For the 2nd installment of HOKA Athlete of the Week for the 2023 Outdoor Season we had the benefit of 1 real invitational in NH, the 21st Black Bear Invitational. A multi-divisional affair, this invitational annually produces some of the best regular season performances on a not so perfect weather day. While multiple athletes stood out at Coe-Brown this past weekend, 2 athletes and their performances were chosen.
Manchester Central’s Harriet Barber swept the 400 and 200 meter events at the Black Bear Invitational. We think it is understated how tough this double can be. Well Barber approached it wisely as she cruised to the victory in the 400 in 60.38 clearly conserving herself for the 200 meters which had a number of the best sprinters in the state. While she obviously won that race beating names like Ross, Thomas, Jenkins and Chavda, Barber came within a eyelash (.04) of the meet record set by Hopkinton’s Carolyn Maynard in 2010!!! Well done!
While others may have had better overall days for their teams, scoring more points, this week’s HOKA Athlete of the Week on the boys’ side certainly had the best moment of the day at the Black Bear Invitational. Talk about meet records, not only did Coe-Brown’s Gavin Demas break the 800 meet record of 1:56.97, he obliterated it by blazing a 1:52.65 (not a typo!). Obvious gratitude to PEA’s Oliver Brandes, who set a blistering pace for 650 meters, also breaking the former meet record with a 1:54.38, as this is a great example of how friendly competition brings the best out of all athletes! Demas ran a time we have not seen very often in the Granite State. Yes he broke Jeremy Brassard’s CBNA school record by 2 seconds, but it is also the 4th fastest in state history! Oh, and perhaps the best stat…his PR prior to this past weekend…2:00! What?!?!?!?!
Congrats to both Barber and Demas, this week’s HOKA Athletes of the Week.