EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 24, 2013

All-State Track: O'Donnell victorious, Mayhew breaks 23-year-old record

By Christopher Smith

---- — Boston — Alex Mayhew and Haverhill coach Mike Maguire had a talk during the car ride down from Haverhill to the Reggie Lewis Center for All-States yesterday.

“I was talking to my coach and he was like, ‘What do you hope for today?’” Mayhew said. “I told him I wanted to do my best, try my best, work hard and hopefully go to New Englands.”

New Englands is just where Mayhew is headed after he had a brilliant performance.

The Haverhill senior took second in the 55 meter dash by running a school-record time of 6.50 in the finals after running a school-record tying time of 6.58 in the prelims.

Rusty White ran a 6.58 in 1990.

Mayhew didn’t run track last year because of “grades and family stuff,” he said.

At the beginning of this winter, Mayhew, who also has done cheerleading in high school, had a similar conversation with his coach that he had yesterday. Maquire asked him at the beginning of the about his goals.

“I told him my goals are to go to Nationals and to work hard and to beat the school record,” Mayhew said.

So far, so good. With yesterday’s second-place, Mayhew is one step closer to Nationals.

“I have my mom in the stands over there,” Mayhew said. “She is thrilled. She supported me through my high school career with track and cheerleading and everything I wanted to do. And she is here today and she gave me the strength and courage to go on.”

Yesterday, Mayhew actually beat Peabody’s Chris Cennami after losing to him in the Division 1 meet last week.

The Haverhill senior already is excited to run at New Englands.

“It is a good chance for me to progress, go hard and get better,” Mayhew said.

No stopping O’Donnell

No surprise here: Methuen’s Mike O’Donnell is the All-State champion in the mile. O’Donnell won in 4:15.81. Runner-up Patrick Coppinger was well back in 4:18.87

“I felt very comfortable even going into the last lap,” O’Donnell said. “I felt very strong.”

The time was O’Donnell’s indoor personal record for the mile. He has run the mile in a faster time outdoors.

“Faster times (come) outdoor because of longer straightaways,” O’Donnell said. “The turns slow you down. It doesn’t feel like it but it really does.”

O’Donnell will not run at New Englands. He already qualified for Nationals with his time at the New Balance Grand Prix so he will take off next week.

“I’ll do some long runs this week to kind of pick my endurance back up again,” said O’Donnell, who signed a scholarship to UConn.

O’Donnell’s time yesterday was the 15th fastest mile time in the country this winter.

“I definitely can move up from there,” he said.

Taking next week should help his time.

“A lot more than you think because I’ve been racing three or four hard weeks of races so just having that little break going into a big race, it just really makes you feel good,” he said.

Two throwers place

North Reading’s Emily Murray and Andover senior Cassie Kobelski advanced to New Englands in the shot put.

Murray threw 38-01.25 to place third and Kobelski threw 36-07.75 to finish fifth.

Murray’s throw was much better than her seed mark of 36-11.

“I was aiming for 39 today but I just couldn’t get there,” said Kobelski. “My biggest issue that I’ve been focusing on is relaxing. The tenser you get, the more you’re not allowed to move as much and get as much momentum from your throw. And I think that if I just managed to relax a little bit, keep everything nice and long, stay back in the circle, then I’ll be able to get an extra few feet.”

agateHed:Mass. All-State Boys Meet

agateText:Team scores (62 scored):@zzAgate:agateText: 1. Lowell 40; 2. Acton-Boxboro 36; 3. Cambridge Rindge & Latin 23; 15.tie Methuen 10; 20.tie Haverhill 8

agateText:Area results (top 8 score):

agateText: 55-meter dash@zzAgate:agateText:: 2. Alex Mayhew (Hav) 6.50, 15. D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie (CC) 8.20, 17. Alex Dehullu (CC) 8.28, 19. John Braga (NR) 8.35; @zzAgate:agateText:Mile@zzAgate:agateText:: 1. Mike O’Donnell (Methuen) 4:15.81; @zzAgate:agateText:600@zzAgate:agateText:: 18. John St. Hilaire (Meth) 1:26.20; @zzAgate:agateText:1,000@zzAgate:agateText:: Danny O’Connell (CC) DNF; @zzAgate:agateText:4x200@zzAgate:agateText:: 10. Andover 1:33.72; 15. Central 1:34.65; @zzAgate:agateText:4x800@zzAgate:agateText:: 19. North Andover 8:31.87; @zzAgate:agateText:4x400@zzAgate:agateText:: 10. North Andover 3:31.63; @zzAgate:agateText:HJ@zzAgate:agateText:: 18.tie Braga (NR) 6-0; @zzAgate:agateText:SP@zzAgate:agateText:: 13. Ryan Doherty (CC) 49-1; 16. Sam Weeks (Meth) 48-2.25

agateHed:Mass. All-State Girls Meet

agateText:Team scores@zzAgate:agateText:: 1. Newton North 27; 2. Acton-Boxboro 21; 3t. Cambridge Rindge & Latin, Lexington, Oxford 20; 34.tie North Reading 6; 39.tie Andover 4

agateText:Area results (top 8 score):

agateText:SP@zzAgate:agateText:: 3. Emily Murray (North Reading) 38-01.25; 5. Cassie Kobelski (Andover) 36-7.75, 15. Colleen Slein (CC) 32-9.75, 20. Courtney Green (NA) 31-7.75; @zzAgate:agateText:55 HH@zzAgate:agateText:: 9. Courtney Comeau (And) 8.86, 16. Melissa Mackey (CC) 9.02, 18. Jillian Gamache (And) 9.09; @zzAgate:agateText:mile@zzAgate:agateText:: 17. Jackie Solimine (Hav) 5:19.51; @zzAgate:agateText:1,000@zzAgate:agateText:: 19. Erin Dwinell (CC) 3:05.61; @zzAgate:agateText:300@zzAgate:agateText:: 16. Jenna Smolag (NA) 42.67; @zzAgate:agateText:2-mile@zzAgate:agateText:: 10. Riley Gilmore (Hav) 11:26.08; @zzAgate:agateText:4x200@zzAgate:agateText: 10. Andover1:48.85; @zzAgate:agateText:4x800@zzAgate:agateText:: 16. North Andover 9:53.16, 21. Andover 9:59.88; @zzAgate:agateText:4x400@zzAgate:agateText:: 10. North Andover 4:08.56; 19. Andover 4:14.86; @zzAgate:agateText:HJ@zzAgate:agateText:: 11.tie Catherine Flaherty (NA) 5-2; @zzAgate:agateText:LJ@zzAgate:agateText:: 18. Hannah Chapman (And) 15-7