dalke called the win “a big deal.”
“Every time we run this it’s been at a big meet like this so it’s a lot more competitive and fun,” Dalke said.
Slein takes third
Central senior Colleen Slein, a Salem resident, missed her PR by two inches, but she still finished third in the shot put (35-6).
“I’m very satisfied,” she said. “This is my first trip to All-States. I’m really excited. I’m pumped up.”
And Slein should be. The senior has only been throwing the shot put for two years.
“I started as a sprinter and then I realized sprinting is just not for me,” she said. “It definitely was a good transition.”
Slein has come a long way in a short time. Her best throw at her first meet was in the 20s.
“But it’s only been up from there,” she said. “So I can’t complain. I have great coaches.”
Slein has been accepted at UNH, but she also has applied to the Air Force Academy. She will hear back from the Air Force Academy next month.
Frosh takes third
North Andover freshman Catherine Flaherty took third in the high jump (5-2) despite an eighth seed.
The fourth, fifth and sixth-place finishers also jumped 5-2.
“I was the only one (of them) that cleaned,” she said. “So I didn’t miss any until 5-4.”
Flaherty who is 6-foot started high jumping in the eighth grade. Her height certainly is an advantage.
“It helps me with my body to get up higher and stretch further,” she said.
Flaherty said her dad stills holds the Andover High record for the 300 yard dash.
Central senior Ryan Doherty is headed to All-States in the shot put after a throw of 51-1 and a third-place finish yesterday.
“I’m pretty happy with it,” Doherty said. “I didn’t PR. But I felt good in my positions and I felt like I came out and did the best I could. Definitely I think another few days of practice will help.”
Doherty plans to throw the shot put in college next year. The 2012 Eagle-Tribune defensive Player of the Year also is looking to play football.
“I’m trying to do both and still trying to make that decision,” Doherty said.
Doherty has been accepted at Stonehill, Assumption and Merrimack. He plans to study business management.
Division 2 boys State Meet
Team results: 1. Reading 49; 2. North Attleborough 38; 3. Mansfield 37; 5. Central 23; 14. North Andover 12
55 hurdles: 2. Alex Dehullu (Central) 7.83, 7. D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie (Central) 8.11; 1,000: 5. Danny O’Connell (Central) 2:36:19; SP: 3. Ryan Doherty (Central) 51-1; 4x200: 6. Anthony Gentile, Dehullu, D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie, Dan Wilson (Central) 1:34.93; 4x800: 1. Dan Marino, Chris Dalke, Zach Frahlich, Jacob Johns (North Andover) 8:12.58; 4x400: 7. David Rose, Joe Mosby, Ross Hardy, Kyle Quinn (North Andover) 3:34.46
Division 2 State girls Meet
Team results: 1. Notre Dame Hingham; 49; 2. Marshfield 42; 3. Winchester 41; 10. North Andover 22; 13. Central 16
55 meter hurdles: 7. Melissa Mackey (Central) 9.0; 300: 5. Jenna Smolag (North Andover) 42.43; 600: 4. Maggie Carey (Central) 1:37.69; ; 1,000: 6. Erin Dwinell (Central) 3:06.16; SP: 3. Colleen Slein (Central) 35-6; 4. Courtney Green (North Andover) 35-0; 7. Katie McManus (North Andover) 33-3; HJ: 3. Catherine Flaherty (North Andover) 5-2; 4x800: 7. North Andover 9;55.12; 4x400: 6. Deven Sportelli, Carrie Manteiga, Mary Lavery, Jenna Smolag (North Andover) 4:11.78