Meet Program – Courtesy of LancerTiming
By Scott Maxwell
Sprints and Hurdles
Top seed, Plymouth’s Katherine Luehrs will look to get things rolling in the 100m high hurdles. Look for Oyster River’s Charlotte Cousins to keep things interesting as she aims to repeat as state champion! Also of Oyster River, Erin Carty is poised to take down the intermediate 300’s! Look for Coe-Brown’s Natalie Sicard, Windham’s Sydney Draeger, and John Stark’s Alyson Kenney to also be right there in the mix to snag some points for their teams!
Three young ladies have emerged as the front-runners in the sprints this spring: Kennett’s Aida Wheat, Luehrs, and Coe-Brown’s Anushka Chavda. Those three are the top 3 seeds in both the 100 and 200, however Luehrs has chosen to skip the 100 to focus on the hurdles. On paper, it doesn’t look to be close! Look for some combination of those three to secure the podium spots!
Looking to rack up the points for Souhegan is veteran Chloe Trudel, who is the top seed in all 3 middle/distance events! The victories will not come easy, as freshman Haley Kavanaugh (Oyster River) has looked strong in both the 800 and 1600, H-B’s Amy Pattelena will being running the 800 on fresh legs, and Coe-Brown’s Sheldyn Fisher (1600 and 3200) has looked to be turning it on when it matters most. Also look for Kate Burrrus (St. Thomas) to mix it up in the 800, while Bow juniors Susanna Zahn and Maya Brochu, along with Merrimack Valley’s seasoned vet Sophia Reynolds will look to push the pace in both distance races as well!
Hanover’s Emma Kleber comes in with the top seed in High Jump at 5’1”, a full 3 inches ahead of the next seed. Look for her to continue to sky high, while Penelope Annis (Goffstown), Isabella Hastings (Lebanon), and Ashereka Primmer (Souhegan) all come in seeded at 4’10” and will try to put the pressure on to pick up some additional points!
Long and Triple Jump should be a battle for the top spots, as there is no clear cut favorite in either event. Josephine Malloy from Coe-Brown enters as the top seed with a 16’5”, but is followed closely behind by Milford’s Sarah Sawyer, Plymouth’s speedy Katherine Luehrs, and Milford’s Annalise Nassy. Like it often does, this one could come down to those final jumps!
Pole Vault is could prove to be the Coe-Brown show, as the Bears have 4 girls seeded in the top 7, including Makena Lee with a season best of 10’ 7”, a full 2 feet over her teammate and next competitor Olivia Buzzell! If either struggles, look for Bow’s Sarah Guerrette or Con-Val’s Elise Robbins to take advantage!
Natalie Riley of Coe-Brown should easily handle the competition in both shot put and discus, as she dominated both events this spring and is seeded #1 in both. She has a full 20’+ advantage in discus and 3 ½ ‘ in shot! The javelin battle should be much closer, as Con-Val’s Tasha Macneil is the favorite, but seeds #2 – 5 are all only separated by less than 18 inches! With competition this close, who knows how the points could be distributed. Could these places help determine who takes runner-up in the team competition?
Coe-Brown is the clear favorite to win the title again this season! They look to score points all over the place, potentially pulling them in from every single event contested! Even if some of their superstars have off days, Da Black Bears should take this down with ease! With only 5 points separating 2nd, 3rd, and 4th (based on seedings), there should be an absolute battle for the runner-up spot! Look for Oyster River, Windham, and Milford to scratch and claw for every point! We’re going to give the edge to Oyster River, whose balanced attack through hurdles, mid-distance, and relays should make the difference. But, it’s championship season, so anything can happen!
Seth Baylus of Merrimack Valley dominated the sprints for his second straight spring season. Lowering his own state record in the 100m to 10.73, while also setting a personal best of 21.66 in the 200m, he seems poised for another monster day this Saturday at Pelham. Nyeoti Punni of Lebanon, Braeden Manti of Windham, and Ty Dorow of Oyster River have all had spectacular seasons, and will be looking to grab the other podium spots. In what could be the head to head battle of the day, Brady Ash of Sanborn will face off with Dorow in the 400. Their seed times only have them separated by .06 seconds. Will the conditions be there for them to both break 50??
Looking to the hurdles, Plymouth’s Cole Ahern comes in as the top seed, with last year’s DII Champ Jackson Bomba healthy and looking for the “upset”. Windham’s Henry Ntoro looks to be a strong favorite in the 300 hurdles, while Oyster River’s Dillon Labonte is hoping to score some big time points with his crazy 300H/800 double!!
The who’s who of NH distance running will be on full display in the mid and distance events this weekend. Possibly the surprise of the spring, Pierce Seigne of Hanover has emerged as a true stud, coming in as the top seed in both the 800 (1:56.27) and 1600 (4:16.20). Coe-Brown’s All-American Aidan Cox will no doubt assert his dominance in the 3200, but will also be looking to unseat Seigne as the division’s top “miler”. With a field this deep (top 6 seeded under 4:29), we can absolutely expect this race to go out at an honest pace. Look for Birhanu Harriman (Lebanon), Jared Khalil (Sanborn), Michael Killian (Windham), and Lars Hogne (Coe-Brown) to push the issue and not give anyone an easy victory. With all of this crew doubling/tripling back to the 800, 3200, and/or 4×400, we should see some exciting action on the track all afternoon!
Anders Larson has been the dominant force in the Pole Vault, Long Jump, and Triple Jump this spring. He comes in as the top seed in all 3 (dominating both PV and LJ by a full foot!), and will look to secure those 30 points to lead the Bears to another championship! Anders’s teammate Jacob Cowan will do all he can to hop/skip/jump his way to the victory in Triple Jump past Larson, as they are seeded less than an inch apart. Ian Solberg (Hanover) has continued to impress all season in the high jump, and will enter as the heavy favorite at 6’4”! Oyster River’s Daniel Doherty at 6’1” is next in line, and will aim high to get the Bobcats some much needed field event points.
The throwing events have three clear cut favorites to win this year’s events, with each coming in with significant distances ahead of the competition. However, the throwing story of the spring has to be Peyton Strickland of Goffstown and his monstrous discus throws! Strickland comes in with a seed of 177’ 5”, almost 21 feet further than the next best competitor. Barring anything crazy happening, he will win this event! Caden Zalenski of Milford is also a bigtime favorite to take down the Shot Put, with a cushion of almost 3 feet! In the javelin, the season’s top seed Jayson Blaisdell (Oyster River) is out, making the path to victory for Will Jaques of Souhegan much easier! He’s favored by 17 feet!
As has become commonplace the last weekend in May, the Division II Championship will almost certainly go to the Black Bears of Coe-Brown! CBNA should get massive points by dominating a number of events (PV, TJ, 3200, and the relays). The real battle will be for the runner-up plaque, as on paper, a handful of teams have a legitimate shot. Oyster River seems to have the advantage, but don’t rule out the balanced attack of Windham, the mid-distance strength of Hanover, the sprint/distance combo of Lebanon, or even the scrappy Souhegan or Sanborn to come through with some surprise performances! This should be a fun one!
Good luck to all! We will be there in full force livestreaming from Pelham!