New Hampshire Track and Field Community!!! We have a lot to be thankful for! Yes this has been the most unique of seasons. Yes it has been one of the more challenging seasons to compete and coach during. Yes we had no invitationals, but we were innovative with MiniElite and Select Meets. Yes we had restrictions involving travel, masks, and other protocols, but we made it work! And yes, it has been frustrating. But, and not to sound like a broken record, it is certainly better than the alternative we experienced last spring with no meets, no practices, nothing.
At the same time, we all should take a big sigh of relief and feel a sense of accomplishment. A regular season was conducted safely. Wins and losses were recorded. Phenomenal performances dropped every week! Battlenotes filled beyond capacity. We have Division State Championships and Meet of Champions planned and ready to roll thanks to the host schools stepping up and the work of the NHIAA. Once again, we are doing better in the most difficult of circumstances than most states!
With all of that said, lets take a look at several highlights and successes from the regular season!
- MiniElite and Select meets were organized to fit travel and meet size restrictions to have competitions at the same level as the large invitationals we were all missing. This produced incredible results. With the MiniElite meets for example. Every week some of the best athletes within their regions faced off on a limited schedule of events producing exciting meets completed within 90 minutes to 2 hours.
- Watch out for the D2 girls sprinters. It seems to have gotten even deeper than previous years. Yes we still have names like Hanover’s Ella Maclean, Plymouth’s Tara Smoker, and Pelham’s Gwynneth Dahlinger, but there are some new kids on the block in the likes of Kennett’s Aida Wheat, Oyster River’s Charlotte Cousins and CBNA’s Anushka Chavda.
- D2 Sprinting is deep also!! Merrimack Valley’s Seth Baylus has dropped some times! 11.04 in the 100 meters as late as last night. He will be facing the Windham sprinting contingent led by Quinn Cerami, Brandon Neal and Braeden Manti. It could be said that the Windham sprinting corp rivals the Coe-Brown’s boys distance crew. Especially if you add in Windham’s Jackson Bomba, who has the top D2 seed in both hurdle events.
- Speaking the CBNA boys distance. Concord’s Eben Bragg gave them everything they could handle and then some each week at the MiniElite meets rotating between CBNA, Portsmouth and Oyster River. Fans were privy to weekly showdowns featuring Bragg, Oyster River’s Andy O’Brien, Owen Fleischer, Coe-Brown’s Luke Tkaczyk, Carter Sylvester and Aidan Cox as well as Bragg’s teammate Brayden Kearns. These races were always close and had exciting tactics producing incredibly fast deeps results. Especially the last 2 weeks, which saw a 3200 spanning 9:13 to 9:20 for the top 4 places. A 1600 this past weekend with two leaning finishes as Bragg and Tkaczyk crossed the tape in 4:15 and O’Brien and Cox leaned at 4:18. Fleischer and Kearns ran each other into the ground in the 800 running 1:56 just last week as well.
- While that 800 was fast, Londonderry’s Matt Griffin was even faster as he has posted results of 50.15 in the 400 and 1:53 and change in the 800. Also in that region of the state, watch out for Windham’s Rohan Rai who has a resume of 1:58, 4:18 and 9:18.
- At D1’s watch out for Pinkerton’s Benjamin Fleming as he is the top seed in both the 100and 200. Also watch for his female teammates, the McGadden sisters in multiple events.
- Exeter’s Michael Dettore seems to have the bounce as he tops D1 with a long jump of 21’7″ and triple jump of 41’3.5″. His female counterpart at Exeter, Autumn Agri also has the top seed in the Triple with a 36’7″ mark.
- The more things change, the more they stay the same as North teammates Olivia Mazerolle and Victoria Conrad are atop their respective events the high jump and shot put once again. South’s Jason Compoh is the top Shot Putter in the state with a chuck of 48’10”.
- Back to D2…has anyone had a better regular season than CBNA’s Addison Cox? She is atop the entire state in both the 1600 and 3200 with times of 4:55 and 10:30. She also has the leading 800 time in D2 with a 2:18. The big question for this year’s XC Runner of the Year is which events will she do at D2s???
- If anyone can make the case in the distance world it would be Portsmouth Christian’s Liza Corso who has dropped times of 2:17, 5:06 and 10:59 along with her teammate Brianna Malone who has ruled the middle distances with a 59 clocking in the 400 as well as a 2:18 in the 800.
- What about Gilford’s Patrick Gandini and Mascenic’s Landen Vaillancourt??
- Other names to watch for in D2 are Milford’s Renee Wilson and Sarah Sawyer in the jumps. On the boys side, Sanborn pole vaulter Max Lussier has his eye on the D2 record as he has already cleared 14’1″. Other jumpers to watch include CBNA’s Anders Larson, Windham’s Chris Shattuck and Hollis-Brookline’s John Kotelly.
- Other names to watch in D3 include Mascoma Valley’s Gabe Rock, Newport’s Eliza Bates and Jagger Lovely, and Campbell’s Tori Allen.
As always, if anyone wants to give anyone a shout out, please do so in the comments below!