Wayland was well represented to say the least at yesterday's All State Championship held at the Gardner Municipal Golf Course. The course in Gardner is the antithesis of a "track meet on grass" that characterizes many of the courses in this area. With relentless changes in slope and direction it's quite a challenge to establish and maintain a good rhythm. It's a layout that requires unwavering focus and the discretion not to start out too quickly. I was told by a coaching colleague from the DCL that there were people in the top 20 of the girls Division 1 (large schools) race who took a walking break at around the two mile mark. This is unthinkable for a competition at this level, and an indication of just how unforgiving the course can be.
In the boys Division 2 (small schools) race, Graham Macklin worked his way up steadily through the field to finish 35th overall. His race was a model of consistent effort and determination. The last time he competed in the All State meet in 2014 he finished 57th. Prior to that no male runner from Wayland had qualified for this level of competition since 2010.
In the girls Division 2 race Sarah Tully ran masterfully, working her way up through the field from somewhere around 30th place in the first couple minutes, to the top 12 at the mile mark, then the top eight about halfway through, and finally as far up as second in the final mile. She held on for third place in the end, defeating the runners that finished ahead of her last weekend at the EMass Division 4 meet. Combining the results of the D1 and D2 races, Sarah had the fifth fastest time of the day overall. In the past four years, Sarah has finished 15th, 12th, 5th and now 3rd at this meet. She is the only member of the Class of 2017 in Massachusetts to finish in the top 15 at the All State meet all four years of her high school career. In addition she is the only member of the Class of 2017 from Eastern Massachusetts to finish in the top five at the EMass Divisional Championship four years in a row. To say this is a remarkable record of consistent excellence is an understatement.