SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

May 24, 2013

Peabody's Cennami sprinting toward finish at states

Imagine putting in hours of weight training and workouts over the course of a year, all for a mere 10 seconds.

That’s the reward waiting for competitors in the 100 meter dash at this weekend’s Eastern Mass. Outdoor Track Championships, scheduled to be held in Divisions 1 (at Andover) and 2 (at Notre Dame Hingham) tomorrow and in Divisions 3 (at Pembroke) and 4 (at North Reading) on Sunday.

Among the contenders in Division 1 is Peabody High senior Chris Cennami. The Division 1 indoor dash champion, Cennami won the Northeastern Conference 100 meter title last weekend and is looking forward to the chance to race some of the state’s best tomorrow afternoon.

“I feel pretty good, but I’m very superstitious so I’ll make sure I get focused and do all the same things I always do to prepare before a meet,” said Cennami, who is planning to run at UMass-Dartmouth next season.

Seeded fifth with a time of 10.99 seconds, Cennami’s best mark this season was a blazing fast 10.6 that he ran in a dual meet against Revere. That time broke an eight-year-old Peabody High record.

“What really lifted me that day was that it was the last home meet for me and the rest of the seniors,” Cennami said. “It was a very emotional day and my last chance to do it at home.”

Cennami also tied a 37-year-old indoor record in the 45-yard dash last winter, and he said he actually thinks he’s better in the longer race outdoors. That’s because even though he has an excellent start, there’s more time, relatively speaking, to make up lost distance over the entire 100 meter straightaway.

At 5-foot-7, Cennami might not have the long strides of some more traditional sprinters. But he’s explosive coming out of the blocks and has excellent balance, which allows him to find his stride almost immediately.

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