NORTH ANDOVER – The Shawsheen Tech Boys Outdoor Track-and-Field team will be sending one representative to this Saturday's All-State Meet as Stephan Saint Juste finished fifth in the high jump, clearing 6-2, during this past Sunday's Division 3 Eastern Mass Meet held at the gorgeous Duane Stadium at Merrimack College.
The top three in each event advance to the All-States in addition to the next six best performances from all of the other divisions from Eastern and Central Mass, and Juste made it in and is seeded 12th.
"He cleared six feet which was his best up until today," said head coach Jeff McGrath. "At practice on Friday we discussed that if he elongated a bit, it would pick up his speed and that's proven to be the difference. He cleared 6-2 today and he narrowly missed 6-4.
“To be able to clear 6-2 and be able to be in that final group was pretty cool and he wildly outperformed his expectations and (will advance to this week's All-State Meet)."
The Rams finished in 25th placer out of 35 teams that scored at least one point. Juste had his fifth place finish, while Wilmington resident Ralph Desrosiers finished fourth in the 200-meters with a time of 22.97 seconds. As good as he was in this event, it didn't make the cut for Saturday.
"His season best is 22.89 and today he ran 22.97 which is right in the same ballpark," said McGrath. "He's been a monster for us all year. He has finished first or second in the 100 and 200 meters in every dual meet we have had this year and he's just been huge."
In addition to the 200, Desrosiers was 17th in the 100 at 11.48 seconds and also joined Matt Puztizzi, Dan Archibald and Jason Myers to finish 12th in the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:40.92.
This meet ended a tremendous calendar year in both athletics and academics for Desrosiers, who also had successful seasons with the cross-country and then swim team. He went out for the swim team and in the first week of practice was forbidden to go in the deep end, only to become a varsity starter by season's end.
"He has come a long way, especially maturity wise," said McGrath. "He always had unbelievable talent, but he was never able to put it all together whether it was poor grades and then discipline issues. For him (today's success) is more of a personal growth thing for him because he's a better human being than anything else. It has translated to the better he has behaved in school and the more mature that he's become, the better his results (in athletics) have become.
“He has grown like eight years maturity wise in like two years. It's that substantial of a growth."
Myers was also 22nd in the triple jump at 39 feet and 27th in the 400 at 55.84. Derek Costello was 13th in the 400-meter hurdles at 1:01.27, Gavin Pigott finished 16th in the 800 at 2:31.02, Anthony DiCesare was 26th in the javelin at 122-01 and Mike Repucci was 30th in the 110-meter hurdles at 18.79 seconds.