Saints reel in All-American honors

Saints reel in All-American honors

The St. Raphael Academy boys’ sprint medley relay team of, from left, juniors Braxton Fontaine, Jacob Lamothe, and Nasavell Medeiros and sophomore Darius Kipyego show off the baton the four used to place fifth in their event at the New Balance National Championships in New York City. Kipyego also took fourth place in the 800 meters.
Kipyego finishes fourth in 800, sprint medley relay team takes fifth at New Balance Nationals

NEW YORK – The St. Raphael Academy boys’ indoor track and field team added two more accolades to its outstanding season last weekend, and they were the two biggest any high school program in the country could achieve.

Sophomore standout Darius Kipyego and the Saints’ sprint medley relay team of Kipyego and juniors Braxton Fontaine, Jacob Lamothe, and Nasavell Medeiros placed in the top six of their respective Championship Division events to earn All-American honors at the New Balance National Championships at The Armory in New York City.

Kipyego, who recently captured the state title and placed second in the New England championship meet in the 600 meters, finished fourth in a hotly contested 800 with a personal-best time of 1:53.43. Not only did he win the second of three heats in the event, topping Classical junior Conor Murphy by 0.03 of a second, but he was also the top 10th-grade finisher in the 800, and his time was the eighth fastest in the country this winter.

The winner of the event was from Canada, Abdullahi Hassan of Scarborough, Ontario, whose time was 1:51.91. Only 1.13 seconds separated Kipyego from the runner-up finisher, Luis Peralta of Garfield, N.J., but one-tenth of a second separated him from the 7th-place runner.

Prior to the 800, the Saints’ sprint medley relay team was hard at work placing fifth in its event in a time of 3:31.62 that broke the two-year-old state record that was held by Bishop Hendricken, which was 3:33.52. But 20 minutes later, La Salle’s relay squad competed in the event and broke the Saints’ record by finishing third in a time of 3:29.70.

In that medley relay, Fontaine and Lamothe ran in the 200, Medeiros took part in the 400, and Kipyego competed in the 800. Only 4.28 seconds separated SRA’s team from the first-place finisher, which hailed from the nearby Bronx.