First the particulars:
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In true MOC form, the sprints begin with the D1 Champ v. the D3 Champ in the 100. Central’s Katya Levasseur is poised to have a big day as she is the top seed in both the 100 and 200, but don’t count out Bow’s Dominique Biron, who is not-to-shabby herself as she is 2nd seed in the 100 and 300 Hurdles. In those hurdles, Biron is slated to take on Pinkerton’s Maria Virga who is also the top seed in the Highs where she will try to fend off another D3 champ in Monadnock’s Claire Russell. The favorite in the 400 is Concord’s Grace Devanney, who could also be a double winner if she can take down Levasseur in the 200. Don’t sleep on defending champ Milford’s Viankah Williams in the 200 either. Coming off of injury, she is still rounding into form (sleeper pick!).
Speaking of showdowns, the event on the track everyone will be and should be watching is the girls’ 800 where MV’s Kristie Schoffield and Bedford’s Leya Salis will be facing each other for the 1st time since their epic battle at Loucks. Add in multiple state record holder and D2 champ Leb’s Corinne Kennedy as well as a relatively fresh Madeline Hunt (Souhegan) and we have an awesome potential for a possible state record with four sub-2:10s. Outside-the-box thought – how cool would it be to see these four team up on a 4×800??
In the 1600, it will be D2’s Rebecca Durham (Milford) taking on D1’s Caroline Fischer (Bishop Guertin) and Britney Johnson (Pinkerton). While Durham has a faster seed time by more than ten seconds, BG is not running a 4×800, so expect the fresh Fischer to give Durham a big challenge while Johnson has achieved ‘warrior’ status with her recent state meet performances.
We can’t fail to mention Jackie Gaughan and the 3200. She is sitting at #5 in the country with her 10:05 from Loucks. Will she go for sub 10 solo? Or will she save it and just qualify?
Lebanon’s Kath Merchant is ranked 1st in Shot Put, Discus, and Javelin. Can she dream and pull off the triple crown? While she has been dominant of late, one cannot count out Dover’s Sarah Williams, Sanborn’s Meg Sheehan, Bedford’s Shanna Scribner, Gilford’s Marina Baer, and Coe-Brown’s Kathleen Collins. All will keep Merchant honest!
On paper, this category of events may not have the state records attempts the others do, however don’t sleep on the jumps! All four events will have tight competition and with close competitions comes excitement! We are trying to answer the question of who is the best in the state!!!
While D1’s Phillip Antonio (Winnacunnet), Jadyn Ruimwijk (Pinkerton), and Nico Buccieri (Pinkerton) will renew their 100 meter saga, two of the best story lines are in the 200 and 400. Ruimwijk is the top seed in the 200 but do not sleep on Trinity’s Sebastian Eaton, who is simply put on a display at last week’s D2 meet. Ruimwijk may benefit from Eaton attempting to chase down Pinkerton’s Noah Woodman (48.74!!!) in the 400 as Eaton will attempt to defend his 400 title. In the hurdles, Winnacunnet’s Billy Powers is the overwhelming favorite to take both events, but as last week proved, anything can happen. Keep your eyes on South’s Terrell Lewis and Trinity’s Oliver Thomas.
Alvirne’s Noah Bellomo, D1 Champ in both the 1600 and 800 is slated to race both on Saturday for which he is the number 1 seed. While the win in the 1600 seems inevitable, his toughest test will surely be in the 800 where he will again face D2 Champ Trinity’s Tim Zepf. Last year they were only separated by .03! Once again, this battle of the champions should be tight, but don’t rule out Keene’s Jonathan Allard (3rd last year), who will not be doing the 1600 prior to the 800.
With Oyster River’s Patrick O’Brien running fresh, he is the obvious pick. The real race will be going on behind him as there is a pack of athletes led by D1 Champ North’s David Vorbach, Concord’s Forest MacKenzie, and Pelham’s Cameron Starr.
Okay, yeah, anyone see North’s super-super-soph Triston Delicema set the state record last week soaring 48’1.25″ in the Triple??? 50 feet is in his future for sure!!! Enough said! Don’t sleep on Antonio in the Long Jump, he is only 7.25 inches away from Taylor Smith’s 1998 state record. Keene’s Scott Rathbun best vault of the year is 15’3″. With cooperative weather, one never knows. He is one height away from the 15’8″ state record.
Lebanon’s Marcus Roper and Goffstown’s Oliver Gunski put on quite the show last week as both eclipsed 50′ in the Shot Put. Look for them to continue their battle Saturday. As the top seed in the Discus, Gunski has a shot to win both individual titles! Speaking of barriers, both Pinkerton’s Colin Bigelow and Berlin’s Joey Fodor have tossed the javelin over 170 feet. Look for the D1 v. D3 showdown to not disappoint either!
Good luck to All!!!