By Scott Maxwell
Well, that Division II Championship had everything we were looking for and more! Many of the events played out like we’d expected, but there were definitely some surprises. As expected Coe-Brown put up a TON of points, but there was an all-out battle for the runner-up hardware between Hanover, Oyster River, Souhegan, and Lebanon.
Results – Courtesy of Lancer Timing
On The Track
The meet started off with a fiery back and forth competition in the 4x800m relay. Ultimately, Souhegan (8:33.96) pulled away for the victory over Pelham (8:38.01). Aidan Cox stepped up to anchor for Coe-Brown, running an “easy” 2:04 to secure 3rd place and their first 6 (of many) points!
Following the sprint/hurdle trials, the finals officially kicked off with the 3k! As expected Cox was an overwhelming favorite, and despite having just anchored the 4×800, asserted himself right from the gun. Through the first lap, it was clear to the field that Aidan wasn’t just running for the victory, he was going to take down the state record! Aidan would rip around the track, seemingly stress-free, and finish up with a dominating STATE RECORD time of 8:28.61, crushing Patrick O’Brien’s record of 8:39.52. Tyler Tkaczyk would ratchet down the pace and pull away for 2nd place in 9:04 and Lebanon’s Thomas Wolfe would take 3rd in 9:08. Coe-Brown would score 22 points in this event as Nikhil Chavda also placed 4th.
Next on the track were the finals of the Hurdles and Dash. The Hurdle Finals appeared to be a three-way race. In the end, Souhegan’s Cole Henderson pulled away to take the big W in 8.48, along with 10 huge points for his team. Plymouth’s Cole Ahern would just outlean Hanover’s Aidan Powell as they both came across in 8.69!
The 55m Dash was also a fierce battle. Tim Kelm of Portsmouth Christian ran a fantastic prelim time of 6.60, putting himself in prime position. However, the finals played out a bit differently, as Bishop Brady’s Joshua Gentchos put the hammer down and flew through the line to take down the best DII had to offer for the victory. Kelm would power through the line for 2nd in 6.73, while West’s Edwen Rodriguez would grab the final spot of the podium with a 6.77!
There was no doubt who the favorite was in the 1k, but Coe-Brown’s Jamie Lano was pushed a bit harder than he would have liked, as Hanover’s Lucian Gleiser refused to make it an easy day for him! Lano jumped out to the early lead and attempted to cruise through for victory. In the midst of a breakout season, Gleiser kept Lano close, and made a late push to try to take down the heavy favorite. Gleiser couldn’t quite get there, but put some serious pressure on and pushed Lano to the win in 2:33.85, powering to his own PR of 2:34.46! Goffstown’s Chase Hall would outlast the rest of the field to take 3rd in 2:38.47.
The 600m may have been the race of the day! Bishow Thapa of Merrimack Valley took the field out strong and had the lead through lap 1. Oyster River’s Chris Jernigan gave it his all to move into the lead through 400m, but Thapa fought off the strong move. Meanwhile, Coe-Brown’s Gavin Demas who was biding his time, hammered by Jernigan and Thapa on the back straightaway and pulled away for the victory in 1:22.74! Thapa would hold on for 2nd in 1:25.83, and Hollis-Brookline’s Matthew McLaughlin would move up to 3rd with his 1:27.48!
As predicted, Oyster River’s Ty Dorow outclassed the field in the 300 meter sprint. Dorow came out of the blocks hard and looked strong and relaxed through the finish line for a superb 36.35. Coe Brown’s Matthew Corriveau, in the midst of a breakout season of his own, took 2nd place in 37.21, while Oyster River super soph Talon Ouellette took the #3 spot in 37.51, and gave the Bobcats some much needed points toward the team race.
The last individual race of the day, the 1500m is often a race of attrition in the Division Championships, as most everyone competing is doubling/tripling back from previous races. We wondered in the preview if anyone coming in with fresh legs could have shaken things up…but the Coe-Brown boys would have none of it! Fresh off his new state record in the 3k, Aidan Cox once again asserted his dominance from the gun. He came out blazing and steadily increased his lead with every stride. Cox put close to a 50m gap on the field at the 200m mark and never looked back. He cruised to the ‘W’ in a NEW Division II record time of 3:58.06, less than half a second off the NH State Record! Coming off earlier races as well, Coe-Brown’s distance squad was back for more. Jamie Lano and Tyler Tkazyck would battle it out for 2nd and 3rd 4:18.16 to 4:18.68…some incredibly legit times given their previous races! Coe-Brown would score an astounding 26 points in this single event as Chavda also claimed 5th.
