Wow! What a show D2 put on this past Saturday at the 2019 NHIAA Division 2 State Championships. Both team titles settled by less than 10 points with one school achieving a three peat while another winning for the first time in school history. While the other divisions experienced a few “triple crown” winners, D2 saw a bit more parity with a couple double winners.
The double winners begin in the girls sprints as Oyster River’s Devan McClain continued her supremacy over D2 winning both the 100 and 200! Placing runner-up in the 100 was Portsmouth’s Eli Omahan while McClain’s teammate Amelia Concannon was second in the 200. Senior Maggie Marsh (St. Thomas) won the 400 with Milford senior Meg Sawyer placing second. With 4 of the 6 scorers in each of the sprints returning next year, look for more parity and a new queen!
Talking about a new queen of an event, look no further than Oyster River freshman Charlotte Cousins who won the high hurdles in 16.12. A freshman! Portsmouth junior Sarah Morin almost pulled off a double, winning the 300 Hurdles and then placing 2nd in the pole vault.
Thinking about double wins, West’s Corinne Robitaille pulled off the repeat as she won the 800 in 2:13.60 leading from gun to tape. Milford’s Lauren Robinson won the 1600 besting another senior, Con-Val’s Clare Veverka 5:07.50 to 5:10.02. The 3200 meters saw Veverka’s teammate, Rachel Hurley win the D2 title and breaking CV’s school record posting a 10:58 to a fast closing Sophia Reynolds (11:00.25).
High jump honors went to Windham senior Taylor Sawyer as she was the only athlete to clear 5′. The aforementioned pole vault was won by Hanover’s Anna Stafford who beat defending champ Morin on less misses as both cleared 9’6″.
The horizontals almost saw a double winner as Sanborn sophomore Kaylen LaChappelle won the long jump by less than an inch over Milford sophomore Renee Wilson. LaChapelle placed 2nd in the Triple Jump to D2 Champ Caitlin Carpenter from Kingswood. Both leaped further than 34′.
The throws saw another double winner as St. Thomas junior Mady Buchalski claimed both the Shot and Javelin titles breaking the 40 foot barrier in the shot. Portsmouth’s Abbey Laurence was second in the shot put while Plymouth’s Samantha Meier was second by only 6 inches in the Jav. Milford’s Robyn Krafft won the Discus with a chuck over 130 feet!!! Hollis-Brookline’s Lily Jackson placed second with also a great toss over 120 herself.
The relays were a microcosm of the team competition as Oyster River and Portsmouth placed 1-2 in both the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Hats off to the Lady Bobcats as they broke the existing D2 record by posting a 4×1 time of 49.04. Portsmouth was second in both running impressively in their own right. While Souhegan and Coe-Brown went 1-2 in the 4×800, Portsmouth placed 3rd and Oyster River placed 4th.
Which brings us to the team competition, which by now everyone knows Portsmouth edged Oyster River for the team title, realizing their quest for a three-peat. Coach Stan Lyford once again directed an attack using Portsmouth’s unparalleled depth spread across several events. Hurdles, field events and relays have become the staple for this Clipper run of three straight.
By contrast, the Lady Bobcats success was on the shoulders of a few and man were they strong enough to carry thiat responsibility. One might think they would have an off event with most of their athletes participating in 2-4 events, but they certainly hit on all cylinders. But in the end, Portsmouth simply had more depth winning 91.50 to 87 with Milford placing third with 69.5 points.
The boys meet was just as exciting for slightly different reasons. Pre-meet co-favorites Portsmouth and Coe-Brown were the team leaders throughout most of the day, but it was surprise Hollis/Brookline who almost pulled off the shocking win to place 2nd.
The sprints on the boys side continued the theme of the day, parody! Windham’s Matthew Garafano won the 100 with HB freshman Isaiah Velez placing second. Is Velez the future of sprinting in D2 or what! Garafano’s teammate sophomore Quinn Cerami went on to win the 200 outleaning Kennett senior Chris Caputo 23.03 to 23.09. While in the 400, Con-Val’s Del Bonsu-Anane won the 400 going away in 50.72 over Plymouth junior Remy Beaujjouan’s 51.09. Both are juniors, and that leaves us looking forward to next year!
The hurdles saw Pelham’s John Elie sweep both events looking rather comfortable in both. The junior won the highs in 15.18 and the 300 hurdles in 40.07. Portsmouth’s Andrew Kelly and MV’s Dylan Lessard were second in the Highs and 300 respectively.
The 800 became quite interesting after the first heat when Con-Val’s Evan Coyne dropped the mic with a 2:00.91 clocking guaranteeing an honest pace in the fast heat. Coe-Brown’s Porter Heigis answered the bell blistering his second lap to cross the line in 1:59.53 to claim his 1st D2 title.
MV’s David Reynolds repelled fast closing kicks from two different individuals to sweep the 1600 (4:29.75) and 3200 (9:45.54). It was Hanover’s Colm Seigne pushing Reynolds in the 1600 while Oyster River sophomore Andy O’Brien placed a close second in the deuce.
Hanover won the 4×100 clocking 44.82 to West’s 44.94 while Merrimack Valley lived up to its #1 seed in the 4×400 winning that in 3:33.57 to upstart Hollis/Brookline’s 3:34.67. With that said, the 4×800, the first event on the track, was a sign of things to come as Coe-Brown won the title in 8:13.29 having to repel a gritty HB team anchored by Jordin Stone (8:16.71).
Lebanon senior Ryan Sullivan won the High Jump clearing 6’2″ to John Stark junior Joseph Wegman’s 6′. Sullivan became another double winner as he claimed Long Jump honors with a leap of 21’10” beating HB’s JJ Kennedy, who placed second with a great jump of 20’5.5″.
Future state record holder, Portsmouth’s Chris Mood took the Pole Vault clearing 14’0″. Bow senior Tyler Bennett was second with a 12′ clearance. Of note, Coe-Brown pole vaulting triumverant of Parker Eaton, Sam Patteson and Cody Tanguay went 3-4-5 in this event.
The shot put saw indoor champ Sanborn’s Owen Snively claim another Division title with Milford’s Colton Burrows placing 2nd. Placing third was CBNA senior Jon Thorn who was dealing with severe muscle pull. With his team battling on the runways and the track, Thorn was able to bounce back and toss the discus 133’6″ to not only win his own D2 State title but post a valuable 10 points for the Bears.
At this point Thorn’s victory raised the Bears total to 60 points. With 5 qualifiers in the 3200, the hope was for points in the double digits. While this hope wound up with only 4 points, the Bears placed 6th in the 4×400 relay to total 65 points. Ironically, this team which seems to have a strong future based on middle and long distance as it scored almost half its 65 points in these events. However, the other half came from gritty performances from their supporting cast in pole vault, triple jump, Thorn, and other relays which led Coe-Brown to their first ever Boys D2 Title!
Hats off certainly to Hollis/Brookline which seemed inspired by their lead off, gutsy 4×800 second place team. This relay set the tone for their day which saw them come within 7 points fo the top of D2 as they spread points across the field and track events. They had a great mixture of experience and youthful talent (see Velez!), which should translate to contention the next few years as well.
Congrats to all!!!