Results Courtesy of Lancer Timing
PICS – Courtesy of Jay Smith
Relive all the action through the meet replay below the article!
By Jim MacKenzie
The R.E.A.L. Invitational in Londonderry saw the competition really turn it up a notch just in time before the Divisional State championships get underway this coming week. This meet featured some powerhouse teams with stellar individual talents.
Bedford was the first to strike gold in the 3200 meter relay running a solid 9:50.75. They are a well-balanced team anchored by Fiona Lee’s 2:18.
Pinkerton’s Jordan Wheaton ran one of the fastest all-time 100 meter hurdles in NH history by posting an eye popping 14:38. The current state record time is 14.23 set in 2013 by Bishop Guertin’s Betsy Garnick looks now to be within Wheaton’s reach. Bedford sophomore Anika Scott’s placed second in 14.64 and looks poised enough to be chasing some records in her very bright future.
The 100 meter dash was certainly one of the most exciting races of the day. Soraya Ross laid down the gauntlet winning in a time of 12:25. Merrimack’s Alexis Best was a close second in 12.27 just ahead of Nashua South’s Iyana Braswell 12.30. Overall those three times are the fastest times in the state this year.
Pinkerton’s Contessa Silva 5:28.92 and Isabelle Groulx 5:29.02 battled it out to the end to claim the top two spots in a strategic 1600 meter. Melanie Bedard of Merrimack hung tough for third in 5:29.96.
The newly minted Nashua South 4×100 meter relay state record holders put up the 2nd fastest time in State history by cruising to another big win in 48.47 only .07 off their own record. Pinkerton placed second in 49.28 over Nashua North 3rd 50.38.
Manchester Central’s Harriet Barber completely dominated both the 200 and 400. Her times of 25.35 and 57.09 for the junior for this race are even faster than Grace Devanny (the current state 400 meter record holder) did in this race her junior year. That’s some company to be keeping.
After placing third in the 100 meter hurdles, Nashua North’s Jhanelle Thomas refocused her energy on the 300 meter hurdles. Coming in with seed time of 48.87 and running in an unfavorable lane 1. Thomas literally blew away the rest of the field by running 44.45 to claim not only this race but the fastest time in the state this year by over a full second.
Lebanon’s Isabella Hastings ran all alone to win the 3200 in 12:20.86.
On the final leg of the 4×400 meter relay, Nashua North’s Thomas shut the door down hard on Concord. It appeared that Concord was strategically running the first half of each leg conservatively and then pouring it on hard in the second 200. This strategy worked pretty well for the first three legs with Concord leading that is until Thomas got the baton and then it was game over. North won rather easily 4:09.33 to Concord’s 4:10.00.
The high jump was won in a height of 5-2 by Bedford senior Grace Crowder. Concord teammates Ella Goulas 2nd and Kelley Mikelson 3rd both cleared 5-0 along with Mia Cruz 3rd of Nashua South.
Madeline Muller of Concord won the pole vault in a height of 10-0. Placing in a tie for second at 10-0 was Maya Malatesta of Bedford and Londonderry’s Amanda Robinson. Currently all three of these competitors are tied for the second best vaults in the state this year.
The four best long jumpers in the state battled it out with Bedford’s Anika Scott capturing the big win with a leap of 17-08 in the long jump. Not far behind were speedsters Iyana Braswell of Nashua South 2nd 17-5.5 and Merrimack’s Alexis Best 3rd 17-3, Kailey Dillon of Merrimack also had a great day placing 4th 17-1.5.
Best is currently the best triple jumper in the state by two feet. She easily won the event with 37-2.25 jump. Ella Goulas of Concord is ranked second in the state and maintained that position with a jump measuring 35-9.25. Braswell, quadrupling on the day, placed third with a 34-9.5 effort.
Nashua North’s Madeline Novak had quite a day winning all three throwing events. First the shot put in 33-1.25 over Salem’s Abigail Ahlers (2nd 32-1.25) and Merrimack’s Mia Getchell (3rd 31-9), and then to win the Discus 114-3. Pinkerton’s Jameson Trask was second with a 100 even foot throw. Novak’s third win of the day was a throw of 118-11 to win the javelin title handily over Kayla Franks of Pinkerton (2nd 105-4) and Windham’s Kelly Wright (3rd 105-1).
Division 1 top seed Bedford came in as the heavy favorite in the 3200 meter relay and they lived up to their billing. Led by Jacob Redman’s 1:55.70 finishing leg they won with a time of 8:10.35. Goffstown lead by almost 3 seconds through 1200 m, and held on for second in 8:24.45. Nashua South placed third in 8:26.61.
