Max Stakun-Pickering loves to compete. In fact, he often performs his best when presented with a challenge. Just ask his teammates on the 2018 state runner-up Wellesley High boys’ soccer team about that penalty kick Max drove home when it was most needed. So not surprisingly, Stakun-Pickering achieved several personal bests enroute to placing fourth at the 2019 MSTCA Indoor Track & Field Pentathon on Feb. 26.
115 of the state’s most talented all-around high school athletes competed in the event, which includes the 55-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump, shot put, and 1,000 meter run. In the pentathlon, points are earned based on performances in each event. Run faster, throw or jump farther, and more points are earned. Points are totaled across the five events and the athlete with the highest total points wins.
Stakun-Pickering scored 3,245 points, earning fourth place. Eventual winner Roan Marcano, a senior from Methuen, scored 3,402—just 157 points more than Stakun-Pickering, one of just four freshmen competing. In an event that attracts the most seasoned high school athletes, seven of the top eight athletes were seniors.’
Stakun-Pickering achieved a personal best in three events: the 55 hurdles, where he ran 8.5 seconds; the shot put, where he threw 11.45 meters (37’6.75”), and the 1,000 meters, where he ran 2:57.02. His 6.3 meters (20’8”) long jump and 1.77 meter (5’9.75”) high jump rounded out his superb first try at the all-around competition.
All of this bodes well for Wellesley High School’s already strong track & field program, which is celebrating the girls’ all-state championship and the boys’ second place finish at all-states (Max’s brother Colby, a WHS senior, is a key contributor on that team).