By Nate Leveille
The Black Bear Invitational is back! Always one of the biggest, best and smoothest run invitationals of the season, the Black Bear Invite is not short on talent this year despite it being New Hampshire Vacation week. It is one of the few invitationals that crowns a team champion, so it will be interesting to see the top teams from each division clash!
On the boys side D2 power and defending champion Coe-Brown will be tested by D1 defending champion Nashua North as well as up and coming, super-talented Portsmouth. On the girls side D2 champ Coe-Brown is coming off an invite win last week at Sanborn, but should be tested by defending D1 Champ Nashua North and perennial powers Exeter High School and Nashua South.
Girls to Watch:
Madelyn Novak (Nashua North)- The best all around thrower in Division One boasts a top 3 seed in discus, top seed in javelin, and top 3 seed in Shot.
Avery Hastings (Phillips Exeter Academy)- Top seed in both the discus and Shot. It will be fun to watch these two girls battle all day.
Sydney Lavelle (Exeter)- Top seed in the Long Jump and 300 Hurdles, also one of the girls to beat in the 100 meter and 100 hurdles. She will have a busy day for the Blue Hawks.
Ayva Mullen (Concord)- top seed in the Triple Jump and one of the favorites in the 100 meters.
Erin Eastwood (Exeter)- Top seed in the Pole vault and defending All-State champ.
Soraya Ross (Nashua South)- The most talented sprinter in the state and the favorite to win the 100 and 200 meters is also the defending All-State champ in the 200.
Charlotte Cousins (Oyster River)- top 100 meter Hurdler in either division and indoor national qualifier.
Chloe Trudel (Souhegan)- Top seed in the 3200 and 1600. It seems like its been that way for a number of years.
Mary-Kate Finn (Bishop Guertin)- Top D1 distance runner should give Trudel all she can handle.
Isabel McIntrye (Dover)- coming off a monster indoor season and the two seed in the 1600, but probably the favorite as she will be fresh.
Kylee Quinlan (Winnacunnet)- Coming in as the 2 seed in the 400 meter run, but rarely loses at this distance and is the defending All- State Champ.
My pick for the Race of the Day? The 800 meters!!! A bunch of girls separated by less than five seconds. Tenley Nelson (PEA), Whitney Vaillant (Concord), Fiona Doherty (BG), Dantia Braccia (Nashua North), and Brianna Malone (Portsmouth Christian Academy). Loads of talented girls in this race. This should be epic.
Boy’s to Watch:
Samuel Epstein (Merrimack)- Top seed in the pole vault and defending All-State champ. Also the 2 seed in the 110 hurdles.
Jackson Giampa (PEA)- top seed in the long jump by a full foot!
Caden Zalenski (Milford)- top seed in the discus and defending All-State champion. Also the top seed in the shot.
Nate Fletcher (Portsmouth)- top seed in the javelin and two seed in the 300 hurdles. Does it all for the loaded Clippers team.
Anders Larson (Coe-Brown)- Top 5 seed in the Long jump, triple jump, and Hurdles.
Daniel Doherty (Oyster River)- Top Seed in the High Jump by a dominant 4”.
Cole Ahern (Plymouth)- Top seed in the 110 hurdles.
Seth Baylus (Merrimack Valley)- The state record holder over 100 meters and defending all state champ in both the 100 and 200 meter run. He is the real deal.
John Kotelly (Hollis Brookline)- Top seed in the triple jump and top 3 seed in the 400 meter.
Ty Dorrow (Oyster River)- Top seed in the 400 meter with a blazing 51 and change already.
Aiden Silvestri (PEA)- Top seed in the 300 meter hurdles.
Jeremiah Payeur (Dover)- Top seed in the 800 and coming off a big indoor season.
Race of the Day for the boys:
3200 Meter run featuring these three distance monsters.
Aidan Cox (Coe-Brown)- Top seed in the 3200 and one of the best distance runners in the country. If the wind cooperates sub 9 is coming.
Tyler Sheedy (Dover)- Had a monster indoor season, National Qualifier. 3 seed in the 3200 and top seed in the 1600m.
Byron Grevious (PEA)- Coming off a big indoor season if anyone can challenge Cox it might just be him.