By Nate Leveille
We have already reached the midpoint of the indoor season. With only 3 weeks until that state meet, relay teams and individuals will look to improve seed times prior to the seeding meeting and Division 1 State Championship meet. One observation I have made this season is the advantage of attending meets that allow spikes. Most of the top performances in the sprints have come in meets where the sprinters were allowed to use spikes, like at the Dartmouth Relays a couple weekends ago. Coaches will have the task of putting all the pieces in place over the next 3 weeks in order to maximize team points at the championship meet.
Let’s start with the Boy’s team rankings:
5. EXETER: Led by distance star Jake Winslow and top seeded high jumper Jake Langevin, the Blue Hawks can score some points. With some other seeded athlete and relays they could approach the 40 point mark.
4. CONCORD: I had Concord as a preseason sleeper. With the addition of Forest Mackenzie to go along with the rest of the distance squad, they present some problems for other teams trying to maximize points in the distance races. Dalton Mutz looked great in the dash at the Dartmouth Relays. They are going to score in a number of events and should have three great relay teams.
3. WINNACUNNET: Billy Powers and a solid group of sprinters coupled with some points in the middle distances and relays could allow Winnacunnet to challenge for second or third. I witnessed first hand this weekend how solid this team is from top to bottom. They will have three very good relay teams.
2. NASHUA NORTH: Nashua North has closed the gap to Pinkerton. Their trio of distance runners David Vorbach, Max Ireland, and Joseph Curran are running great. The will need to rely on them to score in multiple events. Triston Delicema is the clear favorite in the Long Jump and they have excellent relay teams.
1. PINKERTON: Pinkerton came in as the favorite and remains that way at the midpoint in the indoor season. They have the numbers to score in almost every event. They currently have the top two seeds, Kaleal Cerafici and John King, in the Shot! One thing to look for is if they can get Noah Woodman qualified for the open meets. He has been absent this indoor season but plays a major role on their team.
The girls meet could be one of the most exciting team races in the past 10 years. There are at least 5 teams in the mix. Last year Bedford and Pinkerton scored 83 and 80 points respectively. With the balance in the state this year, it may only take a score in the 60s to win the meet! I have thought about how this meet could play out multiple times. I could have ranked #’s 1-5 a number of different ways. The team that is able to set up their seeds over the next few weeks, stay healthy, and perform at the championship meet will walk away with the title. My prediction is that this meet comes down to the last two relays and I think all 5 teams could be separated by less than 10 points.
5. BEDFORD: Bedford is going to score points at the state meet. They have an excellent core group that always runs well in the relays. Their sprinters appear to be peeking at the right time. I feel silly ranking them this low because they always find a way.
4. EXETER: Exeter has Jacqueline Gaughan and first year indoor track participant Ellie Johnston. The senior duo should score major points for the Blue Hawks. If they can piece together 3 good relays and score some points in a few of the other events, they can challenge.
3. BISHOP GUERTIN: 9th grade star Grace Jones should give the BG distance girls some help at the state meet. BG will still rely on stars Caroline Fischer, Cameryn Nichols, and Caroline Towle to pace them. The relays will play a major role determining this meet.
2. NASHUA SOUTH: South is projected to score 57 points at the state meet based on the Battlenotes. They look to score big in the jumps with the top High Jumper and 2nd and third ranked long jumpers right now. Crismeily Borg will have to have a big meet for them in the sprints.
1. PINKERTON: The Pinkerton girls remain the favorites at the midseason point. The interesting thing about the Astros is they have a number of distance girls seeded in all three distance races, so they will have some decisions to make before states. Decisions are a good thing though because they have the most flexibility. They always have excellent relays and can use their depth to score in almost every event.