2019 D1 NHIAA Indoor Track & Field Championships Preview

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By Nate Leveille

The 70th day of the indoor season marks the NHIAA Championship Meets. This Sunday teams and individuals will put their hard work and dedication to the test. Division 1 is lucky enough to have the early morning meet so we should be able to make it home in time for the Super Bowl. Unrelated to track and field, the Patriots are 3-0 when Division 1 has the early meet and 0-3 when Division 1 has the late meet.  That’s me making my case for Division 1 having the early meet every year. This indoor season has been unlike any other, less snow and more meets and facilities than past years. Kudos to Amy Sanborn and Larry Martin and the on-site directors for the various meets that we compete at!  New Hampshire Track and Field website continued to step it up this year between the articles, rankings, results, and the new database that tells you all the results by grade, event, and/or individual.

Below are just predictions based on performances throughout the season and seeds going into the state meet.  There is a reason we have the state meet each year. Last year we saw the #1 seeds in the 55 dash and 1500 meters false start.  There have been numerous examples of dropped batons, no heights in the high jump, and fouls in the jumps over the years. Let’s not forget about the flu that likes to circulate schools around this time.  Anything can happen at the state meet.

Div 1 Indoor 2018 championship-676Boys

Accepted Entries

The Boys team championship seemed to be up for grabs at the beginning of the season.  Pinkerton and Nashua North had graduated the majority of their point scorers and Bedford, Concord and Exeter were returning most of theirs.  Pinkerton didn’t need a rebuilding year, they just reloaded with talented sprinters and jumpers making them the hands-down favorites heading into the D1 Championships.  Pinkerton is led by super Sophomores Patrick Cotnoir and Ryan Dane, along with returning point scorer Adam Spencer. The key events for them will be the hurdles, high jump, and long jump.  It’s difficult to find a way for them to not come through unless those three events go very wrong. According to two different scoring systems I use, they are favored by anywhere between 14-22 points. If they were to have a couple things go wrong, look for Nashua North or Exeter to challenge for the “Big” plaque and banner. Nashua North graduated 36 points in the Div 1 Indoor 2018 championship-188distance events alone from last year, but has had a bunch of younger athletes step up big time this year.  They will spread their points throughout many events and are led by distance standout Joseph Curran and jumper Triston Delicema. Exeter has fewer entries than Pinkerton and Nashua North and instead will look to score their points with event wins. They are Led by long sprinter Dante Radigonda and distance star Jake Winslow.    Merrimack and Concord should round out the top 5 in team scoring.

Sprints and Hurdles

Larry Martin, the coach of Londonderry for many years, once said, “The dash champion is walking around your building and it’s your job to find him or her.”  Well, it looks like John Snell of Merrimack might have done just that. The sprints should be exciting, led by first-year winter track athlete, Adam Thornton of Merrimack.  He will be challenged in the dash by Ryan Dane of Pinkerton, Adrian Sutton of Spaulding, Patrick Cotnoir of Pinkerton, and Austin Ouellette of Nashua North. Those athletes are separated by a tenth of a second!

Dartmouth (189 of 631)The 55 Meter Hurdles appear to be a two horse race on paper.  Spencer of Pinkerton and Sutton of Spaulding have had the top two times all season, but don’t sleep on Manolo Feliz of Concord and Conor Seleny of Pinkerton, both of which are capable of pulling off the upset. In the 300 meter dash, Zach Verow of Bedford has been unbeaten in New Hampshire with a top time of 36.25 from the Dartmouth Relays.  He will lead a very strong field of boys under 37 seconds. His competition should come from Seleny of Pinkerton or Thornton of Merrimack.

Middle Distance

I grouped the 600 meters and 1000 meter run together as those events feature the best middle distance has to offer.  The number 1 seed in the 600 meters is Radigonda of Exeter moving up from the 300 meters from a year ago. He should be challenged by Bryce Eckenrode of Nashua North and Ryan Moyer of Dover.  The 1000 meters is one of the most talented and deepest fields D1 has hadUSM (201 of 530) in the past few years. The top seed is Aidan Kindopp of Keene, who I assume will be doubling back from the 4×800. He will have his hands full with Jack Taylor of Winnacunnet, who has put together a fantastic winter season.  Those two should lead a number of boys under 2:40.

