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Relays lead MHS Boys’ Track to success

The 4x200 relay on the podium after a second-place finish at the D2 state championships. Aloiye Okhipo, Taylor Feliciano, Shawn Pierce, and Jarrett Brown broke the school record this year, running 1:32.1. Photo courtesy Peter Boucher

Scarlet Hawks posted best season in years

By Chris Villani

Milford High’s boys’ winter track program put together one of its largest and most successful teams in recent memory, as the Scarlet Hawks posted a winning dual meet season and saw two of its relay teams rank among the state’s best.

“The boys had a fantastic season,” said head coach Dan Gordon. “It was probably the best they have been in four years.”

Both the 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams earned second-place finishes at the Division II state meet. For the 4x200 relay - consisting of Aloiye Okhipo, Taylor Feliciano, Shawn Pierce, and Jarrett Brown - it was the culmination of a stellar season that included setting a new school record in the event.

“Without a doubt, our sprint crew has been carrying the team all season long,” Gordon said. “They are our strongest group, and they are our deepest group.”

Senior Ben Parson, a team captain, set a new school record in the 300-meter dash and scored in every single meet in that event. He was also a regular point scorer in the 55-meter dash and placed eighth in that event during the Hockomock League meet despite it not being his strongest event and despite suffering an injury at the end of the regular season. Parson was healthier for the interdivisional Meet of Champions and finished 20th in the state.

“We were very happy to see him finish the season strong,” Gordon said. “He is a huge part of why we have experienced so much success. He is a great captain and a great leader.”

The 4x400 relay team consisted of John Arruda, Sean Mairs, Nick Simas, and Feliciano, and greatly exceeded expectations at the state meet. Seeded fifth, the quartet ended up on the podium with their second-place finish.

Gordon praised the season Feliciano put together, noting that he was “right there” with Parson during every meet. It was also a breakout campaign for Okhipo, the coach said.

“He was certainly our most improved athlete,” Gordon said. “He started running the hurdles indoors last year and he dropped a few seconds off of his time and finished fourth at the D2 meet. He was also our best high jumper, he added about six inches to his high jump.”

More good news for Milford: the entire 4x200 team is slated to return along with a number of strong athletes who performed well this winter.

“We had a whole stable of guys,” Gordon said. “We have a lot of guys who have made this team a lot better.”