By Dan Guttenplan
---- — BOSTON — Nick Carleo fell just short Saturday of a goal he set prior to the indoor track season to win an All-State championship in the mile.
The good news for Carleo is he will have two more years to achieve that goal. The Newburyport sophomore placed third in the mile at the All-State Championships in a school-record time of 4:19.16. Carleo beat the previous Newburyport record by more than five seconds, and he beat his own best time by six seconds.
“My goal going into the season was to win that meet,” Carleo said. “The further I got into the season, the more unrealistic that became.”
Carleo got sick at midseason, but still had enough left in the tank to sweep the Cape Ann League and Division 4 titles in the mile. At the All-State meet, Carleo could not keep pace with Methuen senior Mike O’Donnell, who will run next season at University of Connecticut. O’Donnell cruised to victory in 4:15.81. Lowell’s Patrick Coppinger was second in 4:18.87.
“At the beginning of the race, I was boxed in really bad,” Carleo said. “I was in the barrel at the top of the track, and I had to get out of that. I made my way to the front, and tucked in around fourth. I was in second for a little bit, but the kid from Lowell got me in the end.”
Carleo also combined with Sawyer Updike, James Nutter and Joe Santo to form a 4x800 relay, which placed 18th in 8:30. Newburyport senior Steve Preston also placed 15th in the shot put (48-3).
Carleo will skip the New England Championships and Nationals this indoor season in order to give his body time to rest after six months of strenuous competition. He was also a Division 4 champion during the cross-country season, and he finished seventh at the All-State meet.
“I didn’t really get a whole long rest between cross-country and track,” Carleo said. “I’ll do that now so I can have my legs come back.”
Carleo should run faster during the outdoor season, as times are typically faster on the longer track due to the extended straightaways. Carleo has set a goal of breaking the 4:10 mark in the mile by his senior season. He would like to run at a Division 1 school in college.
He credits his strong time on Saturday to his training session at Harvard University last Tuesday. He did a lot of speed work with his Newburyport teammates, completing repeats of 200s and 300s.
“My training this winter was a little weird because I got sick in the middle of it,” Carleo said. “We got into Harvard and did a workout there, and that really did it for me.”