The weekend is finally upon us! Regular season is done. Training plans are completed. Seeding meetings are over. Now all that is left is pure track and field. Who will claim the titles as the best track and field teams in their respective divisions? Who will be all-state in the relays? Which Division records will fall? How will certain coaching decisions pan out? What effect will Mother Nature have? All these questions will be answered come Friday and Saturday, but we can’t wait! Below are our previews for each division based on entries, and regular season performances. We also provide links to LancerTiming who will once again provide the precision they have for so many years! Please visit Saturday for Live Results!
FRIDAY, MAY 27TH @ 4:00PM
WINNACUNNET HIGH SCHOOL
The girls team race is still up for grabs as Exeter, Londonderry and both Nashua schools look to challenge overwhelming favorite Bedford for the team crown. The girls meet features many talented athletes that could challenge state records and place high at New England’s.
Leya Salis (Bedford) will be a force in the middle distance events for team favorite Bedford. Bedford also has jumps star Emma Bitz. Both athletes will put up big points for the Bulldogs and help out on the relays.
Londonderry’s Yorgelis Ortiz will look to defend her 100m crown. If she is challenged, it may come from Concord freshman Grace Devanny. Grace will look to win her first state championship in either the 100m or the 400m. She should be challenged in the 400m by Timberlane’s Elise Renahan and Bedford’s Rebecca Rooney.
Jacqueline Gaughan of Exeter will look to challenge the state record in the 3200m run (Erica Palmer’s 10:27.06 – 1997). She has already posted an outstanding 10:35.06 at this year’s Frosh-Soph meet!
Nashua North will be a force in the relays with a sub-50 second 4×100 team and a sub 4 minute 4x400m relay team!
Kathryn Flynn of Merrimack will look to cap off an impressive Javelin season with a Division 1 title in the Javelin.
My prediction on the girls side is Bedford winning the meet by a comfortable margin. The Bedford team stacks up favorably against the best the state has ever seen.
The boy’s meet should be closely contested between powers Pinkerton Academy and Concord High School. Other schools that could play a major role in determining the team champion include Timberlane, Central, Nashua North, and Merrimack.
Any shot Concord has at defeating a well-balanced Pinkerton attack starts with the sprinting duo of Angel Feliz and Dalton Mutz, who are the first two seeds in both the 100m and the 200m.
Speaking of Pinkerton, they will be carried by sophomore Jadyn Ruimwijk who will look to win both the 400m and 200m. Pinkerton also has a number of middle distance and distance runners led by Nick Sevilla, who will run the always difficult 1600m/3200m double.
This is the year to walk over to the throws and watch two of the best in New England battle it out in Javelin, Shot, and Disc. Central’s Jacob Stanko broke the state record in the Javelin last week, but will go against defending state champ Kyle Faucher of Timberlane. With Stanko at 196+ and Faucher just now rounding into form in the 180s, will the 200′ barrier fall?
Liam Kimball of Timberlane will look to continue an excellent senior season, which already includes a 4:12.11 mile in New York. He will compete in the 1600m and 3200m.
Alvirne’s Noah Bellamo will be the top seed in the 800m run, but may be challenged by Jonathan Allard of Keene.
Londonderry’s Trevor Guay will look to dominate the 300m Hurdles. He’s already under 39 seconds!
On his home track, Billy Powers of Winnacunnet will look for the Division title in the 110HH.
The city of Nashua controls the jumps with Nashua North long and triple jumpers, BG pole vaulter, and Nashua South High jumpers all looking to boost their team scores.
A young and talented Merrimack team will be a headache for other schools in the relays with 3 very solid relay teams highlighted by being the favorite in the 4x400m relay.
My personal prediction is a repeat for Pinkerton. The send out quality athletes in every event. A mistake or off day could open the door for Concord or Timberlane, but it seems like theirs to lose.
