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February 24, 2014

Swampscott's Mahoney, SJP's Luongo win titles

A week earlier, Swampscott senior Matt Mahoney missed the Division 4 meet 2-mile record by about half a second.

At the All-State Championships held at Reggie Lewis Center Saturday, he was thrilled just to get back to the top of the podium.

Mahoney won his first state title by taking the 2-mile in 9:17.02. His time set a new Swampscott High record.

“I was really happy, even surprised,” said Mahoney, who finished 14th in the same race as a junior in 9:44. “Last year I could not have seen myself being able to win this race.”

As a senior, Mahoney has blossomed into a dominant distance runner. He won the NEC cross country title and finished in the top-10 at D2 XC All-States. The 2-mile is suited to his strengths, and he ran a negative split Saturday while clearing his second mile in 4:36.

“Matt ran a very sound race,” said Swampscott coach Jeff Bartlett. “He made a move in the middle of the race when no one else wanted to. By the time the rest of the field figured it out, he was too far ahead.”

Mahoney’s time qualifies him for both the New England Championships and the championship section of the 2-mile at nationals. Saturday he pulled ahead with about 3/4’s of a mile to go and didn’t look back.

“I felt comfortable through the first mile,” said Mahoney. “I was hoping for a new (personal) best time, so all I wanted was to be under 9:19. I’m really happy.”

The area’s other state champ did set a meet record at sectionals and capped off his season with a title. St. John’s Prep junior Joe Luongo aced the field in the 600 in 1:20.79. At the Eastern Mass. D1 meet, his record breaking time was 1:20.05 (the No. 2 time in the US this year and all-time in Mass). The junior from North Reading was thrilled to take home gold, and will be competing at both New England’s and nationals looking to take down the state record (1:19.94).

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