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Globe Northwest Sports Notebook

Burlington's Faria sets three school records in 12 days

Shane Faria set three Burlington High School records in three different events over the course of 12 days recently. Shane Faria set three Burlington High School records in three different events over the course of 12 days recently. (Robert Klein for The Boston Globe)
By John Vellante
January 25, 2009
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Twelve days. Three track meets. Three different events. Three school records.

That's the resume of Burlington High senior sprinter Shane Faria, who late last month and earlier this month hit the trifecta in the 300-, 55-, and 45-meter runs.

His odyssey began Dec. 30 at an open high school invitational at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. He ran the 300 in 37.01 seconds, breaking the previous best of 37.5 by Bill King in 2001.

One week later, in a Middlesex League dual meet against Reading, Faria ran the 55 in 6.6 seconds. That bettered the 6.7 by Tony Orsini in 1990 and King in 2000.

Finally, four days after that, in another league dual meet, this one against Watertown, he clocked the 45 in 5.1 seconds to eclipse the previous record of 5.3 run by Steve Strahan in 1981 and equaled by Orsini in 1989, Liam Govostes in 1993, Frank Marchese in 2000, King in 2002, and Mike Kekejian in 2007.

"It's something I've never seen before," said Burlington coach Matt Carr. "I mean three different records in a dozen days? I'm sure that doesn't happen too often. I talked to my assistant coach [Pat Magee] and said 'I hope we didn't peak him too soon.' You have to remember these are outstanding early-season times and if he stays healthy and we build on this the right way, he should have some good times in the upcoming state meets."

If he stays healthy.

"[Faria] has had a nagging hamstring and quad injury for the past two years and it's something we've had to keep a close eye on," Carr said. "We knew he had speed but really never got to see the full potential of it all because anytime he was winning a race comfortably, we would shut him down. It's been bothering him off and on somewhat this season so we have him on a prolonged warm-up routine. . . . So far, so good."

Faria is unbeaten this season in five races, running the 300 three times, and the 45 and 55 once each.

He will likely focus on the 300 for the state meets.

"If [Faria] ran 37.01 in an invitational, running just for himself, not for points or for his team, if he could get himself to that level in that type of scenario, then I would think, given a month or so of prep time and running for team points, he likely could get to 36.5 seconds," said Carr. "I think that would be a goal for him. If he did that, I think a win and a trip to nationals is a possibility."

Faria, who admits his hamstring and quad injury "isn't 100 percent but it isn't that bad, either," said he wasn't looking to set any records and that things just fell into place and they just happened.

"I love the track at the Lewis Center," said the 5-foot-9, 150-pounder, who hopes to run at a Division 1 college next season. "I knew if I was prepared, the track would take care of itself. I love the way it's banked. It's just a great surface to run on and the fact that you can wear spikes helps. Setting the record in the 55 was a surprise to me because I hadn't run that since my sophomore year.

"Coach had asked me if I wanted to run the 55 or the 300 or nothing in that meet. I figured I'd give the 55 a try. Against Watertown, a lot of my teammates asked me to run the 45 to see if I could set a third record. I prepared the same way as I usually do and just hoped to have the same success. It was nice to do."

Faria agrees with Carr that the 300 meters is his best event and the one he should concentrate on in state meets.

"In those meets I will have extra motivation because I'm running not for myself, but for the team," he said. "For me, 37 seconds is a good time, but I'd love to do a 36 plus. I think that might be my threshold. My first priority would be to score points and if along the way I qualify for nationals, that would be great. Right now, the hamstring and quad is feeling OK. Hopefully it will stay that way."

Around and about: Tremblay wins 500

While Winchester wrestling coach Larry Tremblay chalked up his 500th career win last week against Carver, Dave Castricone, his colleague from North Andover, was doing him 109 better. North Andover beat Southington, Conn., 39-37, to give Castricone his 609th career win, tops in New England. Castricone had shared the top spot with retired Lowell coach George Bossi. . . .

Worcester State senior Mark Johnson of Woburn was the MASCAC Athlete of the Week after an outstanding effort at the Tufts Invitational. Johnson was second in the 55 meters, fourth in the 200, and ran a leg on the 4x400 relay team that finished fourth. . . .

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell's men and women took top honors at the Tufts Invitational. Among Individual winners for the men were freshman Roy Monson of Stoneham in the 55 meters, senior Andrew Grange of Methuen in the 600, sophomore Cory Murray of Methuen in the shot put and junior William Nguidjoi of Lawrence in the long jump. The women won eight individual events, including the 200 by freshman Ashley Smith of Tewksbury and the shot put by junior Jacqui Barrett of Woburn.

Notebook ideas or information may be sent to JohnPVel@aol.com

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