Oyster River secured their runner-up team title with a great combo of performances from a group of kids (Oulette, Swiesz, Jernigan, and Dorow) who all had multiple races/events under their belts on the day. The Bobcats pulled away to win this one in 3:38.58. Hollis-Brookline would power in for 2nd place in 3:39.90, and Merrimack Valley would battle it out for 3rd in 3:40.93.
This race was all Bishop Brady, as the boys came in as the top seed and didn’t disappoint! The Pelham squad put the pressure on midway through the race, but once Brady’s Alan Yap took the baton on the third leg, it was all over. Brady came away with the victory in 1:36.29. The boys from Pelham managed to push through the finish in 1:37.22 for 2nd, outlasting Souhegan’s charge, as the Sabers would take 3rd in 1:37.64!
In the Field
Lebanon’s Tanner Ames continued his Division II dominance with a big toss of 49’ 8.5”! He’ll no doubt be looking to continue to impress in a few weeks as he’ll see some bigtime competition at New Englands! His 10 points were definitely a move in the right direction for Leb’s hopes of a runner-up plaque! The battle for the next 5 scoring spots definitely turned out to be very interesting as predicted. Milford’s Keagan Hatch had a big day, launching the shot 45’ 1.25” for a new PR and the runner-up medal! Newport’s Kyle Ashley also had a solid day with his 42’ 8.5”, good enough for 3rd place!
All it took was his first jump, and Conant’s Ben Sawyer had all he needed for the victory. Leaping to an impressive 21’ 0”, Sawyer took one other jump then passed all three in finals for the win! Gilford’s Anthony Haddocks came ready to rock and roll, soaring to a new PR with 19’ 10.5”, to take home 2nd place. Coe Brown’s Matthew Corriveau, who seemed to be competing in everything on Sunday, shook off a couple of fouls to jump out to 19’ 8.5”, good for 3rd place points!
Ian Solberg of Hanover continued his dominance this season with a Division II title. His opening jump of 6’ 0” was all he needed to secure the victory and 10 points for the Marauders. He went back and cleared 6’ 3” with ease! Gilford’s Anthony Haddocks, fresh off his 2nd place in LJ, continued his great day, clearing 5’10” on his first attempt to take the runner-up spot. Pembroke’s Gavin Currier and Coe-Brown’s Matthew Corriveau took home a tie for 3rd place, also clearing 5’10”.
As predicted Coe-Brown completely dominated this meet, finishing with a monstrous 101 points! The Black Bears proved to be just too strong in the jumps (Corriveau), and everything 300m and up on the track (Cox, Tkaczyk, Lano, Demas, Benjamin Robinson and his 4th place finish in 600m from the slower heat!!, Chavda, and Corriveau). In the battle for the runner-up hardware, Oyster River prevailed behind huge victories from Dorow, the 4×400, and a spattering of points from Talon Oulette, Jernigan, and Daniel Doherty. Hanover relied on Gleiser, Powell, and Solberg, to solidify the 3rd place. Souhegan got some big help from Henderson, Owen Stine, and their relays to secure 4th place, while Lebanon’s Ames, Wolfe, and Carson Jones put them in position to round out the top 5 in the team competition.
By Mike Smith
Results – Courtesy of Lancer Timing
Wow, just wow. Talk about some great racing. With two of the best distance runners in NH, each with things to prove, we were assured to see some great racing but there was certainly more than that on hand. Because we’re back for the first time, I’m going to do this recap a little different and go event by event rather than by event category. I have to admit, as the commentator for the meet, I didn’t see much of the field events, but you could hear it when someone did something special.
So in the field events, Newmarket’s Katilin Bussell got their unheralded chase of the championship off to a great start, winning on jump backs over Kearsarge’s Amelia Lefebvre, both going 4-10.
In the shot put, Milford’s Kylie Allen did what she does best and out distanced the field by over 2 feet, tossing the ball 32-10 to Kearsarge’s all-around girl Lefebvre’s 30-9. ConVal’s Tasha MacNeil finished in third.
