Girls Accepted Entries Courtesy of Lancer Timing
Traditionally one of the more competitive meets in the state of NH, the Merrimack Invitational is 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
Nashua South. Arguably the queens of NH sprinting at this point of the 2023 campaign. They have Iyana Braswell as the top seed in the 100. And while North’s Jhanelle Thomas is the top seed in the 200, South’s Soraya Ross is the 2nd seed. Pinkerton’s Eva Roberts is the 2nd seed in the 100 with CBNA’s Anushka Chavda right behind her. Memorial’s AJ Sebastian is top seed in the 100 while Salem’s Samuel Jones is the second seed. These 2 actually switch seed positions in the 200.
If South has the queens of sprinting, Pinkerton has the queen of hurdling as Jordan Wheaton is the top seed in the High Hurdles and the 300 Hurdles at 14.87 and 45.86. She is the standout favorite in both. We see a similar trend on the fella’s side as South’s Rory Olsen is the top seed in both the hurdle events. Souhegan’s Cole Henderson is the second seed in the Highs, and expect North’s Jack Sullivan to give all Olsen can handle in the 300m Hurdles.
The 400 should prove to be one of the more tightly contested events of the night as Portsmouth’s Lily Jenkins and North’s Jhanelle Thomas are co top seed at 59.53. Wow, if these two push each other, we could see something special. Dover’s Isabel McIntyre and Pinkerton’s Contessa Silva are the top seeds in the 800 at 2:24 and change, but one cannot discount Alvirne’s Paige Boudreau and Silva’s teammate Isabelle Groulx.
On the boys’ side, this could be a pretty cool showdown as the performance list has both Londonderry’s Sean Clegg and Coe-Brown’s Gavin Demas listed as the top 2 seeds. The 800 sees Portsmouth stalwart Jake Haley holding down the top seed at 1:57 with Exeter’s Nathan Mikulsky the second seed and the only other listed at sub-2:00. However, looking at the names, expect several more to go under that barrier!
Portsmouth’s Mia Scherr holds the top seed in the 1600 at 5:31.03 but expect both Exeter’s Meadow Gregory and Salem’s Lily Thomas to contend while Coe-Brown’s Sheldyn Fisher is the heavy favorite in the 3200 meters.
Same can be said for Fisher’s teammate Jamie Lano and the boys’ mile as he is at 4:24. His teammate, Tyler Tkaczyk, is the top seed in the 3200, but expect fellow seniors Ryan Fortin (Londonderry) and Cameron Fredette (Merrimack) give him all he can handle. Keep a special eye on Souhegan’s Owen Stine. He is making some pretty big strides this season.
South’s Braswell is also the top seed in the Long Jump with host school’s Kailey Dillon the 2nd seed and the other athlete over 17′. Dillon’s teammate, Alexis Best is the top seed in the Triple at 37+ feet with Concord’s super soph Ella Goulas 2nd seed at almost 36′. This could be a pretty awesome competition.
The boys’ Long Jump is the field event to watch as we have 9 athletes seeded at 20′ or better. Multi-talented Sullivan is the top seed but expect names like Alexis Rivera (Memorial), Chase Burris (Memorial), Andrew Kullman (Londonderry), and Ethan Preston-Teixeira (North) among others to be in contention. Can we believe someone over 20′ will not make finals! The Triple Jump has 3 guys seeded over 41′ with Exeter’s Thoren Kersten-Guiler, Sullivan, and Londonderry’s Donovan Gannon.
We see 2 familiar names at the top of the girls high jump with Wheaton and Goulas seeded at 5’4″. Add in North’s Kelechi Okorie, and we have a 3 headed monster of a competition here. Concord’s Kendall Barton and Londonderry’s Marline Fitzgerald to battle it out in the pole vault as both have cleared 9’6″ this season. Londonderry’s Andrew Kullman and Salem’s Nicholas Rushton are the strong favorites in the Hugh Jump and Pole Vault respectively.
Girls Shot Put is one of the more loaded events at the meet. Salem’s Bella Colizzi is the top seed at over 37′. We have a triumverate chasing her with North’s Isabella Di Vernieri and Madelyn Novak as well as Pinkerton’s Briana Danis who have all eclipsed 35′ this season. At 137′, Danis is the heavy favorite in the discus, but at 125’5″, Novak is the heavy favorite in the Javelin.
As the sole 50’+ thrower, North’s Darius Smith is the top seed in the Shot. CBNA’s Zachary Bistany is the top seed in the Discus at 152′ while Pinkerton’s Joseph Packowski is the top seed in the 159’9″.