For the first time all year it felt like a real track meet as the best the state had to offer (both boys and girls) converged at Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, NH. There were many first time champs, many repeat champs, and a couple state records!
Anyone who is new to the triple jump should have had a camera at the event and should take notes on how to develop a second phase from Shane Wang of Concord Christian. He launched himself to a new state record 48’2.5”. It should be noted that just minutes before the event he had to shorten his approach because he was in the grass beyond the runway. Impressive, but he wasn’t done as he doubled down with the win in the long jump with a distance of 21’10”.
State record #2 came in a somewhat unexpected event, the 100 meter dash. Seth Baylus of Merrimack Valley ran 10.82 in the trials which would have tied the record, but he had an illegal wind of +2.7. In the finals he ran away from the field finishing with a time of 10.77, but of course he had to wait for the wind gauge which was legal, giving him a new state record!
My choice for race of the day was the boys 1600 meter run. Pre-race favorite Luke Tkaczyk of Coe-Brown hung in the pack as Torin Kindopp of Keene (known for a big kick) slowed the race down to 70 seconds through the 400m mark. Two different Concord runners, Brayden Kearns and John Murphy took turns leading the next two laps dropping the pace to back to back 63’s before Tkaczyk, Kindopp, and D2 runner-up finisher Rohan Rai of Windham separated themselves from the pack. It was Rai lurking in the back until the last 100 meter to make his big move and hold off a charging Tkaczyk at the line for the win in 4:17.05.
In the 800, Matt Griffin of Londonderry ran the most effortless looking 1:54.02 leading 6 boys under 2 minutes. Zach Valhouli of Winnacunnet joined the sub 50 club in the 400 meters getting the win in 49.60 and Michael Poulin of Exeter joined the sub 40 second club in the 300 hurdles to get the win in 39.95.
Connor Dunning of Nashua North got the best of Baylus in the 200, winning in 21.96. Patrick McDonald of Bedford used a fast start in the 110 high hurdles to win in a personal best time 14.65.
Coe-Brown did Coe-Brown things in the 3200 meters finishing 1-2. It was Sophomore Aidan Cox getting the win in 9:13.45 over teammate Carter Sylvester 9:17.53, both fast times despite the 90+ degree weather.
In the relays, Windham crushed the field in the 4×100 running 43.02, Keene held off Valhouli and Winnacunnet in the 4×400 to win in 3:25.55, and Concord won the 4×800.
In the other field events, Max Lussier of Sanborn won the High Jump on his home pit clearing 6’4”. After a delay, Samuel Epstein of Merrimack won the pole vault clearing 13’6, Lussier was second. James Dupuis of Pembroke won the shot put with a life time best 49’3”. Caden Zalenski of Milford took the discus with a distance of 151’3”. Thomas Mason of Nashua North won the Javelin with a throw of 163’8”.
Although no state records went down, there were many outstanding performances despite the warm conditions. My pick for race of the day was the girls 200 meter. D2 and D1 champs went at it (both 9th graders), with Soraya Ross of Nashua South edging Aida Wheat of Kennett by .01 seconds (25.36 to 25.37). The girls 200 meter state record is the longest standing record in the state set back in 1971, maybe it will be in trouble these next few years.
Ella Maclean of Hanover got the best of Ross in the 100 final however, winning in 12.45 leading 6 girls under 13 seconds. Kylee Quinlan of Winnacunnet used her strength in the last 100 of the 400 meters to power away to win her first all state championship in 58.49. Abby Hughes of Windham also used her strong finishing kick in the 800 to get the win in 2:19.42.
On a challenging day for distance runners, Liza Corso of Portsmouth Christian wasted no time taking the lead in the 1600 and led basically wire to wire to get her first all state win in 5:04.43. Addison Cox had a similar race in the 3200 winning by 30 seconds in 10:57.53.
Charlotte Cousins of Oyster River ran a life time best in the 100 hurdles winning by more than half a second in 14.84. Sydney Lavelle of Exeter defended her all state crown in the 300 hurdles getting the win in 46.27.
In the relays, Nashua South dominated the field in the 4×100 getting the win in 49.44 (the only team to dip under 50 seconds). Exeter had a similar dominant performance in both the 4×800 and 4×400 winning the 4×400 by 4 seconds in 4:07.06 and the 4×800 by 5 seconds in 9:50.12.
Leslie MacGrath of Milford cleared 5’8” to take a highly anticipated high jump title over Olivia Mazerolle of Nashua North. MacGrath cleared 5’4”, 5’6” and 5’8” on her third attempt. Talk about a gutsy performance. Meanwhile in the pole vault, Erin Eastwood of Exeter established a new school record and joined the 10 foot club by clearing 10’1”.
D2 star Renee Wilson of Milford won the Long Jump with a leap of 17’8.25”. Only a freshman, Grace Hall of Hopkinton shocked the field to win the triple jump with a season best 35’8.25”. Victoria Conrad of Nashua North won the shot put with a throw of 41’1”. Her teammate Aliana Mercado defended her All state crown in the javelin with a throw of 122’2”. Briana Danis of Pinkerton dominated the discus in her first high school track season capping off he amazing year with the win with a distance of 124’11”.
Fun fact of the season, on the girls side D1 took 10 titles, D2 claimed 6 titles and D3 won 2 titles.
Great job to all! And thanks to Sanborn High School and their community for stepping up to make simply holding a Meet of Champions possible! It was excellent! Finally obvious thanks to the NHIAA, NH State Officials, and LancerTiming for a job well done!