Distance

The distance races are shaping up to maybe be the highlight of the meet.  In the 3000 meters, Forest MacKenzie of Concord is the top seed followed by Joe Gagnon of Pinkerton and Eli Boesch Dining of Concord.  Last year, those three were separated by 2 seconds in the 3000 meter race. Those three will try to set a fast pace early and try to shake Joseph Curran of Nashua North and Colin Donnelly of Winnacunnet, both of which have some real speed.  All 5 of those boys could approach or break the 9-minute mark. In the 1500 meters, top seed Winslow of Exeter will be fresh and looking to challenge the state record of 3:58.63 set way back in 2006. Every other boy in the race will be either doubling or tripling back in the event so they may be running for a position and team points.

Field Events 

The field events will play an important role in determining the meet.  The long jump will be held on the same runway as last year, meaning there will be no board. Delicema of Nashua North has really come on late in the season. He enters with the top distance of 21’ 5”.  The two seed is Paul Marchand of Nashua South and the three seed is defending champ Lucien Mumphini of Bedford. After a few sub-par fields in D1, the long jump is back with the top 6 seeds all over 20 feet.  

Div 1 Indoor 2018 championship-27The shot put is also back. Patrick Hagerty of Londonderry is the top seed with a monster throw of 51’11”. Patrick should not be challenged for the top prize, but there is a tight race for second between Adam Roy of Bedford, Ryan Whitney of Exeter, Jessiah Francis of Central, and Jordan Smith of Nashua North.  

The high jump is another one of those swing events in the meet. Six boys have gone over 6 feet and any of them could win. It could be who slips up at the early heights in determining who will be the champ. Matt Small of Pinkerton is the top seed with a leap of 6’1” followed by 5 others at 6 feet. The top returner is Jake Langevin of Exeter who placed second last year.

Relays

The relays could have a huge impact on the meet.  I wish we would switch the order of events to something similar to what New York State does.  The 4×200 is earlier in the meet and the 4×400 and 4×800 are at the end. The 4×800 is almost impossible to predict because I really have no way of knowing who is running in it and who is holding out for individual events.  That being said if Keene, Winnacunnet, and Dover enter their best squads they should have a fun three-way battle at the front. All three most likely won’t factor in the overall team race, so this could be a way to get their relay team and kids an all-state baton.  The 4×400 should be a real race up front between Exeter and Nashua North. It might come down to who has more left in the tank at that point in the meet. In the 4×200 Pinkerton has been the top seed and time all season long. Exeter gave them all they could handle at the Dartmouth Relays, but Pinkerton has a real shot at the D1 record held by Nashua North of 1:32.89.  They may need to get out in front and run clear for that to happen but it is possible. Exeter, Merrimack, Concord, and Nashua North should round out the rest of the 4×200 scoring.


GirlsDiv 1 Indoor 2018 championship-298

Girls Accepted Entries

The girl’s team race looks to be a tight one.  In the preseason preview, the four teams I said to keep an eye on were returning champion Pinkerton, Exeter, Nashua South, and Bishop Guertin.  With the unfortunate injury to Cali Coffin of Nashua South earlier this season, it will be difficult for them to get into the team champion picture without at least doubling her, but I wouldn’t count anything out.  When the dust settles this should come down to Pinkerton, Exeter, BG. Scoring the track meet out based on seeds alone, Exeter is the favorite heading into Sunday. Exeter is led by a senior duo USM (97 of 530)similar to last year.  Camille Sweet will look to score them major points in the long jump, hurdles and sprints while Violet Sullivan will look to do damage in the distance events. For Exeter though its all about scoring points in as many events as possible with many 3rd-6th seeds, they have the ability to score points in 12 of the 13 events.  

Bishop Guertin figures to give the BlueHawks all they can handle, but with a different strategy. BG is led by the distance duo of Caroline Fischer and Caroline Towle. Those two will look to win events and could score more than 30 points combined. They also have the top seed Cameryn Nichols in the Hurdles and 2nd seed Grace Jones in the long jump.  BG has what it takes to pull off the upset.

Defending champion Pinkerton Academy is not letting anyone dethrone them without having their say. Pinkerton Is led by the Grave Sisters in the long sprints and Meghan Cross in the distance events. The also have Adrianna Buccieri in the shot who keeps improving every week. My prediction is this meet comes down to the final two relays and possible the 4×200.  Nashua South behind Sydney Lewis, Coffin, and some experienced jumpers and relays could make a runDiv 1 Indoor 2018 championship-191 at a plaque. Up and coming Salem and Concord, behind sprint star Grace Devanny, figure to round out the team scoring.

