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Meet Preview! 2023 Black Bear Invitational

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The Black Bear Invitational hosted by Coe-Brown Northwood Academy has become one of the premier invitationals in the state.  It annually accepts the top entries per event to ensure an efficient, high caliber meet featuring mostly varsity athletes engaging in intense but friendly competition on the track and the field.  It was the first meet to feature the 3200 as its first event on the track while culminating with relay city with the 4×800 and the 4×400 relays.  As always, we will be there to livestream, interview, snap pics! Coe-Brown’s facility literally presents all events right in front of the spectator, so this preview will follow the order of the track events and then take a look at what will happen in the field.

On The Track!BBear2022--768

The girls 3200 meters will begin the day on the track at 9:30am. Phillips Exeter’s (PEA) Daria Ivanova is the top seed at 11:00, but the next 3 are familiar names in Oyster River’s Haley Kavanagh, Mackenzie Cook and CBNA’s Sheldyn Fisher all seeded at 11:20.  Annika Finelli (PEA) is seeded at 11:25 and should factor  in as well.

On the boys side, host school’s Aidan Cox is seeded first with an 8:56.  He opened up his senior track season with a 4:16 solo effort win at the CT Distance Festival last week.  After an incredible indoor season, expect a great effort here. Seeded second, at 9:05 is Tam Gavenas of Phillips Academy.  However, don’t led the seeds fool you.  A who’s who of NH distance running is listed next and the order doesn’t quite matter.  With names like Gilford’s Patrick Gandini, CBNA’s Tyler Tkaczyk and Jamie Lano, BG’s Matt Giardina, Cox and Gavenas have to be on their “A” games to hold these guys off.  Gandini looked quite strong last week at Sanborn, Giardina is coming off a 15:09 as well.  Max Huang (Phillips Academy) and Mateo Bango (PEA) are also seeded 9:30 or better so should factor in the mix. Lastly, watch for Leb’s Birhanu Harriman, although seeded low, the Georgetown commit will continue to improve as the season develops.

BBear2022--514Boys High Hurdles Prelims will be next.  At Black Bear, both the High Hurdles and 100 meter dash, the top 18 after scratches are considered in the seeded sections of their events.  From those 18, the finals will be determined.  Top seed on the boys side is Monadnock’s Gavin Lombara.  He will have his hands full with Portsmouth’s Jake Lovern and PEA’s Max Li.  On the girls side, Merrimack’s Kailey Dillon comes in as the top seed at 16.05, but also look for Concord’s Morgan Doherty, Portsmouth’s Mariam Nada, Oyster River’s Erin Carty, Newport’s Maddox Lovely and Pelham’s Reese Nicolosi.  Those are the names we should see in the final.  This is loaded!

The boys 100 sees PEA’s Jaylen Bennett as the favorite.  He is a talent with great range.  Watch for him throughout the day.  PCA’s Tim Kelm is the second seed.   Also watch for PEA’s Jackson Giampa, Concord’s Quinn Marino, and Oyster River’s Ty Dorow.  The girls’ side is absolutely loaded meaning a couple names we know will not make the final.  Portsmouth’s Lily Jenkins is the top seed, but with names like South’s Soraya Ross, Iyana Braswell, CBNA’s Anushka Chavda, North’s Jhanelle Thomas and Con-Val’s Tasha MacNeil, it is extremely difficult to pick a winner.  Just settle in and watch great competition.

The finalists will have some time to rest as the Black Bear will have the unseeded miles and the return of a middle school mile next.  Once these are complete,BBear2022--379 the finals session will begin in earnest with the finals in the High Hurdles and Dash.  Then the seeded sections of the 1600.  On the girls side will be  PEA,s Tenley Nelson is the top seed at 5:00 flat.  Phillips Academy’s Emma Hagstrom is seeded second at 5:05, while PEA’s Lassiter Foregger and Bebe Reed are ranked 3rd and 4th.  Expect Hopkinton’s Hannah Bennett and Concord’s Shelly Smith to stick their noses in it!  On the boys side PEA teammates Max Lacombe and Pearce Covert are top seeds but expect Avery Crowell and Souhegan’s Owen Stine as well as Dallen Noorda to be big factors in this one.

