By Nate Leveille
The first week of spring track has arrived! It’s hard to believe I’m sitting down to write a Division 1 spring preview while most tracks are covered in snow, and we might get more snow this week! All that being said, at least our sport doesn’t have to fight for gym space! New and exciting for Division one this year are Tri-meets. I was a big supporter of making the switch from the traditional dual meet schedule to a Tri-meet schedule, which would allow for larger fields and more competitive races during the week. I think there are still some tweaks that need to be made, but I’m excited for the new changes in Division 1.
Coming off an indoor team title Pinkerton has to be the clear favorites heading into the outdoor season. The biggest difference between winter and spring track is the addition of multiple field events. It’s possible to win an indoor championship without scoring a lot of points in the three field events, but that isn’t the case outdoors. Pinkerton returns 103 points based on last year, this is far and away the most returning points. Nashua North returns the second most points with 61. Nashua North gave Pinkerton all they could handle indoors behind their strong distance program and balanced attack in all events. Winnacunnet should be in the team mix. They have Billy Powers who could score close to 40 points by himself. The other teams that may challenge for a top two spot include Concord (behind their distance crew), Bedford (behind their sprinters), and Exeter (behind their big point scorers).
My preseason favorite: Pinkerton Academy
New this season Top 10 Athlete List. Here is a list of my top 10 boy athletes in Division One, regardless of event:
- Triston Delicema (Nashua North)- I have seen a lot of high school performances in high school track and field. A 48 foot triple jump is a first. National level talent.
- Billy Powers (Winnacunnet)- Most dominant hurdler in Division One history. Will challenge the state records on the 110h and 300h outdoors.
- Jadyn Ruimwijk (Pinkerton)- Scores huge points in the sprints, sub 10 and sub 22. Huge weapon for Pinkerton in the relays.
- Scott Rathbun (Keene)- Not very often New Hampshire finds a pole vaulter over 14 feet. Here is one of them. A real talent.
- David Vorbach (Nashua North)- Very talented distance runner that scores points in multiple events for the Titans. Low 9 minute 3200m runner.
- Jacob Winslow (Exeter)- Had a breakout season last spring now looks to cement himself as the best miler in the state. PR of 4:21.18 in the mile.
- Noah Woodman (Pinkerton)- He will shoot right up this list once we see how he has bounced back from injury. Last spring he rocked a 48 point in the 400m.
- Patrick Hagarty (Londonderry)- Very solid Shot and Disc guy that is ready for a big spring season.
- Zach Verow (Bedford)- Coming off a strong indoor season in the sprints. I have a hunch he will be a name we see at the top of a lot of battlenotes.
- Aidan Kenney (Bedford)- Very fast 600m indoors, we will have to see how it translates to the 400m or the wide open 800m.
The Pinkerton Girls team is coming off a dominating indoor championship. If you want to beat Pinkerton, you need to win a bunch of events because there is no denying the depth of the Lady Astros. The team capable of doing this, if they stay healthy, is Nashua South. Nashua South finished third indoors but was missing one of their best sprinters and major point scorers. They return the most points from the past outdoor season with 68, just ahead of Pinkerton which returns 65 and Exeter that returns 61. Other teams that will be contending for a podium spot are Bishop Guertin, and Bedford. Exeter can score their points in bunches and will benefit from the added field events. BG has a deep middle distance squad and with a healthy Fischer will be in the hunt. Bedford always has huge spring track numbers and are able to score in many events with excellent relays. It should be an interesting year on the girls side. Good luck to all.
My preseason favorite: Nashua South
Division 1 Girls Top Ten List:
- Jackie Gaughan (Exeter)- 2018 Indoor National 5000m Champ, multiple state records, and arguably the best distance runner to ever run a high school race in New Hampshire.
- Sarah Williams (Dover)- Flirted with the 40ft mark in the Shot indoors. Most dominant thrower in Division 1.
- Caroline Fischer (BG)- Caroline has already demonstrated the type of range and ability that makes her one of the best in New England. Here’s to hoping she has a healthy and productive spring season.
- Grace Devanny (Concord)- Grace is coming off her first indoor season which helps her for outdoors. Last year she went 57 and change in the 400m. How low will she go this year?
- Crismeily Borg (Nashua South)- Talented sprinter and top returner in the 100m who has been an anchor on the always good 4×100 team since she stepped foot in the school.
- Britney Johnson (Pinkerton)- Another distance runner and massive point scorer for the Astros. She does her best work in multiple races every championship.
- Katya Rojka (Salem)- She blasted onto the scene for her long jumping ability, but then became one of the best 300m hurdlers. She is the top returner in the event.
- Amelia Graves (Pinkerton)- Most know my love for the Javelin. She’s out over 120 feet which is excellent. Oh yeah, she’s also a sub 60 second girl in the 400m.
- Sydney Lewis (South) – Sydney was originally known as the high jump specialist (I believe her PR is 5’5), but now she can hurdle, sprint, and long jump. Sydney is one of the keys to the talented Nashua South Team.
- Ellie Johnston (Exeter)- I might be a little bias here with #10, but she is the top returner in the 100 hurdles, and third returner in the 300 hurdles. She was the runner-up in the 55m indoors and has range all the way up to 400 meters.
Here at NHTF, we love stats, and we can’t wait for the season to start to get some more data. So we took a look at last year’s divisional meets and thought we would score them without the seniors. Now the numbers are a great baseline, but do not account for everything; they don’t even include any relays. On top of that, you still need to account for injuries, DQ’s, transfers, people trying new events, improvements, freshmen, events that aren’t filled up, and so much more.