Pinkerton Boys Repeat, Exeter Girls Runaway!
Results Courtesy of LancerTiming
By Nate Leveille
The 2020 Division 1 boys meet exceeding expectations with many outstanding performances, Division 1 records, and a tighter than expected team race. Lancertiming and NewHampshireTrackandField.com were up to the challenge providing excellent meet coverage and real time results for the viewers at the meet and those that didn’t make the drive up to Hanover. I hope everyone spectating, competing, and coaching in this meet understands how lucky we are as a state to have a dedicated timing company and individuals that make the spectacular coverage of this meet possible. We are very lucky.
Things got started in the field events. Live feeds bounced back and forth to allow viewers at home to see all three events at once. In the long jump Paul Marchand of Nashua South continued his dominant season with a 22’ 4” bomb. Ryan Dane of Pinkerton was the runner up and Ryan Lane of Spaulding finished third. In the High Jump, Jacob Pacheco of Bishop Guertin bested the field with a clearance of 6’ 2”. He was followed by William Pagliarulo of Bedford and Ethan Holt of BG. In the shot, Jessiah Francis of Manchester Central established a new school record and personal best with a throw of 53’ 5.25”. Owen Gromley of Salem joined the 50 foot club with a personal best 51’ 7.75” and Adam Roy of Bedford took the bronze. As the field events wrapped up Pinkerton was out in front of the pack followed by BG, Bedford, and South.
The track started off with the 4×800. Merrimack and Dover battled leg for leg until Dover’s anchor pulled away late giving the Green Wave the win in 8:17.65 over Merrimack (8:20.65) and Concord (8:27.69).
Next up was the much anticipated 3000 meter run. It didn’t disappoint as Colin Donnelly of Winnacunnet, Jake Velazquez of Keene, and Tyler Sheedy of Dover all tried to shake loose Joseph Curran of Nashua North. They were unsuccessful as Curran laid down his punishing kick en route to the win in 8:49.50. Donnelly was second in 8:56.78 and Sheedy third in 8:59.16. Dover snuck into the team race with 16 points and Nashua North also enters the team picture with 16.5 points. Both still trailed Pinkerton with 21.
The Hurdles were the clash of the “Big Three” Conor Seleny of Pinkerton, Nasir Perry of North, and Adrian Sutton of Spaulding. Perry entered Billy Powers territory winning in a blistering time of 7.51. Seleny was second in 7.57 and Sutton third in 7.81. In the Dash, it was a different big three battling it out as Marchand of Nashua South, Ben Fleming of Pinkerton, and Zach Verow of Bedford. Marchand of South got out in front and never looked back blitzing the field with a 6.46. Verow was second in 6.63 and Fleming third in 6.69.
The 1000 was one of the best races of the day as Jack Taylor of Winnacunnet took off with what seemed like a crazy pace going through 400 meters in 58 seconds. Matt Griffin of Londonderry and Zach Plaza of Pinkerton made a late charge, but Taylor was able to hold on for the win in 2:33.61, Plaza was second in 2:33.79 and Griffin placed 3rd in 2:34.14.
Dante Radigonda of Exeter didn’t disappoint in the 600m. He charged to a commanding lead gapping the field and going through 40 meters in 52.9. He brought it home with a new D1 record time of 1:20.84 seconds good enough for #5 currently in the nation. Ryan Walker of Winnacunnet was second and Christopher Keefe of Nashua South finished third.
Seleny of Pinkerton and Verow of Bedford brought their “A” game in the boys 300m. Ther ran shoulder to shoulder most of the race before Seleny pulled ahead at the very end of the race. Both boys dipped well under 36 seconds, Seleny’s 35.64 to Verow’s 35.73. Connor Dunning of Nashua North was third in 36.36.
Curran of Nashua North was back at work in the 1500m. This time it was Brayden Kearns of Concord trying to shake him loose. It was Curran putting in a big move with 400m to go getting the win in 4:05.18. Kearns was second in 4:09.07. Colin Donnelly of Winnacunnet was third in 4:13.18. Pinkerton held on to a 14 point lead over NN after the 1500 meter went final.
In the 4×400 meter relay it was Bedford and Verow pulling off the late win in a time of 3:33.75 over Winnacunnet’s 3:34.74. Merrimack made them work for the win by putting up a 3:34.79 in the middle heat. After the 4×400 relay, Pinkerton was still comfortably ahead with by 8.5 points but Bedford passed Nashua North for second by 1 point heading into the final event.
Pinkerton Academy knew coming in that this would be one of their two chances to break the state record in the 4×200. They had to be slightly cautious to make sure they got the stick around to secure the team victory. They went right out in the front and dominated like they have all season winning and establishing a new D1 record of 1:32.09. The win also clinched their 8th team title in the past 9 years. Runner up in the 4×200 was Spaulding with a time of 1:35.41 and third was Merrimack in 1:36.65. Nashua North finished 4th securing enough points to overtake Bedford for second place in the team race.
Congratulations to the Pinkerton Academy coaches and athletes on yet another D1 championship win. They have been a model of consistency and have set the bar extremely high for the rest of the state. Although the meet was closer on paper than one would have expected, it was never really in doubt. Congrats to the grit and determination of runner-up Nashua North. They continue to bring their best at the D1 championships, always outperforming their seeds and projected points.
