Rocha: Fastest Mile in New England

Junior track and cross-country star Rocha broke another record this past weekend at the Elite Invitational Meet, granting her the status of fastest female high school miler in the region.

Peabody standout runner Catarina Rocha is now the fastest female high school miler in New England after her blistering performance in the state Coaches Elite Invitational in Boston on Sunday.

Mile Split Mass reports that Rocha, a junior, clocked in a 4:53.89 in the mile, well ahead of second-place finisher freshman Liz Holmes of Foxboro at 5:03.75, although that time put Holmes at a No. 2 national ranking for her class.

Rocha also broke a 31-year meet record on Sunday, which was formerly held by fellow athlete Lisa Welch.

On the boys' side, senior Nick Christensen, put in a top-notch performance of his own in the mile at Madison Square Garden for the U.S. Open Invitational on Saturday. Christensen placed third with 4:20.23, about eight seconds off his fastest time, which is still this year's record for New England.

Christensen earned a spot in the nationally competitive meet Saturday after turning in a new school record of 4:12 in a meet at Boston University. He actually started out the indoor season on the injured list.

Fellow senior Zach Grube also competed in Sunday's Elite Invitational and placed second in the high jump at 6-4. Grube also finished seventh in the 55-meter hurdles at 8.03. Senior Sarah May clocked in a 15th place in the 600 meter (1:41.24) and junior Pam Zabala placed 11th in the shot put (34-5).

The Tanners' track teams also competed in the state Coaches Invitational on Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Sophomore Sydney May took 13th in the girls' mile with 5:30.41.

As for the teams this season, the boys finished off a perfect indoor track stretch (7-0), taking down conference opponent Beverly Jan. 26. The Northeastern Conference Meet is scheduled for Thursday at the Reggie Lewis Center (4:30 p.m.).

On the girls' side, the team has taken only one loss for the season and sits tied with Beverly and Marblehead (all 6-1) for tops of the conference. Shot putter Zabala tossed a new school record of 37-2 against Beverly.

Following the league meet Feb. 2, both squads will compete in the Division I Championships, which are slated for Feb. 19.

Just over a week ago, both squads also competed in the MSTCA Division I State Relays and secured two championships and two meet records between the teams.

The boys' 1,600 Sprint Medley of Christensen, Austin Brewster, Nick Ingham and Bobby Losanno snagged first in 3:35.68, setting a school record, while the boys' quad for the 4x50 relay -- Nat Gaye, Chris Cennami, Losanno and Brewster -- set a new school record and broke the meet record in 21.82, but finished second, racing right down to the line.

Girls' shot putters Zabala, Katie Gallo and Lauren Zanes combined to thrown just over 91 feet for the crown, while the distance medley relay of Rocha, Sam Allen, Joanne Frangias and Sarah May broke a school record at 12:21.6 to take second.

Stephen Raymond February 01, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Great athletes and great kids too.


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