Bedford’s Christopher Chong dominated both hurdle events. First winning the 110 high hurdles in a state leading 14.73 over Souhegan’s Cole Henderson 15:45. Chong’s teammates JJ Powers (3rd 15.92) and Jaden Cote (4th 16:11) showed off the Bulldog depth. Rory Olsen of Nashua South had posted the fastest time this season and had a rather large lead in this race until he ran out of gas. Chong reeled him in and blew by him to post a state leading time of 38.43. Olsen finished second posting a very good 39.54 for his effort.
Chris Stevens of Keene is on fire! Stevens started off by popping a 10.85 in the 100 meter preliminaries and then winning the finals of the 100 meters in 10.82. Manchester Memorial’s AJ Sebastian was second in 11.02 followed by Pinkerton’s Caden Michaud for 3rd in 11.04 (worth mentioning 10.95 preliminary). In the 200 meters Stevens ripped a 21.78 to crush the fast field. He’s in some rarified air now with those two performances. Nashua South’s Ethan Schnyer was 2nd in 22.61, Pinkerton’s Jamison Isaac was 3rd in 22.74 and Windham’s Kevin Brooks was 4th in 22.83.
Pinkerton won the 4×100 meter relay and improved on their state leading time of 43.08. Bedford finished 2nd 43.96 and Manchester Memorial 3rd was 44.46.
Hometown favorite Sean Clegg of Londonderry proved why he’s the king of the 400. Clegg outshined the field by posting a new state leading time of 50.07 for the win. Keene’s Erik Nolan finished second in 51.08, Pinkerton’s Caden Michaud (3rd 51.45), Bishow Thapa (4th 51.61) held off Shane Plumley of Alvirne (5th 51.62).
The 800 saw 4 new boys make huge improvements and dip under the 2 minute mark. Led by Jacob Redman of Bedford popping off his second sub 1:56 effort on the day by running 1:55.80. Tyler Safstrom was second 1:57.79, Pinkerton’s Nathan Binda 1:58.77, Lebanon’s Sean Miller 1:59.61 and Concord’s Shaun Fifield 1:59.65. Welcome to the Sub2 club!
Birhanu Harriman of Lebanon is definitely looking tough as he took both the 1600 and 3200 R.E.A.L. distance titles. Harriman controlled both races throughout winning the 1600 meters in 4:27.41 over a fast kicking Sully Sturtz 4:30.82. Sturtz a freshman from Keene impressively finished his last 400 in 63 to move up from sixth to second place. Londonderry’s Ryan Fortin finished third in 4:31.10. In the 3200 Harriman kept switching off the lead with his teammate Thomas Wolfe. They ended up finishing one/two with Harriman clocking in 9:33.22 and Wolfe 9:34.69 with Sturtz doubling back to take third in a new PR of 9:46.37.
Division 2 Merrimack Valley showed they can more than hang with the Division 1 talent by running an impressive 3:33.08 to win the 1600 meter relay over Nashua South 2nd 3:35.47 and Merrimack 3rd 3:38.45.
In the battles of the jumps Concord’s Alain Twite came up just short twice form the win to Londonderry teammates Andrew Kullman and Donovan Gannon took both the jumps. Kullman jumped 20-6 to win the long jump title over Twite 2nd 20-3 and Nashua South’s Sami Witta 19-9. In the triple jump Gannon leaped 41-7.75 to edge out Twite 41-7, Nick Dumond was third in 40-5.5. Witta of Nashua South turned the tables a bit by winning the high jump in 6-2 over Londonderry’s Kullman 2nd 6-2 and Concord’s Twite 3rd 5-10.
Lononderry’s Gannon got his second win of the day in the pole vault albeit in a tie with Concord’s Colby Nyhan. They both vaulted 12 feet to outdistance themselves from third place finisher D’Sean Coffie of Nashua North 10-6 and Jacob Laher of Windahm 4th 10-6.
Nashua North sophomore Darius Smith had a good day of throws. Smith placed first in the discus at 139-4 over seven feet better than Tanner Ames of Lebanon (2nd132-6) and Concord Sam Foulds (3rd 131-10). In the shot put Smith placed second 50-3 to his teammate and best shot putter in the state Toby Brown (1st 51-11.75). Antonio Martinez of Nashua South 3rd 49-11.25 and Ames of Lebanon 4th 48-3.25. These four shot putters are currently leading the state, all with 50+ foot throws.
The Javelin was won by Joseph Packowski of Pinkerton with a throw of 156-7, Bedford’s Alexander Grudinskas placed 2nd with a 152-10 and Nashua North’s Smith got third in 147-6 just ahead of Bedford’s Mathias Wrede (4th143-2).