Photo: Anoush Krafian.
Her first name means “sweet” in Armenian and in the state finals of the multi-event pentathlon held Thursday, June 1, Belmont High junior track star Anoush Krafian strung together a quintet of top-flight results that produced the sweetest of outcomes, a Massachusetts state championship.
At Bridgewater State University, the long-time standout track performer – she still co-holds the state middle school high jump record – beat her rivals and destroying the previous five-event top mark set last year by a whopping 215 points as she posted 3,243 points. Fellow Junior Natalie Marshall of Newton North (3,195 points) and Tewksbury High Senior Lauren Polimeno (3,184) finished second and third while the defending champion, Hopkinton junior Caitlyn Halloran, came in fourth.
Krafian’s total is the fifth-best mark set by a high school athlete in the US so far this outdoor season.
The 11th-grader was leading the competition after four events with the championship on the line with Krafian facing her most challenging event, the 800 meters. Tewksbury’s Polimeno and Halloran of Hopkinton (who defeated Krafian in the Division 3 championships last week) were expected to complete the race in about 2 minutes and 20 seconds, more than 18 seconds in front of the Belmont track star’s best time of 2:38.37 set last week, a gap that could have seen Krafian fall from first to third – or worse.
But Krafian came through spectacularly, setting a new personal record by eight seconds, 2:30.07, negating Polimeno (2:19.96) and Halloran (2:20.60) own best times over the distance.
In addition to the 800, Krafian also achieved her best marks in the shot put (26 feet 5.5-inches), and high jumped over five feet (5-feet, 3.25 inches) while long jumping 16 feet, 5.75 inches.
Krafian started the day in her best event, the 100-meter hurdles, finishing first in 15.04 second, obliterating the old mark by nearly a full second while garnering 836 points, the highest individual event total by any athlete on Thursday.
Krafian will be seeking more state championships this weekend. On Saturday, she will return to Bridgewater to compete in the individual long jump and the 100 hurdles where she is a co-favorite with senior Madelyn Sessler of Plymouth South and Kristen Hohenstein of Chelmsford.