The roaring capacity crowd at the Reggie Lewis Center was in awe. Bromfield coach Henry Phelan didn't expect it. His star runner, junior Emily Jones, didn't believe what was happening.
Jones almost lapped her competition twice and helped Bromfield win the Division 4 MIAA Track & Field Championship for the third straight year with a dominating performance in the 2-mile.
Jones's time of 10:31.82 was not only a meet record and personal best, but it is the fastest time in the country to date by almost 12 seconds.
"I wanted to have a comfortable race and not push myself too hard," said Jones, who had been suffering from Achilles' tendinitis the past two weeks. "But it was really exciting, especially with the crowd behind me at the end there. I just really couldn't believe it."
Phelan was admittedly a bit worried when the crowd started getting behind his talented runner. "I kept telling her to slow down and pace herself, but with that crowd reaction, it's hard not to get caught up. I knew she wasn't slowing down," he said.
Jones wasn't the only factor in Bromfield's victory. Seniors Liz Lee and Hillary Lewis placed third in their respective events, the mile and 55-meter hurdles; and fellow senior Bo Dunn won a competitive girls' 1,000-meter run.
The Bromfield coach also praised the tight knit relationship his girls have. Jones, who also helped her team win the 4 x 800 relay, didn't disagree. "We all just inspire each other," she said. "Coach does an amazing job."
On the boys' side, Hudson overcame a missed check-in for the 4 x 800 race and took the title after a startling come-from-behind victory in the 4 x 200. Trailing his opponent by at least 15 meters when he took the baton, Hudson sophomore Brian Muller closed the gap and won by a razor's edge. Amazingly, it was Hudson's only first-place finish.
"I knew we had enough quality second- and third-place finishers to keep it close," Hudson coach Kathy Vinciullo said. "I never let them think they couldn't compete. It's a great group of guys and these boys have been working hard all season long."
Vinciullo anointed Muller as the team's MVP. This is the former wrestler's first year running track.