Jun. 27—You can debate almost anything in sports. But don't dare claim that any other community in Massachusetts produces high hurdlers like Lawrence does.
At least not this year.
In one of the greatest athletic performances in area history, boy or girl, in any sport, Central Catholic senior Katharine Duren figuratively lapped the field with her winning 100-meter hurdles time of 13.72. That's tied for 15th for high schoolers nationally this spring.
That crushed her area record (14.04 in the prelims) and demolished the state and New England high school records, which were both held by Triton Regional of Byfield great Deanna Latham, who ran a 13.93 in 2010.
To beat a New England record in a sprint-type race by that margin is highly unusually and historic.
Duren, a senior from Haverhill who has signed with Division 1 Alabama-Birmingham, repeated as All-State girls champ. She won in 14.33 in 2019.
Lawrence High junior Jordany Volquez won the boys title at the meet in Norwell. Few communities were hit as hard by COVID so even with his considerable talent it seemed a long shot a few months back that he would be winning an All-State title. But then he had that blistering 14.08 last week at Division 1 North. Yesterday, he did it again, with a 14.10 to take the crown, beat Winchester's brilliant junior Easton Tan, who ran a 14.01 to beat Volquez last week.
When asked to summarize her day and her career, Duren said, "Super grateful. It flew pretty fast. It's crazy that it's over."
Of course, nothing seems to "fly pretty fast" like the incomparable Duren.
She had that monster race in her, but would it come out? Duren's a team-player first and all those heats in the 200 and relays and long jump are draining. For All-States she ran just the hurdles and that monster race came out.
She said, "I knew I could. I just needed to run it."
Duren's sister, Janessa, ran both hurdles races yesterday.
"I'm probably more nervous watching her," said Katharine, who will be reporting to UAB in mid-August. She's uncertain if she'll run any races this summer.
Volquez heaped praise on his head coach/hurdles coach Bill Meuse and his mom, Yelny Grullon.
He said, "Coach Meuse, that's my guy. He's the reason why I'm here."
Mom was away on vacation but she received the first call after the race.
Volquez said, "We're proud to have two hurdles champs. We practice on the same track (Lawrence High's Perry-Kent Track). It's nice to see her do her thing and rep Lawrence."
Jordany moved to the city from North Brunswick, New Jersey, before eighth grade. He hit the ground running as a Lancer freshman and now is an All-State champ, the best of nearly 300 Mass. high schools with track and field.
"I just did what I had to do," said Volquez. "I stayed home the whole week. It was practice, home and rest and then did it again. That's what it takes and I'm willing to do it."
He wanted to run a bit faster after the 14.08 last week but not too many athletes at a school with Lawrence's proud athletic tradition can say they were All-State champs.
"I don't want to get too greedy but I really wanted that 13 (seconds)," he said. "We'll put in the work in the offseason. Next year it won't even be a question. It's two weeks off, then into the weight room."
Coach Meuse was beaming with pride.
He said, "It was surreal. He's such a great kid and works so hard. He was laser focused. He's trying to win that state championship every day in practice."
GOOSE WAS GOLDEN
Will "Goose" Gossman led another strong North Andover performance with the girls placing 10th and the boys 12th. Gossman was a triple-placer in the two-day event (Thursday and Saturday). Ava Nassar came up big with a 12.38 for third in the 100 meters and ran on the fifth-place 4x100 team.
The Scarlet Knight boys 4x400 squad of Matthew Kutz, Andrew Howard, Gossman and Peter Martel took the silver in a school-record time of 3:22.59.
St. John's Prep senior Jarrett Young of Haverhill was one of the stars of the meet with a second in the 200 (21.95) and a first in the 400 (48.90).
Pentucket's Sabrina Campbell, Sage Smith, Kinneal Dickens and Reese Gallant ran a school-record 49.69 for fourth in the 4x100.
Mass. All-States (Boys)
Team scores (80 scored): 1. Acton-Boxboro 37, 2.tie St. John's Prep and Stoughton 37; 10. North Andover 19, 13. Lawrence 14, 38.tie Andover 6
Area Placers (top 8):
4x800: 3. Andover (Colin Kirn, Cameron Kirn, DJ Walsh, Neil Chowdhury 8:06.88; Pole vault: 3. Peter Martel NA 13-6; Javelin: 5. Will Gossman (NA) 162-11; Triple jump: 5. Eddy Gonzalez Law 43-11; 110 hurdles: 1. Jordany Volquez Law 14.10; 400: 1. Jarrett Young SJP/Haverhill 48.90, 8. Will Gossman NA 50.82; 200: 2. Jarrett Young SJP/Haverhill 21.95; 4x400 relay: 2. North Andover (Matthew Kutz, Andrew Howard, Will Gossman, Peter Martel) 3:22.59
Mass. All-States (Girls)
Team scores (81 scored): 1. Westford 40.5, 2. Wellesley 34, 3. Concord-Carlisle 31; 12.tie North Andover 18, 22.tie Central Catholic 11; 24tie Andover 10, 47.tie Pentucket 5, 67tie Haverhill 2
Area Placers (top 8):
4x800: 6. North Andover Hannah Martin, Leigha Leavitt, Abby Mastromonaco, Aisling Callahan) 9:38.32; Pole vault: 3. Olivia Foster And 10-0; 4. Gabby Bresnick And 9-0; 6. Lily Brown And 9-0; 6. Shayla Quill And 9-0; Javelin: 6. Sara Folan (And) 109-07; 7. Molly Owen (Haverhill) 107-05; 8. Adrianna Niles (Central Catholic) 106-11; 100 hurdles: 1. Katharine Duren CC 13.72, state and New England record (old record Deanna Latham Triton 13.93, 2010); 100 meters: 3. Ava Nassar NA 12.38; Mile: 4. Aisling Callahan (North Andover) 5:02.69; 4x100 relay: 4. Pentucket (Sabrina Campbell, Sage Smith, Kinneal Dickens, Reese Gallant) 49.69, 5. North Andover (Mia Muse, Casey Goland, Shelby Nassar, Ava Nassar) 49.77