Similar to the boys meet, the girls meet started out with the field events. I think it’s great that the first hour of the meet is dedicated to the field events and allows the athletes to focus their attention to the fields rather than having to run back and forth from events. In the Shot Put, pre meet favorite Victoria Conrad of Nashua North started the event out with a bang, bombing a new D1 record throw of 40’ 7”. Runner-up was the always consistent Emily Boswell of Keene with a throw of 34’ 1.5”. Gia Komst of Londonderry was third with a throw of 33’3.75”.
In the High Jump the pre meet favorite Olivia Mazerolle of Nashua North was able to win the high jump with a clearance of 5’ 4” on fewer jumps than runner up Jori Santos of Bedford. Emily Lesbert of Pinkerton finished 3rd with a height of 5’2”.
In the Long Jump Molly O’Donnell of Alvirne broke the streak of #1 seeds winning events as she was victorious with a leap of 17’ 0.5”. She was followed by Grace Jones of Bishop Guertin and Adaobieze Nwankwo of Nashua North. At the conclusion of the field events, Nashua North had stormed out into the lead with 30 points. Keene followed with 12 and Pinkerton with 10.
The 4×800 is always difficult to figure out depending on what athletes teams decided to use. Bishop Guertin and Pinkerton trotted out their “A” squads while Exeter did the same. Those three all got the stick within a second of one another heading into the last leg. Pinkerton’s anchor, Macy Graves made a big move to secure the win for Pinkerton in a time of 9:56.17 seconds. Bishop Guertin finished second with a time of 9:58.93 and Exeter cruised to third in 10:05.30.
Next on the track was the 3000 meter run. Caroline Towle of BG was the premeet favorite by such a large margin they were able to use her in the 4×800. She still cruised to an easy victory in 10:35.83. MacKenna Whelan of Winnacunnet was runner up in a tight three girl pack with Meghan Cross of Pinkerton finishing third. NN was still out in front with 30 points, but now BG and Pinkerton had closed the gap with 26 points each.
Up next on the track were the Hurdles and Dash. In the Hurdles, Camilla McAleer of Exeter entered as the 3 seed, but left as the champ running 8.87 just edging Sheridan McGadden of Bedford 8.89. Katya Rojco of Salem was third in 9.04. In the Dash it was another surprise as the 4 seed Grace Kunysz of Exeter ran a lifetime best 7.41 to get the win over Abby Coy of Nashua North 7.46 and Sydney Lavelle of Exeter 7.51. This was the turning point in the meet from a team perspective as Exeter tied things up with Nashua North at 38 points.
Next on the track was the 1000 meter run with an absolutely loaded field. Carly Rinko of Bedford and Mikayla Randall of Keene were both coming in fresh while Grace Mercier of Exeter had already cruised a 4×800 leg and top seed Fiona Doherty of BG was pushed hard in the 4×800. Randall and Mercier went to the lead and battled until the last lap. Mercier pulled away to get the win in 3:02.72. Randall finished 2nd in 3:07.05 followed by Rinko (3rd) and Doherty (4th).
In the 600, Hadley Raymond of Exeter entered as the 7th seed, but established a 1:40.04 in the first heat to put the pressure on the top seeded girls. Her time was good enough for the win as Asia Mercier of Memorial won the fast heat and finished second overall with a 1:40.95. Silvia Caddell of Salem was third in 1:41.54.
Next on the track was the 300 meter run and top seed Ella Fraser of Exeter was able to get out hard and hold off teammate Sydney Lavelle to get the win in 42.84 to Lavelle’s 43.57. Adrienne Mckoy-Sophes of Alvirne won the middle heat to finish third overall. This was Exeter’s 5th straight event win catapulting them to a commanding lead with 82 points over Nashua North who had 38 points. Three events remaining.
In the 1500, Dantia Braccio of Nashua North was coming in fresh and took advantage of that storming to the front and establishing a punishing pace. None of the other pre race favorites went with her and allowed her to escape with a personal best time and a state championship in 4:59.53. Abby Goulas of Concord led the chase in second with a time of 5:08.67 with Towle third in 5:08.71. With Exeter securing the team win at this point, the focus shifted to the runner-up position. Nashua North (48 points) extended their lead over third place BG (39 points) heading into the relays.
In the 4×400, Exeter’s sprinters went back to work. They took control of the race on the second leg and ran to a win in 4:12.20. Bedford claimed the runner up crown with a season best 4:17.84 followed by Pinkerton’s 4:17.87 and Dover. Nashua North finished 6th scoring an important point giving them a 10 point lead over both Bedford and BG heading into the final event.
In the 4×200, it was the Exeter ladies finishing off an undefeated season in the event with a winning time of 1:48.11. Nashua North put an exclamation point on their runner-up plaque with a 1:51.56 second place performance finishing .01 seconds ahead of third place Bedford.
Congratulations to the D1 Champion Exeter and coaching staff as well as runner-up Nashua North and coaching staff. The meet was excellent with many outstanding performances and a new D1 record in the Shot Put. I wish all the athletes the best of luck as we head to New England’s and Nationals. Represent the Granite State!