HS indoor track: Jonas Clarke off to a fast start for South Hadley

  • South Hadley freshman Jonas Clarke catches his breath after placing second in the 200-meter dash final at the Central-West Division 2 Championships on May 25. Clarke is off to a fast start to the indoor season. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

For the Gazette
Published: 1/24/2020 11:06:51 PM
Modified: 1/24/2020 11:06:40 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A year of learning comes with a year of bigger expectations.

Jonas Clarke excelled during his freshman year for the South Hadley boys indoor and outdoor track & field teams.

He placed third to medal in the freshman 60-meter dash at New Balance Indoor Nationals in March. He placed third in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200 to medal in both events at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in June.

As a sophomore, he simple wants to get better as each meet goes on.

“Jonas came into this season with a lot of experience,” South Hadley coach Tim Laroche said. “He’s a fun kid to be around and he and his teammates have a lot of fun together.”

Practice has been a time for Clarke to tweak and work on the little things in sprinting. Laroche said Clarke pushes himself during every rep at practice and during every meet.

When the time came for the 55 dash at Friday’s sixth PVIAC meet of the season at Smith College, Clarke seemed at ease. Sweatshirt hoodie still up, he waited until the last possible moment before removing it.

“I try to stay warm as possible and try not to think about the run beforehand,” Clarke said. “I talked to people to distract my nervousness. Right when I lift my leg up the race, I let those nerves take over and do the work.”

As the start neared, his prerun routine kicked in: One big jump, a couple of skips, another big jump and back to the starting line. Before the shot came from the starter pistol, Clarke dug his feet into the starting blocks. The shot went off, and Clarke darted down the straightaway – 6.61 seconds later, the sprint was over and Clarke finished first. As he walked back to where his fellow teammates were sitting, there were only smiles all around.

He was 0.10 shy of matching his personal record for the 55 dash.

“His feet seemed a tiny bit higher on the starting blocks and his starting position was high as soon as he started to sprint,” Laroche said. “So, it’s the little things like this moment that we can work off of to make him better.”

The PVIAC championships are on Feb. 7 and for Clarke, his one focus is making it as far as he can go.

PVIAC meet 6

Friday, at Smith College

Local athletes in top three

Early session girls

Hampshire 58, Hampden Charter 20

Hampshire 47, Pioneer Regional 42

Early session boys

Hampshire 77, Hampden Charter 13

Hampshire 73, Pioneer Regional 18

Late session girls

Chicopee Comp 61, Amherst 19

East Longmeadow 70, Amherst 6

South Hadley 74, Mohawk Trail 20

Northampton 78, Sabis 17

South Hadley 64, Pope Francis 30

Late session boys

Chicopee Comp 68, Amherst 20

East Longmeadow 63, Amherst 20

South Hadley 75, Mohawk 14

Northampton 57, Sabis 34

South Hadley 67.5, Pope Francis 27.5

Early session girls

600 meters

3. Annie Curran, Hampshire, 1:54.79

High jump

3. Hannah Wodecki, Hampshire, 4-8

Shot put

1. Wodecki, 30-2.5

Early session boys


3. Miles Lance, Hampshire, 1:33.95

55 hurdles

3. Julian Greve, Hampshire, 9.54

4x400 relay

2. Hampshire, 3:53.93

High jump

2. Josh Denoronha, Hampshire, 5-10

Shot put

3. Zach O’Connell, hampshire, 38-4.25

Late session girls


2. Lindsay Marjanski, South Hadley, 46.24


1. Farrell Dawson, South Hadley, 1:42.04


3. Macey Moriarty, South Hadley, 3:32.02


1. Anna Evans, South Hadley, 5:45.91

2. Lila Lofving, Northampton, 5:46.31

3. Saraphina Forman, Northampton, 6:01.08

55 hurdles

3. Adele Jordan, Nortampton, 9.71

4x400 relay

1. South Hadley, 4:28.63

2. Northampton, 4:37.9

High jump

3. Marjanski, 4-10

Long jump

1. Dawson, 16-1.5

Late session boys

1. Jonas Clarke, South Hadley, 6.61


1. Clarke, 37.86


1. Justin Kennedy, South Hadley, 1:26.26

2. Bradyn Cote, South Hadley, 1:28.27


2. Henry Ferrari, Northampton, 3:00.97

3. Jackson Hinkle, Amherst, 3:01.51


1. Cote, 10:29.02

3. Kai Paik, Northampton, 11:08.51

55 hurdles

3. Davian Lopez, South Hadley, 9.03


1. South Hadley, 3:50.09

Shot put

1. Ryan Levrault, South Hadley, 47-2.5

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