The ST Award bestseller list.

Category – Boys' Track Biographies


“Once and Only Once” – The Oliver Ames 4X100M Relay

Premise: The story of the “Knights of the Oval”. Four fast friends not only have a goal but also the speed and skill to pull it off.


Giving the Ending Away: There should be no greater feeling than three runners putting their star sprinter in position to bring the baton home first. The elation of a meet record is short lived as the entry rules of the meet weren't followed correctly and the team was eventually disqualified – an athlete having exceeded the event limits.      


Reviewer's notes: This is a bio that read more like a Greek Tragedy. Not everything turns out the way you like it or think it should. The plot twists provided interest. I kept rooting for a comeback that never came.
“Take Each Day” – Rodney Julien

Premise: Despite the swirl of controversy surrounding teammates and the resulting damage to team moral and success an athlete keeps his head high.


Giving the Ending Away: Julien shows class and restores pride in the team with a Hockomock and Division II Championship.


Reviewer's notes: This is a “feel good” story about one of the nice guys of track and field.


 “The Scream” – Kevin Peter


Premise: This is a thriller. Each throw has you on the edge of your seat. You know its' going far but will it be inside the vector?


Giving the Ending Away: In dramatic fashion at the Division II Championships Peter throws a nearly 3' PR on his last attempt to shock the field and win the title.


Reviewer's notes: This would be even better as a book on tape (the audio adds a lot!). The book continues after the dramatic win but never reaches a clear conclusion. Due out next year, the sequel is much anticipated.
“Oops” – Andrew Revenales

Premise: Stud athlete comes from nowhere to dominate his events and helps put Sharon track back on the map.


Giving the Ending Away: The book was never finished


Reviewer's notes: This is like a camp movie. It's poorly written and executed through no fault of the main character. It makes the top-10 list because it became one of the top stories of the season. Like Beethoven's unfinished symphony, it generates interest but was it really ever there?
“Pound For Pound” – The North Attleboro 4X400M Relay

Premise: Year after year they end up #2. Matt Smith, Vlad Francois, Ryan Doherty and Nick Wade have had enough! So meet after meet they pound out every race like it was their last.


Giving the Ending Away: School and Hock meet records plus a trip to New Englands as a reward.


Reviewer's notes: There was always doubt about the outcome. It was a true team story about three athletes setting a fine table then Nick Wade coming from behind to feast on rival anchor legs. I started to wonder if he was a vegetarian because he had a fondness for consuming greens.
“One More Chance” – The Mansfield 4X400M Relay

Premise: The team was so snake-bit in races that they started drawing straws to find out who would get chewed up at anchor.


Giving the Ending Away: They come through in their final attempt, the New England Championships – Kyle Kilduff finally holding off their nemesis.


Reviewer's notes: It also could have been titled the bridesmaid story except they finally got to walk down the aisle – in style!
“Only Young Once” – Chris Allen

Premise: Can an extremely talented freshman distance runner keep it up for an entire season?


Giving the Ending Away: Allen proved all of that and more. Clearly the best-crafted work of freshman distance running I've ever seen in the Hockomock


Reviewer's note: This was book #1 of a four part series. I hope each one gets better – tough for anyone that was so successful with the original issue.
“Defying Form – The Invention of Flight” – Michael Bates

Premise: Can big-time ups overcome gravity, poor take-off conditions and too-steep flight trajectories?


Giving the Ending Away: Sometimes it looked more like fight than flight. But every so often the pieces would come together and the crowd would go “ooh”.


Reviewer's notes: This is actually a remake of an oft-told tale. Our PR's (6'6”) are the same although mine was done using the straddle at UCONN in 1973! For those of you unfamiliar with the style of the time it is reminiscent of a cat coughing up a hairball – an analysis that often fit Bates' efforts.
“The Runaway” – Quinn Ryder

Premise: Just how good can a polite and humble sprinter be?


Giving the Ending Away: Good enough to kick butt at Hocks!


Reviewer's notes: Apparently, unlike the US sprinters of the past you don't have to be an egotistical jerk to be a top-flite sprinter. As Hockomock and Division III Champ Ryder provides clear evidence that feet are more important than mouth in running!
“Eight Days a Week” – Nick Wade

Premise: Can a high school mid-distance runner give fully to his school team AND compete at the national level?


Giving the Ending Away: Wade crushed two school records (mile-800) and barely missed a third (400) while dominating New England in the 800M. Meanwhile he ranked high nationally in an event he only did twice – the steeplechase!


Reviewer's notes: This story line wouldn't work for everyone. A lesser athlete would have crashed and burned. Wade did all that was expected and more. Although he grabbed for and reached significant individual goals he never let down his 4X4 teammates, bringing as much effort to their group cause as his own.