Sprints and Hurdles

The sprinting events have been dominated by Devanny of Concord for the past two years.  She is the top seed in both the 55-meter dash and the 300-meters. She will have her hands full with 9th grader Autumn Aronofsky of Salem and Lauren Noble of Spaulding.  Let’s not forget about last year’s champ Johanna Koroma of Merrimack. She has run faster and faster each week.

In the 55 meter hurdles returning champ, and top seed Cameryn Nichols of BG is back.  In one of the most important events for team points, she will be challenged by Sydney Lewis of Nashua South and Camille Sweet of Exeter. All three girls have gone under 9 seconds this year.

Devanny will be back to work in the 300-meter run.  She is the top seed by two seconds after her performance at the Dartmouth Relays. This race is hers to lose with the real battle is for places 2-6. Amelia Graves of Pinkerton is the two seed, Ella Fraser of Exeter, Allison Kelley of Exeter, Noble of Spaulding, and Brianna Coco of Bedford are all separated by less than a second!  

Div 1 Indoor 2018 championship-241Middle Distance

In the 600 meters run, Asia Mercier of Memorial has been the top seed all season.  Macy Graves of Pinkerton, Hadley Raymond of Exeter, and Silvia Cadell of Salem will challenge for the crown.  Dominique Milinazzo of Alvirne is the defending champ and will try to repeat from the first heat, which is not impossible.  The 1000 figures to be one of the more exciting races of the night. Caroline Fischer of BG has the top time in the state and is just off the state record.  She will have her hands full with Mikayla Randall of Keene. Both girls could be doubling back from the 4×800 so who knows. Defending champ Kaitlyn Pepin of Central is in the race as well and should be fresh.

Distance

The distance races are shaping up to be a real battle.  The top seed in the 3000 is Sullivan of Exeter.  She is followed by Cross of Pinkerton, Towle of BG, and Arianna Braccio of Nashua North.  Look for those 4 to break away early and battle all the way to the line. In the 1500 meter run, all the major players from the 3000 and 1000 will be doubling back.  Cali Coffin of Nashua South will be the only one that will not have run an individual event prior to the 1500. I expect her to push the pace early and she may be the favorite.  She will be challenged by Towle of BG, Sullivan of Exeter, Fischer of BG, Cross of Pinkerton, and Braccio of North.Div 1 Indoor 2018 championship-165

Field Events

The field events will have a huge impact on the outcome of the meet.  In the girls shot put, the favorite is Kathryn Lynn of Nashua North but only by a couple inches over Buccieri of Pinkerton.  The long jump returns 5 of the top 6 from a year ago. Sweet of Exeter has had the top distance this season at 17 feet. She will be challenged by Grace Jones of BG, Katya Rojco of Salem, the Nashua South duo of Julia Zhang and Lewis, and last year’s champ Abby Coy of Nashua North.  Last year Coy finished first, Lewis second, and Jones third. The girls high jump should be an excellent battle between freshmen sensation Olivia Mazerolle of Nashua North and Lewis of Nashua South. Lewis sits at 5’4” and Mazerolle 5’5”. If there are any surprises they might come from Emily Lesbert of Pinkerton.

Relays

Much like the boys meet the 4×800 will be very difficult to predict.  Some teams chasing points may need to try to score in the 4×800, while others will rely on individual Div 1 Indoor 2018 championship-594performances.  Keene would figure to be the team to beat with the only sub 10 minute time. They will be followed by Nashua South, Pinkerton, and BG all of which are in the team title hunt.  In the 4×400 meter relay, Exeter has the top seed time. They will be in the fast section with Salem, Pinkerton, and Winnacunnet. Pinkerton won last years 4×400. In terms of the team title race, BG and Nashua South will be in the second heat.  

This meet should be undecided by the time the 4×200 fires off. As the top seed in the 4×200, Bedford pulled their 4×400 team, opting to focus on this event. They will be the team to beat followed by Nashua South, Exeter, and Bishop Guertin. It will be interesting to see who BG, Exeter, South, and Pinkerton use in these relays.  Many athletes will be on their second, third, or fourth event at this point in the meet, but a state championship will be on the line.

Lastly, I would like to thank Lancer Timing for all they do during this indoor season and state meet.  Larry Martin and Amy Sanborn for making this indoor track season what it is. Without the two of them, the sport would really be suffering.  Finally, thanks to Tim Cox, Greg Hall and all the NewHampshireTrackandField.com staff that conduct interviews, write articles, film the meets, and provide live commentary.  I was talking with some of the other coaches about what indoor track was like when we were competing and how awesome and different things are now. Best of luck to everyone competing.

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