By Nate Leveille
Hard to believe two weeks from today we will kick off the D1 Championships at Winnacunnet High School. Do we have a new favorite for the team titles? Here are some updates on individuals and performances.
Team Title Chase
Team battle looks closer than ever. Exeter was tabbed the preseason favorite, but as mentioned Nashua North was a team to watch. The Titans of North have put together a squad with dominant field event performances. They may be the favorites with a couple of weeks to go in the season. Exeter is still in the picture with point scorers across almost all events and the experience of a senior class that has never lost a spring championship. Watch out for Nashua South. The Panthers always seem to come on at the end of the season and are led by a very strong sprint and jump squad. Bedford has the stars to score some big points. Will they have the depth to make a title run?
Athletes to Watch
It would be hard to start anywhere other than a pair of Nashua North ladies. Olivia Mazerolle the dominant high jumper (5’8”) has added the 300h (48.28) to her bag of tricks. Teammate Victoria Conrad continues to dominate the shot (40’3”) and added the discus (107’9”) to her devastating double.
The 800m is absolutely loaded with talent. The 10th and final entrance is sitting at 2:26 and the event is led by star Kylee Quinlan of Winnacunnet. She is also the top seed in the 400m which would be an unlikely double. She will be the one to beat in either event.
Madeline Stevens of Nashua South has stormed onto the scene and is making a case as the top sprinter. She has the top FAT time in the 100m at 12.70 and 200m in 26.44. Taryn Naftali of Bedford has the top Mark in both the 100m (12.64) and 200m (26.34). Hopefully they will face each other at the North Invite.
Alexander Adele of Merrimack was certainly training during quarantine and has looked impressive in the 1600m (5:12) and 3200m (11:09). Sydney Lavelle of Exeter has the top 300h time (48.05) and top Long Jump (17’2.5”). She also has top marks in the 100m, 200m and 100h. The McGadden sisters of Bedford own the top marks in the Pole Vault (9’6”) and 100h (15.34).
Team Title Chase
Pinkerton entered the season with the “favorites” target on their backs. At this point in the season it looks to be a three horse race between Nashua North, Concord, and Pinkerton. Concord is going to look to set the meet record for most points scored in the distance events. They are loaded with stars and depth and will need to lean on those athletes for multiple races. Nashua North has point scorers all over the place especially in the field events. Pinkerton has some stars in the sprints and mid distance. At this point, I’m going to lean toward Nashua North being the favorite. Most of their points are in the field events and a super fast moving meet is going to make things difficult for the teams trying to double and triple kids in the track events.
Athletes to Watch
I’m going to start with a little hometown bias. Exeter’s Mike Dettore has the top marks in both the triple (40’5”) and the Long Jump (21’7”). Matthew Griffin of Londonderry has the top times in the 400m (50.15) and 800m (1:57.17). As previously mentioned in a fast paced, single gender, meet this is almost an impossible double, so he will have an interesting decision to make.
Benjamin Flemming of Pinkerton was recognized as the top returning sprinter and he hasn’t disappointed with a top 100m time (11.22) and the #2 200 meters (22.74). Eben Bragg of Concord has looked unbeatable in the 1600m (4:15.61) and 3200m (9:36.14). Jason Compoh of Nashua South has bombed the shot put and looks better every week (47’ 0.5”).
Best of luck to all over the next couple of weeks.