2018 D1 NHIAA Indoor State Championships Preview!

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By Nate Leveille

This Sunday, all the Division 1 teams in the state converge at Dartmouth College with the same goal in mind.  I have had the opportunity to cross paths, be coached by, and work with some excellent track and field coaches over the years.  As I coach today, one quote that has always stuck with me is the following, “Banners hang forever.”  This weekend two teams will be lucky enough to hang a banner in gymnasium at their school.  If you have never won a team title before, its hard to describe that kind of feeling.  Let’s get to the predictions and things to watch!

Girls Team Title

Div I Indoor Championship 2017-624The Division 1 Seeding Meeting is always interesting.  Coaches sometimes have a pretty good idea what teams will do with certain athletes, but they never know for sure.  Pinkerton had the most flexibility heading into the meeting with numerous athletes qualified in multiple events.  Based on the accepted entries, they sit in the driver’s seat with a projected 81 points.  Barring something surprising they should win their first indoor state championship since 1981!  This would bring to an end Bedford’s 3 year win streak and will crown a school not named Bedford or Bishop Guertin for the first time since Nashua won in 2002. The race for second would appear to be very close, based on expected points, between Exeter (58), Bedford (55), Bishop Guertin (40) and South (53).

Boys Team Title

I have had Pinkerton ranked as the favorites all year on the boys side and based on accepted entries they head into the Division 1 meet as the favorites with an expected point total of 77 points.  Things have tightened up quite a bit for the Astro’s though as other teams are within reach with Nashua North (73), Winnacunnet (68), Concord (54), and Exeter (52).  This is a meet which could come down to a big upset performance, dropped baton, or huge personal best.


Girls Individual Performances to Watch

Girls Final EntriesDiv I Indoor Championship 2017-112

Distance

Pinkerton’s Brittany Johnson has an important role for team hopes as she will most likely be on two relays and compete in the 1000m and 1500m.  Jackie Gaughan of Exeter is in both the 3000m and 1500m and both state records could be in play there.  The other star distance runner, Caroline Fischer of BG would appear to be coming off an injury of some sort and is entered in the 600m, but she is the top seed.  We expect to see her in a couple relays as well.

Sprints

Div I Indoor Championship 2017-571One of the more exciting races of the day should be the 300m between Grace Devanny (2017 outdoor 400m champ) of Concord and defending indoor 300m champ Amelia Graves of Pinkerton.  The two of them raced two weeks ago at USM and were separated by .02 seconds.  The 55m should be Johanna Koroma of Merrimack, but after her, one can pull a bunch of names out of a hat.

Jumps

The High Jump has been back and forth between Sydney Lewis of Nashua South and Emily Lesburt of Pinkerton.  They both have cleared 5’4” entering the meet and the winner with gather important team points.  The Long Jump is one of the most difficult events to predict because of facilities this winter.  The girls with the top seeds all did so on tracks with a board and the use of spikes, but not everyone has had that opportunity.  What I do know is Grace Jones of BG is the top seed by more than a foot and is the one to watch.

Throws

No thrower has been more dominant this season than Sarah Williams of Dover.  She is the top seed in the shot by more than 5 feet!

Relays

Bedford girls are the top seed in all three relays 4×800, 4×400 and 4×200.  Pinkerton is the 2nd seed in the 4×400 and 4×200 and the 3rd seed in the 4×800.  Exeter is the 4th seed in the 4×200, 2nd seed in the 4×800, and 3rd seed in the 4×400.  These relays could determine a banner and a plaque!


Boys Individuals to Watch

Boys Final EntriesDiv I Indoor Championship 2017-427

Distance

It should come as no surprise that Nashua North will rely on huge points in the 3000m and 1500m from both David Vorbach and Max Ireland.  They will be pushed by Concord’s Forest MacKenzie and Joe Gagnon of Pinkerton.  Everyone in the 1500m will already have at least one race under their belt aside from the top seed Jake Winslow of Exeter.  The event that may decide the meet is the 1000m. Three of the top 5 seeds dropped that event leaving the door wide open for a new champ.

Sprints

IMG_1548The 300m in Division 1 has one of the strongest fields in a long time.  Four boys have run under 37 seconds and favorite Jadyn Ruimwijk of Pinkerton has gone under 36 seconds.  In the dash, Dalton Mutz of Concord is the top seed, but the next 4 boys are separated by .07 seconds.  There are many valuable team points to be had in the sprints.  Billy Powers of Winnacunnet figures to have a big day ahead of him in the Hurdles, 300m, High Jump, and a relay.  Can he lower the state record even more?

Jumps

Exeter has the top two seeds in the high jump with Jake Langevin (6’4) and Quinn Mantegari (6’2), but neither one will sleep on 3rd seed Billy Powers, who made solid attempts at 6’4” earlier in the season.  Triston Delicema of Nashua North is the top long jumper with a seed of 21’10”, more than a foot ahead of the 2 seed.

ThrowsIMG_0793

From a team perspective, the shot is very important for Pinkerton’s title hopes.  Kaleal Cerafica and John King look to secure important team points as the one and three seeds in the shot.  

Relays

Winnacunnet is the one seed in the 4×800 and 4×400 and the 3 seed in the 4×200.  Pinkerton is the 1 seed in the 4×200, the 3 seed in the 4×400 and the 5 seed in the 4×800.  The 4×400 figures to be very fast between Exeter, Winnacunnet, and Pinkerton.  It will be interesting to see who has to double back athletes in the 4×200.  Bedford is the 2 seed in the 4×200 and should be able to give Pinkerton and Winnacunnet all they can handle in those relays.  

Good Luck to all competing.

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