Windham Boys Claim 1st State Indoor Title!
Souhegan Girls Repeat!
Results Courtesy of LancerTiming
Interviews below article!
Pics Courtesy of Davio DeLuca
By Mike Smith
On the same day that our beloved Patriots lost to a deserving Philadelphia Eagles team, the competition at the Division 2 Indoor State Championships was rocking and rolling as well. We saw record times in the girl’s 3000 and top New Hampshire marks in the boys 55, 1000 and shot put, while the girls had best marks in the girls 55, 600, 1000 and shot put.
Things got off with a bang with Souhegan stepping on the accelerator and not letting off in the 4×800 relay, winning over the top seed Coe-Brown. This got things going for the Sabers and truth be told they wouldn’t look back. With help from Elise Lambert in the high jump and Hannah Rowe in the long jump, the girls from Amherst got out front early. Portsmouth looked good early too, with Acadia Momm-White taking first in the hurdles and a third in the 55. But Oyster River’s Devan McClain won the 55 in 7.34, with West’s Corinne Robitaille second in 7.38, both faster than the girls would run later that day in Division 1.
Robitaille’s sister, Julia was also off to a quick start in the 3000, practically lapping the entire field to break the D2 record of Hanover’s Georgia Griffin (2008), running 9:58.10. Rebecca Durham of Milford had tried to hang with Robitaille, later being dropped and was almost caught by teammate Lauren Robinson, piling up some valuable points in their quest for a spot on the podium.
In the 1000, after many of the top seeds had elected to run in other events, Anna Harmon of Raymond finally got the win she had been looking for in the 2017 championships. And while it appeared many of the big dogs had dropped, Souhegan’s Jane Leighton gamely gave chase, running a few steps behind Harmon until a lap to go. While she hung on for second, she was followed in by teammate Marissa Romano for fourteen points. All three would best the times run later in the day.
Julia Robitaille was back in the 600, looking to potentially score 30 individual points on the day and was able to get the win over Souhegan’s Lambert, both with times that topped those run in the afternoon session.
Sister Corrine Robitaille started the day looking for 20 individual points but had to settle for 8 in the Dash. She came back in the 300 and to claim an individual title of her own over Souhegan’s Abby Cranney, both picking up valuable points.
Julia was back at it in the 1500 against Durham and Robinson, but this time Durham was able to keep Robitaille on her shoulder in what might have been the most exciting individual race of the day. Five hundredths of a second separated the duo, with Robinson coming up big again in third.
As expected Kath Merchant of Lebanon won the shot, with Mady Buchalski of St. Thomas taking runner-up honors, both tossing the #1 and #2 throws on the day. Defending champ Pelham’s Mia Herrling won the High Jump tying the D2 record clearing 5’4″.
With only the 4×400 and 4×200 left to run, Milford and Souhegan were tied in the team battle. Oyster River was the top seed in both and went on to win the 4×400 with Portsmouth in second. However behind them, Milford pipped Souhegan to go up by 2 points going into the final event.
But the Souhegan girls came to play and didn’t follow the script, winning the 4×200 over Portsmouth, with Milford in third, thereby placing 4 points in front of Milford in the race and winning the championship by 2, 67 to 65. West snuck into third with 49 points, with 46 of those points by the Robitaille sisters in individual events and another 2 points in the 4×200 relay they were a part of.
Action on the boys side was just as rock solid, with more than a handful of upsets. Coe-Brown got things going with a come from behind win in the 4×800, in 8:37.48, with three freshmen and a senior. Marcus Roper of Lebanon, top seed in the state, would win the shot with the best toss of the day. Kearsarge’s Ben Corbyn would win high jump clearing 6-0 on jumpbacks over Windham’s Luke Leonard. Campbell’s Trevor Gomes would come up big out-distancing Gofftown’s Sean Leahy by five inches, 20-11.25 to 20-6.25 in the long jump.
In the team competition, Windham was the heavy favorite and they got things heating up, delivering a one-two punch in the 55 with Donovan Hopkins and Matthew Garafano, with Hanover’s Kyle Doucette finishing third, all faster than the Division 1 meet, later to come. In the 55 Hurdles, Portsmouth was looking to capitalize as they had eight entries (half the field), but it was Coe-Brown’s Orion Clachar who would win this one over Portsmouth’s Will Fahey.
With the top seed in the 3000 opting for a different event, the door was wide open for any number of guys to come up big. David Reynolds of Merrimack Valley got things going and was tracked early by Oyster River’s Kieran Murphy and Coe Brown’s Evan Tanguay, with Murphy working to pull away late in the race for the win. Reynolds and Tanguay would follow, as would OR’s Owen Fleisher and Andy O’Brien to give the Bobcats some early points.
Windham’s Spenser Sawyer, who had qualified for the meet as the top seed in every event from 600 to 3000, elected to concentrate on the 1000 and once the gun went off he wasted no time to show he wasn’t fooling around. The early pace dragged many of the field out hot, with ConVal’s Evan Coyne hanging on the best, 2:38.58 to 2:41.10, both running faster than the races to take place later. By this time, Windham was establishing their dominance on the field, leading by double digits.
Hanover’s Com Seigne was the beneficiary of Sawyer’s specialization in the 600 and he made the most of it, taking control of the race after the halfway mark, followed by Portsmouth’s Ryan Prinz. In the 300, Trinity’s Stephen Duckett would lead Hunter Dupuis of Belmont to a big PR, winning in 36.17.
With the final individual race on the track and most of the contestants already having run a race or two, the door was left ajar for Pelham’s Cam Starr to step through. After a very commanding 2017 season, Starr has been mostly absent in 2018, having been bitten by the injury bug and only qualified in the last chance Hampshire Dome qualifier. But it would have been difficult to notice as he went to the front, taking advantage of the tired legs behind him. And while he struggled a little late, most everyone else was in the hurt locker as well. He was able to grab that elusive State Championship. Sawyer and Murphy would come next followed by Mascenic’s freshman wunderkid Landen Vaillancourt coming on over the final lap to take fourth.
Going into the final relays, Windham already had the championship sewn up and Portsmouth was in the driver’s seat for second as Oyster River had used their top guys in individual events and some would be doubling back from the 1500 to the 4×400. Portsmouth would take the 4×400 with Windham in second. Windham would take the 4×200, with sprint studs Hopkins and Garafano insuring the win. OR was able to get second but with Portsmouth third, Portsmouth would wind up in the runner up spot.