Methuen's O'Donnell 8th at Division 1 States
Sunday, November, 20
By Dave Dyer
BOSTON — Bon voyage, Mike O’Donnell.
The Methuen junior shouldn’t have any trouble enjoying himself overseas this week after his fine eighth-place finish at the Division 1 All-State Meet yesterday.
O’Donnell reached his goal of breaking 16 minutes, running the Franklin Park 5K course in a school-record 15:58.31, and tying Jared Reddy for the highest finish ever for a Methuen junior. Only Reddy’s third-place finish as a senior is a higher finish for a Ranger.
“I really wanted to break 16 and finishing in the top 10 was like a cherry on top,” said O’Donnell. “I was hoping to have a good season, but I didn’t expect to finish this high.”
O’Donnell’s race will be something to savor in the coming days. He left with his parents late yesterday to visit his sister, Meaghan, who is studying in Austria for a year as a student at Ithaca College.
“This definitely motivates me for next year,” said O’Donnell. “I’ll do more summer training and see how much better I can run.”
Yesterday was certainly good enough. He went out strong, was fourth at the mile mark and ran steady throughout, breaking the Methuen record at Franklin Park held be assistant coach Kevin Alliette, who ran 15:59 as a senior at the State Coaches Meet.
Winning the race was junior Jonathan Green of St. John’s of Shrewsbury in 15:40.07. Pre-race favorite Nick Christansen of Peabody was fourth.
Andover senior Ryan Cooney was near the front pack early but faded to 43rd in 16:48 as the second local finisher. Tim Allen finished 66th (17:03.04) to pace Central Catholic, which finished 17th in the 20-team field.
Brookline won the team title with Lowell 37 points back in second place.
In Division 2 All-State meet, Bishop Feehan edged Pembroke for the team championship but Pembroke senior Wes Gallagher captured top honors in 15:43, edging Wakefield senior by one second.
at Franklin Park (3.1 miles)
Division 1 States 11-19-11
Team scores (20 teams): 1. Brookline 110, 2. Lowell 147, 17. Central Catholic 389
Results (189 finishers): 1. Jonathan Green (St. John’s-S) 15:40.07, 2. Joel Hubbard (Marshfield) 15:41.68, 8. Mike O’Donnell (Methuen) 15:58.31, 43. Ryan Cooney (Andover) 16:48.66, 66. Tim Allen (CC) 17:03.04; top North Andover runner 129. Max Almano 17:31.53
Division 2 States 11-19-11
Team scores (19 teams, no locals): 1. Bishop Feehan 59, 2. Pembroke 61
Results (179 finishers, no locals): 1. Wes Gallagher (Pembroke) 15:43, 2. Stephen Robertson (Wakefield) 15:44