The New England High-School Indoor Track and Field Championships: a brief personal interlude

The meet was held Friday night at the Reggie Lewis Center (a work of wonder) in Roxbury, Mass. Among the better performers was a kid from Hamilton-Wenham named Jackson McDonald. He was seventh in the 55-meter hurdles in 7.78 seconds and second in the long jump in 22′ 6.75″. He has also high-jumped 6′ 6″. The previous Friday, at the Mass State Meet, he broke the meet record by jumping 23′ 3″. He then demolished the state record in the pentathlon last Wednesday. He’s narrowed his choice of colleges to U. Conn. and Boston U. He had previously looked at both UNH and UVM.

Noteworthy about this kid is that his mother and my mother are longtime great friends, having met about 30 years ago after winding up on the same team in an amateur women’s softball league. Renee is about a dozen years younger than my mom (she was in college wen they met) and used to take me skiing. In, I think, 1984, my parents, Renee, Renee’s husband Jared, and a few others were spending a weekend at Renee’s parents’ place in New Jersey. Very late at night, Jared was water-skiing with one or two of his buddies and was killed when he was cut by a boat propeller after falling. Everyone was devastated; Jared was a great guy. Renee eventually remarried and moved to Massachusetts, and she and my mom, though still in touch, were not as close. They have been through a lot together.

Anyway, it’s hard for me to imagine Renee having a kid who’s 18 years old. That’s older than I was when she used to let me take nips of peppermint schnapps on the chairlift at King Ridge.

My old high school, Concord, had two kids fare well in the distance events (one was sixth in the two-mile, another seventh in the 1000 meters).

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