By Nate Leveille
I know most everyone is looking forward to a normal spring season with weekly tri-meets and larger invitationals on the weekends. Despite the challenges of last spring, the D1 championships delivered outstanding performances and exciting team races. Nashua North produced a clean sweep of both the boys and girls championships. On paper the Nashua North girls bring back many point scorers and appear to be the favorites to repeat. Nashua North returns a bunch of points on paper, but never count out Pinkerton Academy and the sleeper team this year might be the Clippers of Portsmouth!
The sprints were filled with dominant underclassmen a year ago. Top Returner is Taryn Naftali of Bedford who narrowly beat Soraya Ross of Nashua South. Ross is the top returner in the 200 followed by Harriet Baber of Central and Alexis Best of Merrimack. In the 100 hurdles Jordan Wheaton of Pinkerton and Emily Plante of Salem are returning finalists from a year ago. Two time defending All State Champ Sydney Lavelle of Exeter is back in the 300H followed closely by Olivia Mazerolle of Nashua North. In the 400, Kylee Quinlan of Winnacunnet is the top returner followed by Ashlyn Smith of Dover.
Mid Distance/ Distance
A year later some of the same names appear to be girls to watch in the distance events including Fiona Doherty of Bishop Guertin, Whitney Vailent of Concord, and Mary Kate Finn of Bishop Guertin. After a dominating winter season don’t sleep on distance power Dover High School. They came on strong during cross country and produced some very fast mile times indoors led by Isabel McIntrye.
Mazerolle of North is the top returner in the High Jump, I’ve said that a few years in a row now. She is followed by Audrey Murin of BG. The long jump and triple jumps top returner is Ayva Mullen of Concord. Lavelle of Exeter had a monster indoor season jumping 18’1.5” and should factor in as well as Molly O’Donnell of Alvirne. In the pole vault the top returner from D1 is Christine Ghirardi of Winnacunnet and MOC champ Erin Eastwood of Exeter.
North separated themselves from the field in the throws so not surprising they have the top two returning shot putters in Natalie Burgess and Madelyn Novak. Brianna Danis of Pinkerton is the top returning disc thrower followed by Novak. Novak is also the top returning javelin thrower followed by Margaret Montplaisir of Portsmouth.
Top returning sprinters are Aidan McDonald of Salem, Authur Santos and Isaac Smith of Nashua North. They should all factor into the 100-200. Nate Fletcher and Michael Schoff of Portsmouth are coming off monster indoor seasons and should challenge in the 200-400. Bryce Foster of Memorial and David Jaques of Salem are returning finalists in the 100 hurdles. Rory Olsen of Nashua South and Ian Rippenger of Portsmouth are the top returning athletes in the 300h. Many of the top sprinters from a year ago have graduated, opening up a ton of potential team points in these events.
Mid Distance/ Distance
Jeremiah Payeur of Dover and Matt Allen of Exeter are the top returning 800 meter guys. Both could potentially move up this year and challenge top returner Torin Kindopp of Keene and John Murphy of Concord in the 1600 meter run. Tyler Sheedy of Dover was absent from D1 a year ago but turned out a fantastic indoor season and should be a major player in the 1600 or 3200. The top returners that will challenge Sheedy include Nate Fondakowski of BG and Luke Brennan of Pinkerton.
Jack Sullivan of Nashua North is the top returning high jumper followed by Adam Lacroix of Bedford in what was a pretty wide open competition last spring. The two switched positions at the MOC’s. In the horizontal jumps Michael Dettore of Exeter is the defending champ in the Long Jump and Triple Jump. He will have his hands full with Sullivan in the triple jump and Ciolby Ramshaw of Londonderry in the Long Jump. Samuel Epstein of Merrimack is back in the pole vault after finishing second at Division Ones and winning the MOC’s last year. He is the top returner by over 2 feet.
The throws were filled with underclassmen last spring. Dylan Palermo of Portsmouth is the top returner followed by a number of athletes separated by only 2-3 feet. Jack Washam of Nashua North is the top returner in the discus followed by Nikolia Kozak of Portsmouth. In the javelin Aiden Kelley of Central is the top returner. He should be challenged by Jake Haley and Fletcher both or Portsmouth.