The long jump ended up being between the two athletes that have been separated by one inch all season long and the top seeded Ava Houle of Campbell prevailed, 15-11.5 to 15-8.5 jumped by Belmont’s Emma Winslow. Third place went to Goffstown’s Maya Thomas (15-2.5).
The running portion of the event would lead off with the girls 4×800. With Mascenic as the top spot going in with an 11:01 seed time, the race would play out much differently as in the end the top two teams would go under that. Coe-Brown would throw down a 10:47 with Bow right behind in 10:49. Lebanon would sneak into third with an 11:02.
No big shakeups in the prelims for the sprint races which lead us to the 3000. Portsmouth Christian’s Brianna Malone was the class of the field coming in, with a 21 second cushion over Oyster River’s Mackenzie Cook and the rest of the field. And once the gun sounds, Malone was off to the races, running right on pace for the D2 record. But after the mile the pace started to drift and Malone would come away with the win in 10:19. Cook would run a very even race in no man’s land, finishing second in 10:32. Kearsarge’s Molly Ellison would eventually pull away from Bow’s Maya Brochu for third.
In the hurdles, Pelham’s Reese Nicolosi backed up her top qualifying time with the win, ripping a 9 second flat time to beat Newport’s Maddox Lovely. Maybe more importantly in third and fourth were OR’s Erin Carty and Newmarket’s everything girl Bussell, which among other things, would come into play later.
In the dash (55m), Kennett speedster Aida Wheat would need all that speed to overcome a less than stellar start. She would prevail, winning in 7.36 over Milford’s Keely Giordano. CB’s Anushka Chavda would finish third.
For the 1000, with PCA’s Malone opting for the 3K/1500 double, there was a significant gap between Alanna Hagen and Haley Kavanaugh and the rest of the field, with the top two enjoying a 15 second advantage in the seedings. However when the gun went off, the pace went out significantly slower than the day’s earlier 3K which meant that at 400 meters everyone was still in the lead pack. At the halfway mark Kavanaugh cranked up the pace, stringing the field out but couldn’t shake Hagan. With a lap to go Hagan hit the afterburners, to win in 3:12 off a slow pace. Mascenic’s Kaitlin O’Shea would move from fifth to third on the last lap.
The 600 would see a great battle between Kingswood’s Marcella DeNitto and Newmarket’s Allison Burke. Burke would lead for 560 meters of the race with DeNitto passing her off the last turn for the win in 1:44. Souhegan’s Audrey Littlefield would run a strong race for third.
In the girls 300, Kingswood’s Kylie Rapoza would put on a clinic, leading gun to tape, winning in 42.74. CBNA’s Chavda would be the best of the rest in second with Maya Thomas of Goffstown edging out Newmarket’s Holly Fermon, 44.48 to 44.49.
Malone was back for the girls 1500, along with OR’s Cook and Kavanaugh. Malone led from the gun with the OR duo working together ahead of the chase pack. They would catch Malone with two laps to go, and when Malone went to open up with a lap to go, Cook went right with her. Cook would push Malone to the line but in the end Malone would prevail. Kavanaugh would finish third.
The 4×400 there was a great matchup, and potentially a championship determining matchup between Newmarket, Kearsarge and Oyster River. The teams battled through the third and fourth leg, with Newmarket’s Hagen taking the baton behind OR’s Carty, with Kearsarge’s Lefebvre in the lead. Hagen blasted by both Carty and Lefebvre leading through to the last lap where they were catching up to Hanover at the last handoff. Hanover’s anchor took off right in front of Hagen and gave her someone to chase. But coming off the last leg, Carty went wide into lane and was able to squeeze Hagen keeping in lane one and closing on the lapped runner. OR would win this, 4:22.35 to 4:22.38. Kearsarge would end up third.
In the 4×200, Kingswood would use their two studs right up front, with Rapoza and DeNitto on legs one and two, to bust this one wide open, winning in 1:51.36. CBNA would finish second with Newmarket third, and with OR coming in fourth.
The meet came down to some key matchups between Oyster River and Newmarket. There were many events where both teams were neck and neck for points but in the end, Oyster River would prevail, 53.5 to 51. While second in the standings, the Newmarket Mules have nothing to be ashamed of; as a D4 school in most sports to come that close to winning the D2 championships is amazing. Coe-Brown would finish third.