Pavel Dzemianok for the Boston Globe
Ben Groleau is hitting .500 lifetime at the boys’ Boston Athletic Association Scholastic Invitational Mile.
Running the race — which loops around Boylston and Newbury Streets before finishing on the Boston Marathon’s finish line — Sunday morning for the fourth straight year, the Framingham High senior had a winning time of 4 minutes, 27.2 seconds. The race features two athletes from each city or town along the Boston Marathon course.
“That was rough,” said Groleau, who also won the race as a sophomore. “Coming into it I knew it was going to be a hard field, I knew I was going to have to take it out early, but man I didn’t know I had [that kind of kick] in me. I’m excited. I guess experience paid off a lot.”
Groleau said he was surprised to win by such a large margin. Justin Keefe from Newton North (4:39.7) finished second and Tim Bolick of Hopkinton (4:40.4) was third.
“You can’t get caught up behind anyone right off the bat,” Groleau said when asked about what he’s learned from running the race in the past. “On a course with this many turns, you get boxed in way too much on the corners so you have to take it out. I knew that going in, so I jumped in front at the beginning of the race and I figured I’d let those guys figure it out.”
In the girls’ race, Newton North sophomore, Evelyn Heffernan, won with a time of 5:23.1. Shelby Aarden (5:24) of Hopkinton was second and Melissa Lodge (5:24.8), also of Hopkinton, third.
“It was great,” Heffernan said. “The crowd is incredible and they are really helpful. There are people all around and they just push you through the whole thing and it’s great.”
A freshman, Aarden was running the race for the first time.
“I was trying to keep up with the leaders,” Aarden said. “At the end I had some more energy so I went ahead, I passed one or two in the final 100 yards.”
The morning also featured a boys’ and girls’ middle school 1-kilometer race. Zachary O'Leary of Ashland won the boys’ race in 2:54.5, ahead of John Lara of Boston (3:00) and Thomas D’Anieri of Wellesley. Leah Metzger of Newton won the girls' race in 3:35.9, ahead of Piper Higgins of Wellesley (3:43.3) and Nicole Anselmo of Natick (3:44.5).
“I was really nervous so I just decided to go out and have fun,” Metzger said.
O’Leary said, “John Lara caught me at the end of the first lap; I had to pump through it. I couldn’t feel my legs. The first lap I had to pump it. Then I said to myself ‘I have to kick it in.’
"I can't feel my legs right now but it was worth it."
In the high school boys’ race, Newton North’s Keefe didn’t have enough kick to eclipse Groleau. Keefe was running the race for the first time.
“I was hoping for the win but what can I say, he has the most experience,” Keefe said of Groleau. “He’s a strong kid. I’ll get him later in the season.”
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