Accepted Entries Courtesy of Lancer Timing
Traditionally one of the more competitive meets in the state of NH, the Merrimack Invitational returns Thursday. With a little over 2 weeks to go until the Division State Championships, many teams and individuals use this meet to improve their seeds going into the seeding meetings. Below is what to watch for!
Sprints & Hurdles
On the girls side, South’s Soraya Ross is the top seed in both the 100 and 200. Ross has established herself as the top sprinter in the state. Look for her to strengthen that argument. Names like Portsmouth’s Lily Jenkins, Exeter’s Sydney Lavelle, Merrimack’s Alexis Best and Pinkerton’s Hannah Sippel will also make their presence known. In the high hurdles Pinkerton’s Jordan Wheat is the favorite with Exeter’s Lavelle being the overwhelming one to watch in the 300 hurdles. Also watch for Emily Plante of Salem.
Similar to Ross, Pinkerton’s Jacob Spezzaferri is seeded at the top of both the 100 and 200. Look for Concord’s Quinn Marino, Portsmouth’s Michael Schoff and Ahmed Nada to try to unseat him. Londonderry’s Colby Ramshaw is the top seed in the High Hurdles but not by much over Memorial’s Bryce Foster. Look for a close match between South’s Rory Olsen and Portsmouth’s Ian Ripperger in the 300 Hurdles.
The 400 should be a nail-biter between Exeter’s Clara Knab and Dover’s Ashlyn Smith. Looks like North’s Dantia Braccio has a nice cushion in the 800, but watch for Concord’s Whitney Vaillant.
If the entries hold true, South’s Olsen will have a busy time as he is also the top seed in the 400 just ahead of his teammate Keith O’Donnell. While in the 800, look for Londonderry’s Sean Clegg and Dover’s Jeremiah Payeur to go at it. Don’t count out Dover’s Tyler Sheedy, Coe-Brown’s Gavin Demas or Portsmouth’s Jake Haley as the 800 seems quite competitive this year.
The girls 1600 will be one of the more exciting races of the day as there is no clear favorite. Watch for Concord’s Molly Nyhan, Dover’s Isabel McIntyre and Concord’s Anny Goulas to determine the winner. The 3200 has Coe-Brown’s breakout star Sheldyn Fisher as a heavy favorite to win her first invite.
On the boys side, watch for Concord’s Sam Hilts to give Tyler Sheedy all he can handle. Look for Concord’s John Murphy to stick his nose in it as well. Coe-Brown’s Lars Hogne is the top seed in the 3200 but watch for Pinkerton vet Luke Brennan and Londonderry’s Ryan Fortin to give him all he can handle.
Exeter’s Lavelle has simply been the best long jumper in the state. Expect her to win. The Triple Jump will be more competitive for the top spot as Pinkerton’s Madison Connors, Concord’s Ayva Mullen and Kayla Taylor are all seeded in the 34’s.
On the boys side, Salem’s David Jacques has a near foot advantage in the Long Jump at 20’10.5″. While Jack Sullivan of North is the top seed in the Triple at 41’5″, do not count out Coe-Brown’s Anders Larson and Jacob Cowan as the both eclipsed 42′ at today’s home meet at CBNA.
The girls high jump will be a good one. Pinkerton’s Wheaton shares the top seed with Portsmouth’s Zoe Arakelian at 5’4″, but you can’t count out Alvirne’s Molly O’Donnell at 5’2″ either. In the pole vault look for a Seacoast showdown between Coe-Brown’s Makena Lee and Exeter’s Erin Eastwood.
On the boys high jump, South’s Sami Witta sits as a strong favorite with a clearance of 6’3″. Pole vault is similar as Merrimack’s Samuel Epstein is has a more than a foot cushion on the field.
Girls Shot Put is one of the more loaded events at the meet. Pinkerton’s Briana Danis is the top seed with a toss of 36’9.5″, but North’s Natalie Burgess and Coe-Brown’s Natalie Riley both have posted marks over 35′. Danis is also the heavy top seed in the discus at 133’0″, but don’t discount Riley in that one as well. North’s Madelyn Novak is the top seed by almost 10′ in the javelin.
Look for Souhegan’s Will Jacques in the shot battling with North’s Toby Brown. Jacques is also top seed in the Discus almost 4′ up on North’s Jack Washam. Portsmouth’s Nate Fletcher is the top seed in the javelin with a mark of 158’5″ as Londonderry’s Michael Sampson is seeded second at 148’7″.