By Nate Leveille
After watching the NFL All-Decade Team documentaries, it inspired me to try to create the All New Hampshire Decade Team from 2010-2020. Criteria for making the All-Decade Team includes state placement over 4 years, state records, range in events, longevity, and performance on a state, New England and national scene. I decided athletes may only be selected for one event and one team, not multiple events and multiple first or second teams. The idea behind this was to celebrate a number of the phenomenal athletes that have come through New Hampshire Track and field over the past decade. There are plenty of worthy members and this was a much more difficult task than I originally thought.
55 Meter Dash
First Team: Dominique Twombley of Oyster River (2016). She was a 2-time Division 2 state champion in the 55 meter dash. She had a personal best of 7.27 seconds and was an impact sprinter on a dominant team the first time she stepped on the track. She finished third at New England’s as a senior and was a three time finalist.
Second Team: Yorgelis Ortiz of Londonderry (2016). Yorgelis was the back to back D1 champ in the Dash. She established a new D1 record of 7.29 seconds. She also anchored a 4×160 relay team to a state championship with a blazing time of 1:26.12. She was an extreme talent that raised her game when the stakes were the highest.
Honorable Mention: Devin McClain of Oyster River (2019). Devin finished 2nd at the D2 states as a sophomore and then won back to back championships her junior and senior year. She is a 3 time individual state champ.
55 Meter Hurdles
First Team: Betsy Garnick of Bishop Guertin (2013). Betsy was a dominant track and field athlete during a time when New Hampshire girls were recognized on a New England Level. She still holds the state record in the 55 Hurdles with a time of 8.01 seconds en route to becoming a New England champion.
Second Team: Ginny Lavalle of Sanborn (2011) gets the second team nod in the hurdles. Ginny was a dominant hurdler in Division 2 winning back to back titles and establishing a D2 record in the process. She finished 6th at New England’s as a senior.
Honorable Mention: Nancy Taban of Merrimack Valley (2014). Taban finished 4th in the New England Championships her senior year.
First Team: Corinne Kennedy of Lebanon (2017). Sub 40 in the 300. The two time champ in the 300 Meters indoors had amazing range. She could run anything from the dash to the 1000m and was a good high jumper as well. During her senior year, she completed the once thought impossible double winning both the 600 and 300 at the D2 championships. She now competes for Cornell.
Second Team: Grace Denvanny of Concord (2019). She didn’t compete in indoors all four years, but when she did come out her junior year, she made the most of it by dominating the sprints at D1’s, collecting 3 state titles in the process.
Honorable Mention: Melissa Higgins of Salem (2011). Super talented sprinter won back to back 300’s with a personal best of 40.93.
First Team: Cecilia Barowski of Bishop Guertin (2011). Cecilia gets the nod over the state record holder and her former teammate. She was an absolute machine in just about any event or relay they needed her to run. Her junior year, she won the dash (7.41), 600 meters (1:37.46), 300 meters (42.06), and then anchored the 4×400 to a 4:05.37 win. She did whatever it took to win. She went on to run for Princeton, compete in the Olympics Trials, and now runs for HOKA in New York. With her range, ability, and stamina, it was easy to see why BG was able to build powerhouse teams around her.
Second Team: Molly McCabe of Bishop Guertin (2014). Dominated as a 9th grader. One of the few that can say she won states all four years. She was a 4-time state champion. 3 times in the 1000 and then her senior year in the 600, establishing a new state record (1:32.00) en route to becoming a New England Champion. She had the range to run and compete for the win in anything from 400m -1500m. She went on to run for Boston College.
Honorable Mention: Kristie Schoffield of Merrimack Valley (2017). Lost in the mix of super talented middle distance runners. Currently running for Boise State and has qualified for NCAA nationals.
First Team: Meghan Doody of Oyster River (2016) gets the nod over both Hannah Parker of Coe-Brown and Leya Salis of Bedford. This was the perfect distance for Doody. Doody had the state record 2:49.08 (set on UNH’s oval!) and three D2 state titles in the 1000. She was runner-up as a junior at New Englands and Champion as a senior.
Second Team: Leya Salis of Bedford (2017). Transfer from Virginia immediately found success at the D1 state championships winning back to back titles her junior and senior year. Determined to set the state record in the 1000 meter she accomplished her goal running 2:48.25. The only thing that kept her off the first team was her short stay in New Hampshire.
Honorable Mention: Hannah Parker of Coe-Brown (2015). Difficult to not put her on the first or second team when you consider her talent and high school career as a whole. She was second to Doody as a senior running 2:49.24 (also under the then state record). She was the 1000 meter champ as a junior. She had incredible range and ability. This will go down as maybe the most talented decade ever in the 1000.
