Lawrence School 8th-grader Sam Koss leapt into the big time on Saturday, June 7 at the MIAA Middle School Track Championships in Fitchburg. Koss, who also plays baseball, basketball and football, won the state title in the long jump with a leap that ranked alongside the top high school jumpers in the state.
Koss set a new meet record with a jump of 19 feet, 6 inches. That bested the previous mark at the event by 4 inches.
Had he been participating at the MIAA high school championship meet, Koss's effort would have ranked 17th in the state. Of the 18 athletes who participated at the outdoor MIAA championships, all but one was a senior or a junior. The lone underclassman was a sophomore.
With a little luck, Koss might have smashed the record even more. A slight foul on his first jump cost him what would have been his furthest jump of the day, at more than 20 feet.
Koss claimed third place overall in his other event, the 200m dash. He finished with a time of 25.7 seconds, slightly slower than the personal record of 24.8 seconds he had set earlier in the year.
A week earlier he took first place in both events at the All-Cape Track Meet.
Koss was pleased with his showing at the state meet.
“The competition was a lot better, it was a good time,” he said.
The middle school championships also saw twin sisters Caroline and Danielle Peterson put up big results while representing Falmouth. Caroline was third in the discus with a throw of 68 feet and finished the 400m race in 66 seconds, good for seventh.
Danielle Peterson was eighth in the discus event. Her top throw traveled 55 feet, 10 inches. In the 800m race, she ran a personal-best time of 2:47.14, good for 23rd overall.
Coach Jeff Tribou said that the championships in Fitchburg allowed his top performers to get a taste of a big-time track meet, and he was pleased with the results.
“There were around 1,800 athletes overall, and they went up against some really strong kids,” Tribou said.