St. Jean readying for Western Mass. meet

  • Athol's Dennis St. Jean, center, competes in the 1000-meter run during the PVIAC indoor track championship at Smith College in Northampton. File Photo/Dan Little

Staff Writer
Published: 5/17/2019 1:27:04 PM
Modified: 5/17/2019 1:26:48 PM

It’s time for some real competition for Dennis St. Jean.

After an outdoor season full of sporadic meets and not many real challenges, the distance runner has targeted the WMass Division 2 championships on Friday for a fitting end in sectional competition.

“It’s hard being in a league where there’s not someone super close,” St. Jean said. “I haven’t really had a meet where someone is within 10 seconds of me.  It will be interesting racing on Friday with people around me for the first time in four months.”

St. Jean had a focus on the 800-meter run during his final season for the Athol track and field team, qualifying in the first meet of the season.

To prepare for the postseason St. Jean used his outdoor meets as a portion of a larger workout routine, running before and after meets.

“I’ll run a few miles before and a few miles after,” St. Jean said. 

The field in the 800-meter run for Friday looks promising for St. Jean who finished sixth in the event last season.   Several of the top finishers last season graduated. 

“I am definitely looking to be top three this year,” St. Jean said. “Last year was a pretty slow time for me. I would really like to win.”

St. Jean played soccer in addition to outdoor and indoor track. He is entering his final postseason for Athol High School.

“I am sure I will get sad about it after the season is done,” St. Jean said. “I’ve had a lot of memories of kids on the team.”

There is a particular bond with sprinter Mason Barrieau.

“Mason and I started doing track together when we were middle schoolers,” St. Jean said. “We’ve done it all the way until now.  It will hit me after the fact.”

St. Jean recently signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Assumption College to join the track and field team.

 The potential end to St. Jean’s soccer career is another mental hurdle. The former Athol defenseman has played the sport since he was a child. Memories include carpooling with teammates to different soccer tournaments.

“Soccer was a big part of everything I did when I was little,”  St. Jean said. 

St. Jean could eventually play soccer for the Greyhounds if he decides to give it a try in his sophomore year.

In his freshman year, St. Jean will run cross county in the fall. 

“I had a thought about trying to walk on the soccer team at Assumption,” St. Jean said. “I would rather get know the people on the track team before doing something else.”

The WMass Division 2 championships get underway at Mohawk Trail Regional School on Friday at 4:30 p.m. 

20 Questions

Favorite Food: Salt and vinegar chips

Favorite professional athlete: Matthew Centrowitz Jr. and Shalane Flanagan

Favorite social media: Instagram

Favorite show: The Office

Favorite vacation spot: Disney World 

Role model: Fred Tressler 

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction 

Pet peeve:  Clenching teeth 

Career aspirations:  Lawyer 

Favorite website:

Favorite animal: Dog 

Best pizza in Athol/Orange: Athol House of Pizza 

Gameday ritual: Bagel with cream cheese.

Current sneaker brand: Nike

Favorite music genre: Indy

Favorite artist: Cage The Elephant 

Best school subject: English

Worst school subject: Math

Special talent: Juggling

If I had a million dollars I would: New athletic complex for  Athol High School.

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