We are in for a treat with the 4x100s as NH’s top team, Nashua South will be competing.  Concord is the top seed on the boys side.   The girls 400 also features the top quarter miler in the state as Central’s Harriet Barber is top seed with a 57.92.   The 1 lap circuit comps culminate with the boys and get ready!  Three athletes are seeding under the 50 point barrier.  Top seed is the aforementioned Jaylen Bennett of PEA at 49 flat.  He will be challenged by Oyster River’s Ty Dorow and Sanborn’s Brady Ash.

The 300 Hurdles features Sanborn Invite winner Carty going for the sweep again, but the top seed is PEA’s Willa Hock.  Both are seeded in the 47s.  BBear2022--268Looking to crash the party will be North’s Christina Juris and Concord’s Morgan Doherty.  On the boys side, it will be the battle of Nashua with South’s Rory Olsen and North’s Jack Sullivan taking part.

PCA’s Brianna Malone is scheduled to race the 800 and is the top seed at 2:11.52.  She may actually have some company as Brattleboro’s Ava Whitney is seeded at 2:14. The boys side will be crazy competitive with names like CBNA’s Gavin Demas, Oyster River’s Chris Jernigan and Portsmouth’s Jake Haley.  Add in the PEA squad featuring Oliver Brandes and we have the makings of a barn burner.  Although seeded third, Brandes would have to be the favorite.  Do not expect them to be messing around with tactics either.  Expect them to get right on it!

The individual track events end with the 200s and just like the 100, ALL the top sprinters of the meet are involved with the addition of 400 meter runner Barber!  Matter of fact, an athlete had to be faster than 27 seconds to make the fast heat.  This one is going to be good.  On the guys side, Ash, Kelm, Dorow and Concord’s Quinn Marino will do battle coming off the turn for sure.

The track events crescendo with relay city as the 4x800s and 4x400s will be quite competitive, as always.

On The Field!

While the track events do not begin until 9:30am, the field events will kick things off being featured at 9:00am.  The vertical jumps, the High Jump and PoleBBear2022--604 Vault, will assuredly be tight competitions.  The girls high jump features a handful of ladies with seeds of 5’2″ or better on their resumes.  Concord’s Ella Goulas (remember this name) is the top seed along with North’s Kelechi Okorie.  Both have cleared 5’4″ this season.  South’s Mia Cruz and Concord’s Kelley Mikelson are seeded at 5’2″.   Oyster River’s Daniel Doherty will be looking for a win for the 2nd consecutive weekend on the boys’ side of things.

Top seed in the girls pole vault is PEA’s Ina Mason (10’1″) with Concord’s Kendall Barton the next seed at 9’6″.  Winnacunnet’s Wyatt Patterson, with a mark of 13’0″, is the top seed over Salem’s Nicholas Rushton, who sits at 12’6″.

Shifting to the horizontal jumps, not only is Concord’s Goulas the top seed in the high jump, but she is also the top seed in the long and triple jumps.  Merrimack’s Dillon the other athlete over 17′.  Watch for South’s Braswell as well in the long jump. In the triple, Hopkinton’s Grace Hall may give her a run for her money.    The boys will also be highly competitive with 4 seeds over 21 feet.  Exeter’s Michael Dettore, North’s Sullivan, Conant’s Ben Sawyer and Dover’s Brady McInnes will do battle in this one.  North’s Sullivan also appears as the top seed once again in the triple at 42’7.5″.  BBear2022--532Pembroke’s Gavin Currier checks in at 41′ and change.

The throws will also be hotly contested and on the girls’ side will feature North’s Madelyn Novak, who is top seed in the Discus, as well as the 2nd seed in the Shot Put and Javelin.  Hoping to challenge her in the discus will be Newfound’s Isabella Laplume and MV’s Victoria Leak.   Salem’s Bella Colizzi is the top seed in the Shot with a mark of 37’5″.  Right with Novak at 35+’ is Milford’s Kylie Allen.  Top seed in the jav ahead of Novak is Pembroke’s Lillian Corbett at 121’4″.

On the boys side, host school CBNA features the top seed in the Discus with Zach Bistany checking in at 152+’.   Expect Leb’s Tanner Ames to be right there though.  Ames is also the 2nd seed in the shot put at 50′ right behind North’s Toby Brown at 52’9″.  Do not overlook North’s Darius Smith in this one either. Finally in the javelin, heads up as Newport’s Kyle Ashley comes in at 175′.  PEA’s Tanner Boulden is the 2nd seed at 164’6″.

Good luck to all!!!


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