By Coach Mike Smith
In the preview, we said that if Milford’s Viankah Williams were to come out for indoor track expect her to rule the roost. William’s had come out, but has focused on long jump, with no results in the sprint events. However the big surprise in the sprints is the arrival of the Robitaille sisters (West), stepping down from the longer distances, not simply to compete but to dominate. Corinne, often in the big shadow that Julia casts, has stepped out into the spotlight with D2 bests in the 55 and the 300. Portsmouth’s Acadia Momm-White sits in the second slot in the shorter distance, while holding the top spot in the hurdles. Souhegan’s Hannah Rowe and Abby Cranney are right in there as well in the sprints with Georgia Dickinsen of Portsmouth and Kaitlyn Lovell of Merrimack Valley backing up the hurdles.
Raymond’s Anna Harmon has picked up where she left off last year, blazing fast times from the 1000 meters down. With Julia Robitaille stepping down, we’ve got to see her rip in some shorter distances than we’re used to, and if she elects to race down, she should be in the mix come end of the season. Fresh off a win in the 600 at the Dartmouth relays, Souhegan’s Elise Lambert will be in the mix along with teammate Jane Leighton. Oyster River has some long sprinters, Amelia Concannon and Devan McClain, that will likely sneak in to steal some points in either the 300 or the 600, or both.
We were wondering if we would see a showdown between Robitaille and Milford’s Rebecca Durham in the distance events and midway through the season it would seem we will see them tangle somewhere in the D2 meet but the question will be in what distance. Julia has solid marks from the 300 to the 3K (10:07) so we’ll have to wait and see on that. Also in the mix for the longer races would be Claire Ververka and Rachel Hurley of Con-Val, Liza Corso of Portsmouth Christian and Mya Dube of Kearsarge.
The 4×200 would seem to be between the defending champs of Oyster River and a much speedier Souhegan squad, with OR in the driver’s seat in the 4×400 with a 7 second seed time over Milford at this point. Right now in the 4×800, the top three qualifiers are Coe-Brown, Milford and Souhegan in that order.
In the high jump there are seven jumpers at the 5 foot mark with Sanborn’s Hannah Ehlers top seed at 5-2. As mentioned previously Viankah Williams of Milford is out for indoor and leading the long jump by five inches over Momm-White with four girls jumping 16 ft or better.
In the preview, we mentioned that Kath Merchant of Lebanon should be the athlete to beat in the shot and this is holding true with her 39’+ performance at Dartmouth Relays this past weekend. Also looking to score points in the shot is Maddie Buchalski of St Thomas, Kathleen Collins of Coe Brown and Megan Sheehan of Sanborn.
Calculating the top team off the battlenotes is precarious. While team’s might have many entries in the battlenotes, it doesn’t not mention the intent of those athletes to run that event, or the effect those choices have on the relay team make up. With that said, Souhegan appears to have a stronger sprint squad than in the past and won it last year on the backs of a strong distance squad. Don’t count out Portsmouth or Milford who seem to have athlete’s peppered throughout the battlenotes. Expect Oyster River and Lebanon to be in it as well.
A number of sprinters have stepped up to try to fill Sebastian Eaton’s very quick shoes. Brian Bushnell of Bow, Stephen Duckett of Trinity, Matthew Garafano of Windham and Brandon St. Onge of Goffstown all have had good starts but probably the most interesting at this point is Hanover’s Kyle Doucette, who leads in both the 55 and 300 at this point. Coe-Brown’s Orion Clachar and Portsmouth’s Will Fahey lead the hurdlers.
Windham’s Spenser Sawyer seems to be the heavy favorite in the Mid D events as the top seed in both the 600, 1000 and the 3000; however, Pelham’s Cam Starr has only run the 1000 once and sits right behind Sawyer in that event. Don’t sleep on Con-Val’s Evan Coyne, who won the 1000 meters at the Dartmouth Relays. Other points in these events will likely come from Emmanuel Ndahayo of Trinity, Ryan Prinz of Portsmouth, Colm Seigne of Hanover. and Owen Fleischer of Oyster River.
There seems to be no favorite in the distance events with an asterisk with Spenser Sawyer as we have yet to see what he has in mind at the championships. Contenders will likely be made up of David Reynolds of Merrimack Valley, Bobby St. Laurent of Windham, Blake Audibert of Milford, Kieran Murphy of Oyster River, Evan Tanguay of Coe Brown and Nick Randos of Belmont.
Relays can be hard to tell as the makeup of the teams can be dependent on what athletes do in individual events. As it stands now, Windham is the top seed in the battlenotes for both the 4×200 and 4×400, followed by Portsmouth and Oyster River in the 4×200 and Merrimack Valley and Trinity in the 4×400. Coe-Brown leads Con Val and Souhegan in the 4×800.
With no results for Lebanon’s Ryan Sullivan, Luke Leonard of Windham, Chris Caputo of Kennett, and Trevor Gomes of Campbell have all jumped beyond the 20 ft mark in long jump, with Leonard and Sidonio Labelle-Brown of Oyster River above the 6 ft height in high jump.
Lebanon’s Marcus Roper has been on top all season, besting the rest of the D2 field by more than 2 and a half feet. Solidly ahead of the rest of the pack and firmly in the second slot is Newport’s Peter Thibault.
Looking at points on paper midseason can be deceiving as individuals have yet to determine what events they will be running. With Windham potentially getting some big points from Sawyer and Leonard and the relays, if they can get enough points sprinkled around everywhere else, they should be in the driver’s seat. Portsmouth and Merrimack Valley do a pretty good job spreading around points as well so expect them to be in the running with Oyster River looking to steal given the opportunity.