SATURDAY, MAY 28TH @ 10:00PM
PORTSMOUTH HIGH SCHOOL
Over the last 4 years, Coe-Brown has had a strangle hold on the girls Division 2 title, rendering the last 4 D2 meets anticlimactic in regards to the team race. Well, with the graduation of their entire varsity sprint/jump team and someone named Parker, the Bears find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of being the underdogs. However, we are seemingly going to be treated to one heck of a team competition between 3 full track and field teams.
While the talk around the room at the Division 2 seeding meeting may have revolved around the races featuring Dominique Twombly and her health status, the real conversation turns now toward which team can win the title on Saturday at Portsmouth. Lebanon, Milford, and Oyster River (with a healthy Twombly running) are the three odds on favorites to win. Oyster River and Milford go head-to-head in many of the events that may determine the fate of both teams, whereas Lebanon is left in the (relatively) safe position of not contesting most of their events against their two rival teams.
On paper, Lebanon seems to have the edge with all-everything Corinne Kennedy poised to pull off the rare 400-300 hurdles back to back sweep. With also being the heavy favorite in the high hurdles, and tied for 2nd in the high jump, Kennedy has the potential to score between 30 and 40 points by herself. Add in the Merchant sisters in the throws, and the Raiders seem ready to reclaim the D2 title for the first time since they completed a 5-year reign ending in 2011.
Milford would have to be the co-favorite. With a full collection of all-state sprinters and jumpers who find themselves at or close to the top of several events, they also sprinkle in a couple distance runners, with one who can chuck the javelin. Keeping in mind the Spartans knack for assembling FAST relays exemplified by their state record in the 4×100, as well as a freshman phenom sprinter in Viankah Williams, Milford seems to have the right mix of talent and experience (see Olivia Rougeau and Nicole McMorrow) to win their first girls’ track and field title in school history.
The largest question in the team race certainly is Oyster River. With the best middle distance runner in the state, possibly New England, in Maegan Doody, and arguably the best sprinter in Dominique Twombly, the Bobcats can throw up a bunch of points in a hurry. Obviously we are all rooting for Twombly’s hamstring to hold up and allow her to complete an illustrious prep career. With added jumping and sprinting depth, Oyster River could claim their 1st title since 1985!
Coe-Brown and Souhegan both bring distance-reliant teams to the championship meet and both would need some help from other teams, as well as a good dose from Mother Nature if either team were to mount an upset.
Athletes and Events to Watch For:
- Dominique Twombly and Oyster River vs. Viankah Williams and Milford – will we see the match-up that everyone wants in the 100, 200 and 4×100??
- Corinne Kennedy is attempting one of the hardest doubles in track and field, could she possibly become the state record holder in both the 400 AND 300 hurdles??
- Kath Merchant is ranked #1 or #2 in all of the throwing events, could she win all three for the first time in 16 years!
- Maegan Doody will have another shot at records in the 800 and 1600, will the weather thwart those attempts?
Unlike the girls side, the boys’ team competition in D2 has experienced parody over the last 5 years with 4 different schools winning. However, talk at the seeding meeting was eerily similar to that during the girl’s seedings, revolving around the health of another top sprinter. In contrast though, Portsmouth’s Andrew Scarlotto was scratched from the meet, which dramatically changes the possibilities on Saturday in the boys’ championship. The meet still looks to be a three team battle, but the departure of Scarlotto brings Kennett High School into the picture in a big way.
Coming off a momentum building win at the Wilderness Championships this past weekend, the Eagles will face off against both Portsmouth and Souhegan in many of the events that will decide this year’s champion. While the latter two teams seem to have the stars like Portsmouth’s Joey Auger, Eddie Carroll and Souhegan’s Sebastian Eaton, Peter Forster, Kennett will be relying on a host of scoring in the 2-5 spots in various events from relays to jumping to sprinting. Their only athlete with a number 1 ranking is distance runner Nick Brown in the 1600. If Kennett can pull off this upset, it will be their school’s 1st Division boys’ title in Track and Field ever.
