Westford Academy runners Bergeron, Hennessy all smiles after winning the mile

FITCHBURG — The question on Saturday at Fitchburg State’s Elliot Field was how to follow up a memorable first day of the MIAA Meet of Champions.

Well, more record breaking and a bevy of runners and throwers pulling off remarkable double ups helped fill a steamy Saturday with plenty of excitement.

After being a part of what many observers called the best two mile in Massachusetts history on Thursday, the question was, could Westford Academy’s Paul Bergeron double up in the mile?

For the first three laps on Saturday, it looked like Bergeron might not get the job done as teammate Jack Graffeo and BC High’s Chris Larnard were keeping him honest.

But in the final 300 meters, Bergeron put his foot on the gas and ran away to his second win of the weekend, clocking a 4:07.98, the second best in Massachusetts this season, in his final race wearing Westford colors.

“I knew it was going to be fast because there was so much competition,” Bergeron said. “I’ve run with Chris and Jack so much and I knew I had to give it everything.”

Another of the marquee events on Saturday’s slate was the girls mile as a pair of champions and last year’s second place finisher staged a captivating duel.

Westford’s Abby Hennessy, winner of the 800 on Thursday, and Belmont’s Dana Lehr, the two mile champion, were joined by Wellesley’s Charlotte Tuxbury in their own personal battle. It wasn’t until the final lap where Hennessy pushed the pace and ran away from the field to win in 4:48.53.

“It was really nice to have people like Charlotte and Dana to push the pace,” Hennessy said. “I knew that I had to trust my kick in the last 300 meters.”

Another double up came from North Reading’s Giuliana Ligor. After winning the 400 hurdles on Thursday, the Hornets ace added the 400-meter crown in a photo finish with Amherst-Pelham’s Moriah Luetjen.

Not to be outshined by the track stars, Peabody’s Alex Jackson completed a dominant double of his own. After winning the discus on Thursday, he unleashed a state best throw of 61-5 in the shot put on Saturday to take his second gold medal of the meet.

The boys 400 was rocked by an unseeded Nico Begic of Lincoln-Sudbury, who came out of the third heat to win in 48.59. Xaverian’s Mitchell Kisson placed second out of the same heat.

Franklin’s Sarah Dumas got a little bit of redemption on Saturday. After being disqualified in the pentathlon’s final event on Thursday, Dumas claimed her second straight Meet of Champions title in the 100 hurdles with a state best 14.27 second time.

A meet record went down in the javelin at the hands of Walpole’s Matthew St. Cyr with a throw of 191-10. Another record went in the girls 100 meter dash where Pembroke’s Sarah Claflin defended her title in 11.79 seconds, eclipsing a record set back in 1987 by Tasha Downing of Boston Tech.

Claflin later added a third in the long jump where Lincoln-Sudbury’s Gabrielle Pierre won in 19-7.75 to take her second win of the weekend after having won the triple jump on Thursday.

Another fell in the girls 4×800 relay where Brookline (9:11.52) and Wellesley (9:12.71) bested Newton North’s mark from 2007. The boys’ relay had a hammer and tong battle between Brookline and Lowell that saw the Warriors hold off the Red Raiders in the stretch.

The boys 4×100 relay saw another meet record fall as both Pembroke (41.89) and Milton did the honors (42.02).

Ryan Kyle of Westford Academy wins the prelims and eventually the finals of the boys 110-meter hurdles at the Meet of Champions. (Staff Photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)
Ryan Kyle of Westford Academy wins the prelims and eventually the finals of the boys 110-meter hurdles at the Meet of Champions. (Staff Photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

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