Even though last year was the most unique season and Division Championships in NH History, competition for the team titles were certainly fierce. With the promise of this season being back to normal complete with the return of invitationals and normal Division Championships, expect more of the same. After all, we are New Hampshire. Given the opportunity our student-athletes show up, focused and ready for competition. Last year, as separate girls and boys meets were contested, Coe-Brown eventually swept both with the Lady Bears quietly pulling away as the meet progressed, and the boys winning by coming back from 50 points down in the final 4 events.
Even though scoring the meet with just returners has Coe-Brown as the favorite in both, expect the rest of D2 to have something big to say about that! Especially without an indoor season to really speak of, this preview will be heavy on what occurred 9-12 months prior. However, we are always assured of great competition. And welcome back to normalcy! Welcome back invitationals!!!
Sprints and Hurdles
In the sprints look for Aida Wheat from Kennett to establish herself as the queen of sprinting in D2 NH! While she false started last year in the 100 final, she won the 200 going away in 26.72. Look for her to learn from her freshman year! Oyster River’s Charlotte Cousins will certainly be factor in the 100, 200 and High Hurdles as she is among the top returners in all 3 and is the defending High Hurdle Champ! Other names to watch in these events include Anushka Chavda (Coe-Brown), Katherine Luehrs (Plymouth) and Brianna Langdon (John Stark).
Usually the year after an individual sweeps the distance events as Addison Cox did with the 1 mile and 2 mile last year, there are new faces who come along to fill that gap. Well not this year as names which have been around a few years will be vying for the gold this coming May in Pelham. Names like Souhegan’s Chloe Trudel, who is coming off a phenomenal indoor campaign which saw her return to form in both events. Also look for MV’s Sophia Reynolds, who ironically is the top returner in the 300 Hurdles as well as among the tops in the distance events. Among returners to look for include Bow’s Maya Brochu, Kennett’s Amy Burton, Souhegan’s Stephanie Svendsen. A couple names who did not participate last year to watch would be Oyster River’s Haley Kavanaugh and Coe-Brown’s Sheldyn Fisher.
Lebanon’s Isabella Hastings is the top returner in the High Jump while Coe-Brown sports Olivia Buzzell, Josie Malloy and Makenna Lee as the top returners in the Pole Vault. Milford’s Sarah Sawyer is the top returner in the Long and the 2nd top returner in the Triple. Luehrs shows her multiple talents as she is a top returner in the Long as does Chavda as she is the tops in the Triple Jump.
Looking for a multi-event winner, look to the defending champ in the Shot and Discus, Coe-Brown’s Natalie Riley. Look for Riley to repeat in both events. With mostly freshmen and sophomores among the returners, the javelin looks to be wide open as well with Con-Val’s Tara MacNeil and Oyster River’s Riley Drapeu as the tops.
Last year, even if you took Addison Cox’s 28 points off the board, the Bears would have won. Even though she has graduated along with Samantha Lemay, Coe-Brown will score bunches of points in the field events from Natalie Riley and company as well as sprints and relays. They look to be the pre-season favorite. Then there are a pack of teams which include Oyster River, Milford, Plymouth and Souhegan which all have enough returning to contend as well.
MV’s Seth Baylus is the majordomo of the 100 and 200 as he is now a national class sprinter due to his hard work and dedication. Hollis/Brookline’s Michael Curtin and Windham’s Braeden Manti will also make their presence known. Look for Curtin’s teammate John Kotelly in the in the 400 as well as Hanover’s Joaquin Martin.
Windham’s Jackson Bomba joins Baylus as an overwhelming favorite to repeat as a double champion in both hurdle events. Look for Sanborn’s Brady Ash to also make his presence known.
Last year Coe-Brown scored oodles of points in the distance events culminating with taking 5 of the top 6 places in the 3200 to amass an amazing 25 points to spark their team come back late in the 2021 D2 meet. While this year’s version may not have the depth of 2021, the Bears still have Aidan Cox, Lars Hogne, and Tyler Tkaczyk as returning scorers. Expect to see names in the mix like the Khalils of Sanborn, Birhanu Harriman of Lebanon, Michael Killian and Logan Carter of Windham to make their presence felt.
Certain names in this category jump out among returners including Anders Larson (Coe-Brown) and Ian Solberg (Hanover). Larson is a jack of all trades as he is adept in all 4 jumping events including the pole vault.. He is the top returner in the Long Jump and 2nd returner in the Triple. Solberg is the top returner and favorite to win the High Jump as well as 3rd returner in the Long Jump. But both of those performances were as a sophomore. Expect the junior version of Solberg to make an even larger impact. Also expect Kotelly (H/B), the defending champ in the Triple Jump to improve.
Goffstown seems to have a bit of a hold on the throws as Antonio Kapos and Peyton Strickland are each the top returners in the Shot and Discus respectively. Expect Milford’s Caden Zalenski to have a say in matters in both events as well. The Javelin took a heavy hit with graduation as the top 4 placers from 2021 were all seniors. Souhegan’s Will Jacques and Oyster River’s Jayson Blaisdell are the top returners.
Last year’s meet was one of the more exciting team competitions in quite some time as Windham and Coe-Brown battled to the last event. While both have graduated a number of key leaders and point scorers, it seems as if 2022 will also come down to the Bears and the Jaguars. Both teams will once again display their strengths, with Windham scoring on the track in the sprints, hurdles and relays especially while Coe-Brown will counter with a balanced attack in the events 400 and up as well as relays and field events. If either of these teams should be off on Division Day, look to Milford, Hanover or Oyster River to capitalize.
Good luck to all!!!