South Hadley’s Jonas Clarke wins 100m All-State title

  • Frontier Regional junior Jack Vecellio placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the All-State championships in Norwell on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley junior Jonas Clarke finished first in the 100-meter dash to win the All-State Championship at Norwell on Saturday. He crossed the line in 10.67 seconds. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley junior Jonas Clarke, center, finished first in the 100-meter dash to win the All-State Championship at Norwell on Saturday. He crossed the line in 10.67 seconds. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 6/26/2021 1:57:23 PM

NORWELL – Jonas Clarke knew the state record was out of the question leaving the blocks.

The South Hadley junior had a poor start to Saturday’s All-State 100-meter dash final. He entered as the top seed but trailed several runners by two steps at the 40-meter mark. 

“It wasn’t my greatest start ever, so it had to be a lot of recovery,” Clarke said. “It was way more of a race than the record. It was an ‘I need to get first’ type of run. I had to turn over.”

He made up the difference over the next 60 meters and leaned over the line first in 10.67 seconds. It was his first All-State title across both indoor and outdoor competition.

“First thing: we want the win. It would be awesome to get the record, but this record chase might have to get postponed to next year,” Clarke said. “It’s been a long year.”

Breaking the state record of 10.4 seconds – set in 1981 – first entered Clarke’s mind a few weeks ago after he went 10.45 at the Lou Tozzi Coaches’ Invitational on June 5. Since, he set a meet record at last weekend’s Central/West Division 2 championships but couldn’t crack the state mark.

“I’m not burning out, but I kind of think my peak is here right now. I’m not consistent enough in the blocks to be focusing on the record right now,” Clarke said. “In all honesty, it’s something that’s awesome because I get to tune it up next year. I think it’s good for the future.”

He’ll travel to Eugene, Oregon, on Tuesday for the NSAF Outdoor Nationals then likely downshift to enjoy the summer. Clarke wants to spend some time at the beach, enjoy his family’s new puppy and clean out his dresser.

“We’re going to take it easy for a couple weeks because I’ve been going nonstop for a while,” he said. “Fall is going to be soccer season. November, I’m going to work out a little more to get ready for this indoor season, then we’re going to blow it out of the park.”

Frontier Regional junior Jack Vecellio placed fourth in the 400 hurdles in 56.07 seconds. Concord-Carlisle’s Gabe Thyme crossed the line first at 55.65. Vecellio clipped the first hurdle then had to play catch up over the remainder of the race.

“My goal was to be first to the first hurdle and get that early lead. I wasn’t seeded first, but I wanted to pull them all out,” he said. “Then I got off to a clunky rhythm and battled back.”

Vecellio claimed the pole vault title Wednesday and was hoping to add another podium finish. He missed third by .08 seconds.

“I’d call it a successful weekend. I’m going to take what I’ve got,” Vecellio said. 

Amherst Regional freshman Savior Robinson finished 18th in the boys’ long jump at 20 feet. He entered the event seeded last among the 23 competitors and improved his standing. Mansfield’s Jake Wall cleared 23-7½ to win.

Girls events

Hampshire Regional’s Grace Plumer took 10th in the high jump (5-0). 

Quincy Biddle of Northampton finished 14th in the 400 hurdles (1:07.93).

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.
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