First Team: Shannon Murdock of Exeter (2015). The 1500 indoor state record holder finished runner-up at the D1 championships as a 9th grader and then went back to back to back the next three years establishing a new state record. At New Englands, she finished 4th as a junior and runner-up as a senior. She is in her final year at UNH.
Second Team: Rebecca Durham of Milford (2018). The D2 1500 meter champ her junior and senior year. She was a model of consistency and durability often doubling and tripling at the state championships.
Honorable mention: Mya Dube of Kearsarge (2020). Won the D2 1500 last winter and the clear favorite this winter. She has raced on the big stage and competed at the highest level, winning the mile at least years outdoor New Englands.
First Team: Jacqueline Gaughan of Exeter (2018). There will not be another Jackie Gaughan. Jackie dominated the distance races in New Hampshire like never seen before. He race strategy was simple: go to the front and never look back. She was known for her punishing pace. She broke just about every state distance record. She is a 6 time indoor state champion, New England Champion, and during her senior year, she was the indoor 5000m National Champion. Her state record in the 3000 of 9:35.70 is arguably the most unbreakable state record New Hampshire has to offer. Jackie is currently competing for Notre Dame.
Second Team: Caroline Fischer of Bishop Guertin (2020). Fischer has battled through injuries and sickness to put together a remarkable 4 year career at BG. As a freshman, she finished second in New England to Gaughan, running 10:50 for 2 miles. When she is healthy, she is the girl to beat in any race from 1000 to 3000 meters.
Honorable Mention: Julia Robitaille of Manchester West (2019). Julia had an incredible junior season which saw her break the D2 3000 meter record with a 9:58.10. She finished 3rd at New Englands as a junior.
Elisabeth Danis of Coe Brown (2016). A model of consistency and improvement over her hgih school career. She finished second her freshman and sophomore years before winning her junior and senior years. Girls have run faster over 3000 meters, but you could argue that no one has been more consistent.
First Team: Hillary Holmes of Exeter (2012). Back to back to back champ in the Long Jump; easily would have found herself on the second team for the hurdles, but Holmes was known for her jumping. She still has the indoor state record of 18’ 6.25”. Finished third at New England’s senior year and was a New Balance All- American in the pentathlon. She would have been 2nd team in the hurdles and made the New England finals in that event twice.
Second Team: Viankah Williams of Milford (2019). As a junior, she was the D2 champ and New England champ in the long Jump. Dominated as a freshman going sub 40 and finishing runner-up at New Englands in the 300m (39.99). She is one of the most talented athletes to come through the state in a long time.
Honorable Mention: Ariel Clachar of Coe-Brown (2015). D2 Champ in the long jump with a leap of 17’ 7”. She competed for the University of Maine.
First Team: Sydney Lewis of Nashua South (2019). Sydney was a dominant all around athlete. She finished 3rd in the high jump as a 9th grader, but won the next three years despite competing in multiple events at the same time. She was 3rd in New England as a sophomore
Second Team: Victoria Rozumek of Salem (2012). Cleared 5’7” at the 2012 New England Championships for runner-up. She won the D1 state meet as a junior and senior.
Honorable Mention: Jenny Mara of Bedford (2013). Won the D2 title as a freshman, followed up with a 2nd place her sophomore year and then two more wins her junior and senior year when Bedford moved up to D1. Consistency was the name of her game almost always going over 5’4” and making others competing against her have to be on their A game to beat her.
First Team: Kathy Leibowitz of Lebanon (2011). A rare talent was able to win both the shot and the 55 meter dash. Kathy won the Shot and the dash as both a junior and senior. The shot was her better event as she established a new D2 record with a throw of 41’ 8.25” her senior year. Her unique talent gives her the nod over Merchant.
Second Team: Kat Merchant of Lebanon (2019). Kat was a three time D2 state champ in the shot. She threw 40’11.25” her senior year to take home the crown. Hard work paid off as she threw 27 feet as freshman.
Honorable Mention: Lyssa Winslow of Londonderry (2011). A member of the elite 40 foot club, she won the Division 1 title with a toss of 40’ 6” to establish a new Division 1 record.
Teams of the Decade
Division 1: 2012 Bishop Guertin Team. Put up a massive 107 points indoors to run away with a 57 point win over runner-up Exeter. Team was made up of stars Garnick, Burke, and McCabe. They won 7 events. Distance, sprints, jumps, throws, and relays this team had it all.
Division 2: 2014 Coe-Brown Team. Amassed 81 points for a near 40 point comfortable win. Team was led by state champs Parker (also 3rd in the 300) and Alley Savioli (Shot Put) as well as Danis (2nd in the 3k and 4th in 1500), Jelasa Nelson (2nd in Dash and Long Jump). The team set the D2 record in the 4×800 to lead things off, but with names like Scannell, Montegomery, Laskowsky, the Bears also had a supporting cast which spread across the track and field. This team was even better outdoors.