Merrimack High School will host their first of many big meets this Thursday, May 10th. For the second consecutive year, they are also hosting Division 1 State Championships and the Meet of Champions.
Although modest in size (limited to 15 schools), annually the Merrimack Invitational boasts phenomenal competition across divisions.
In the girls’ sprints, jumps and hurdles, we will have the pleasure to witness some showdowns of sorts as in the 100 where Portsmouth’s Acadia Momm-White takes on a couple of D1’s best in South’s Crismeily Borg and Concord’s Grace Devanney as drops down from the 400. Borg comes back as the #1 seed in the 200 while her teammate Sydney Lewis is seeded second in both the 200, and High Hurdles, but is the top seed in the High Jump.
Exeter’s Ellie Johnston is the top seed in the High Hurdles and is part of an Exeter triumvirate in the Long Jump as Sydney Ward, Kelsey Pierce and Johnston possess the top 3 seeds. The Ward and Pierce duo also sit atop the entry lists in the Triple Jump.
Another duo, one from Manchester Memorial, provides our top 2 seeds in the 400 with Mollie Simpson and Asia Mercier, while Salem’s Katya Rojco attempts the repeat as she returns as top seed in the 300 Hurdles.
On the boys’ side, we cannot wait to see the best 2 sprinters in NH go head-to-head. Pinkerton’s Jadyn Ruimwijk and Concord’s Dalton Mutz are the top seeds in both 100 and 200 meters. If the NH weather cooperates, we could see some of the fast times!
Keep your eye on Ruimwijk’s teammate Noah Woodman, who has been coming off of an injury. Remember Woodman cracked the 50 second barrier on more than one occasion last year. Expect him to give North’s Brazden Ellis and Exeter’s Dante Radigonda everything they can handle.
Look for Concord’s Mando Feliz to face off against Portsmouth’s Will Fahey in the Highs while Feliz’s teammate Jacob Nichol is the top seed in the Intermediates. Fahey and teammate Andrew Kelly will take on High Jump specialist Jake Langevin (Exeter) in the Fosbury Flop contest. Coe-Brown’s Tyler Troy is the top seed in the Pole Vault. In the horizontal jumps, Salem’s Josh Sibanda is the top seed in the Long (20’11”) while Memorial’s Dinebari Adumene and Tyrique Noel are the top 2 seeds in the Triple.
In the girls throws, look for a battle between one of D2’s best in CBNA’s Kathleen Collins and D1’s best Dover’s Sarah Williams as they are the top 2 seeds in Shot and Discus. Pinkerton’s Laurel Breen and Amelia Graves are the top 2 seeds in the Javelin.
On the boys side, Merrimack’s Adam Thornton will face off with Coe-Brown’s Orion Clachar as they are both seeded in the 153′ range in the javelin. Exeter’s Jeremiah Swett wll battle with Londonderry’s Patrick Hagearty in the Discus, while Hagearty will certainly threaten the 50′ barrier in the Shot Put feeling the heat from Pinkerton’s Kaleal Cerafici , who is seeded in the 48 foot range.
Foregoing Loucks this year, NH’s fastest high school distance runner in history headlines the girls events. Exeter’s Jackie Gaughan will be doubling from the 800 to the 3200 meters. Both events she is top seed. She could be pushed in the 800 as she is seeded less than 1 second ahead of Pinkerton’s Macy Graves, One has to think this is a workout of sorts for Gaughan as she will have short rest prior to the 3200 where she is seeded at 10:09. The real race will be for second as four girls are seeded within six seconds of each other Meghan Cross (Pinkerton), Kalin Gregoire (Londonerry), Violet Sullivan (Exeter) and Addison Cox (Coe-Brown). Talk about good races, look for South’s Cali Coffin to try to run away from Pinkerton’s Britney Johnson early in the 1600.
Congratulations to Exeter’s Jake Winslow, and Nashua North’s David Vorbach and Max Ireland as they earned entry into Loucks Games in NY this weekend. NY’s gain may seem like our loss; however we would argue the contrary as NH is deep, and the racing should be tight. Portsmouth’s Ryan Prinz is the top seed in the 800, but look for Prinz to have plenty of company as indoor 1k D1 Champ Concord’s Matt O’Brien is the 2nd seed. Campbell’s Jeffrey Allen is the top seed in the 1600 while freshman Will Heenan of Londonderry is 2nd seed. Don’t sleep on the rest of the field, as the word parity comes to mind when considering who is racing. This could be anyone’s race. Concord’s Forest MacKenzie is the top seed in the 3200 based on his 9:42.70 posted at the Black Bear Invitational nearly 2 weeks ago. As opposed to the 1600, MacKenzie is the clear favorite in this one.
Good luck to all! NHTF will be there LIVESTREAMING (check the home page!), conducting interviews and snapping pics! All will be uploaded to the meet hub! Also, we will be selling this year’s NHTF Tees and our new Run, Jump, Throw stickers! Both short sleeve and tanks are available! Come to the tent where we interview to pick up your’s!