Hayes begins to mark up Walpole High track record books


A Walpole runner dashes to the finish line. (Photo/ Margaret McCarthy)

Gina Conti

A Walpole runner dashes to the finish line. (Photo/ Margaret McCarthy)

The Walpole High School Boys Indoor track team has had a successful season winning the Herget division.  The team has had many boys step up to compete at the State Meet February 16, 2012.  Three boys in particular have broken three school records throughout the season, including senior Zach Ganshirt, junior Captain Connor McCarthy, and newcomer junior PJ Hayes.  Junior PJ Hayes, coming off a successful football season, decided to join the Indoor track team half way through their season.  Even though he joined mid-season, he helped Coach Kevin Butera take home a victory against Milton.

Hayes ran his first 55 meter dash not knowing how well he could do; evidently he placed first, with a time of 6.71, securing third place in the Walpole High School track records. Hayes beat the second place runner by .16 seconds.  Coach Butera said, “His time was where I expected it to be for the first meet.  Right now his time is a tenth faster than anyone else in the league which is impressive considering how inexperienced he is compared to others.”  Hayes not only ran the 55 but also competed in the Long Jump, with a jump of 19’4 to place third overall.

On January 29, the top 24 in each event from Massachusetts competed in the Elite Meet at the Reggie Lewis Center.  Hayes was seeded 14 in the 55 meter dash, and dashed to fourth place.  He ran a PR of 6.60, the leading time for the Bay State League, and the Walpole High School record previously owned by alumni Alex Lee in 2011, with a time of 6.61. “It was his first race where he was actually challenged so I think it was good for him to see what he’s up against at the class and state meet.  I was really happy he broke the school record so now he can concentrate on placing high at states,” said coach Butera.  Hayes now has a taste of the competition that what will be in store for him next Thursday, the Division II Championships.

On February 1, the Walpole Boys team went head to head with Newton North.   Hayes competed in the 300m for his first time against Newton North’s top competitor, Ryan Lucken.  Hayes beat Lucken with a photo finish, and a time of 36.27.  This time now seed’s Hayes third in the Bay State League. Coach Butera said, “I think he has a ton of room left to improve.  It will be tough over the next couple of weeks running against guys like Charles Ruffin from King Philip but I think every race he is getting better.”   Although Hayes won, the team suffered a loss to Newton North.

 Hayes competed in the Bay State League Championship Meet on February 8. He ran two different races the 55 m and the 4 by 200m relay. To make it to the final for the 55m he ran a 6.61, .01 away from his PR. Later on during the finals, he received first place overall in the Bay State League with a PR of .09 to get 6.51. But Hayes was not finished breaking records yet. The final event of the night was the 4 by 200m relay. Hayes along with McCarthy, junior Kemble Lindh, and senior Bryan Rockwood ran to get a combined time of 1:34.99 breaking the Walpole High School record, which was previously 1:40.31, and receiving first place overall.

Junior PJ Hayes, although a newcomer to the track team, is one of the top scorers for the team this winter.  Head Coach Kevin Butera is looking for all boys to step up their game to perform well for the next two weeks at the Divisional and All State Meets.