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February 1, 2014

Jean DePlacido column: Peabody 4x800 reaches 'Elite' milestone

Drew Fossa set a new meet record last Saturday at the State Coaches Meet (4:25.09), but the Peabody senior didn’t win the race. That honor went to Marblehead sophomore A. J. Ernst, who edged Fossa to also set a new record with a time of 4:20.94.

Fossa came back the next day at the MSCTA Elite Meet to anchor the Tanners winning 4x800 relay along with Alex Greco, Cody Picardy, and Ben Braz. Both Greco and Picardy scratched from their individual events on Saturday to be fresh for the relay. Fossa, who will run at UMass-Lowell next year, was very happy to help his relay team qualify for nationals which will be held in March at the Armory in New York.

“We needed 8:10 to qualify for the emerging elite event at nationals and finished in 8:08,” said Fossa. “I went last year (sixth in the two mile in 9:32), and it’s an awesome track with so much atmosphere. It’s great to be going again, especially since our relay team has been working really hard. We all breathed a sigh of relief knowing we’d made it.

“Now hopefully we can turn in a good enough performance at the Division 1 meet to qualify for All-States. That mile race the day before was crazy, and Ernst ran great. I knew I was coming back for the relay the next day, and I’d have to do a lot of work on the first two laps. I took over the lead and held it until the last lap when Ernst past me.”

Fossa is outstanding in both the mile and two mile. He prefers the two mile, but is willing to do whatever he can to help the team. The Tanners (6-0) are having another great season, capturing the NEC North championship earlier this week by beating Revere.

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