Of the two perennial contenders, even with the loss of Scarlotto, the Clippers seem to have the edge with a heavy presence in the field events with the aforementioned Auger and Carroll. Souhegan rests its hopes on Sebastian Eaton and Peter Forster scoring big in their events. While Eaton seems to be a lock for 30 points, it may be Forster who will become the difference maker when he goes head-to-head with Carroll and Drew Dickinson in the Triple Jump.
Athletes and Events to Watch For:
- Sebastian Eaton will be attempting the sprinter quadruple (100, 200, 400, 4×100), will Souhegan be able to upset Windham’s 4×100?
- Oyster River’s Patrick O’Brien and Kennett’s Nick Brown may go head to head three times on Saturday, who will come out on top?
- Pole Vault showdoen between Milford’s Tim Tamulonis (12’6″) and Souhegan’s Jon Nogueira (12’3″).
- 4×800 has the potential to have 4 teams sub-8:10 if Oyster River, Kingswood, Kennett, and Coe-Brown run their “A” squads.
SATURDAY, MAY 28TH @ 2:00PM
NEWFOUND REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
Last year, the ladies of Monadnock crushed the rest of the D3 field, scoring 157 points over Fall Mountain and Bow. The supremacy of the Huskies was so great that if you combined the scoring of the second and third place teams you would still fall 29 points shy. Monadnock doesn’t look as dominant as in 2015, but they would also be hard to bet against. With Division 3 leaders in 5 events going into the championships, they still must be considered the favorites. With Kayla Blair listed with the lead in three of those events, discounting the Huskies would be foolish. However, the weight of the championships weighs differently on different people’s shoulders which begs the question: Can Monadnock get the best out of themselves with the workload stack so high?
Stealthily working their way up the D3 ranks is White Mountains, who with Alex Curtis and a bevy of distance runners picking up points, the Spartans are the probable dark horse and could likely upset the apple cart at the top of the ranks. Alex Curtis, Peyton Giles and Leah Dutkewych will carry the heavy burden for the Spartans.
Individually look for Alex Curtis to dominate the hurdle events and the triple jump. Challenging her in the 100 meter hurdles will be Jaila Remillard of Winnisquam who also is the leader in the long jump. Marina Baer of Gilford has the top seed in the javelin and the #3 height in high jump.
Unlike the ladies, last year the men’s championship was separated by a mere 3 points, with Inter-Lakes taking the win over Kearsarge. Kearsarge looks poised to pull it off this year, with wins at Black Bear Invitational and the Wilderness Championships. Inter-Lakes are led by D3s fastest miler, Cam Daly, and a supporting cast that won’t let Kearsarge have it easy. But there are so many wildcards picking up points here and there, that we could see a program like Hopkinton or Belmont slip in and spoil it for the Cougars or the Lakers.
Individually, Kearsarge has two of the best field men in the state. Troy Davis is the D3 leader in the high jump, long jump and triple jump and pulled off the sweep at Wilderness. Zach Astle is nearly as dominant in the throwing events, with a state lead in the shot put and solid marks in javelin and discus. It wouldn’t be impossible to believe up to two thirds of Kearsarge’s points come from these two guys. Add in points from all over the events and Kearsarge could turn the tables on Inter-Lakes.
Look for Hopkinton to move up the rankings as well. Hopkinton has a sprint duo in Nick Fleury and Aaron Dobe that will grab some points in the shorter events. Fleury has leaders in the 100, 200 and long jump. Depending on how they split the relay duties, we can expect them to somewhere around 40 points or so. Senior distance phenom Dom Repucci will be pulling the load in the distance events with three individual events (1600, 800 and 3200) and is expected to run a leg of the 4×800 or 4×400 relay.
Belmont has a couple hurdlers that should get them some points as well. Eli Allman is the #1 ranked high hurdler and the second seed in the 300 hurdles. With teammate Ian Remenar seeded 3rd behind him, and athletes sprinkled all over the meet, Belmont might be the division’s true dark horse.
Look for strong performances from Tyler McLaughlin of Moultonborough in the 1600 and 3200, where he will likely make those top seeds work harder than they might want to in trying spread points out.