Congrats to Gilford’s Kathy Aldridge and Joe Wernig as they have been named NH’s Boys Track and Field Coaches of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for 2023. Aldridge and Wernig led Gilford to the D3 State Championship accumulating 73 points. The team was led by Patrick Gandini (directly coached by Aldridge) and Isaiah Reese (directly coached by Wernig), who accumulated 52 points individually and then combined to win the 4×400 Relays. Both Gandini and Reese went on to have masterful championship seasons culminating with New England Championships. Gandini won the mile in dramatic fashion in 4:09, one of the fastest times ever by a NH athlete. Reese also dropped a bomb as he was an unlikely NE Champ in the javelin by virtue of his monster 184’3″ toss. Not sure if a small school like Gilford has ever had 2 New England Champs on the same time.
“National recognition is a pleasant surprise but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the contributions of my athletes as well as the dedicated coaching staff. Our valuable associate coaches include John Goegel, Frank Weeks, Shirley Malek, Nina Gravyluk and Cierra Hunter. This fine team of coaches was just the right mix to develop our athletes. Cheers,” Kathy Aldridge. Congrats coaches!
Congrats also to Bedford’s Noah Pion as he was named the girls NH Coach of the Year! On paper prior to the D1 Championships, Bedford was not favored to win; however, Pion was masterful with his athlete placement to maximize points. While the team was led by Anika Scott and Fiona Lee, Bedford scored in 13 of 18 events across sprints, hurdles, jumps, distance and throws. The team 67 points on the track yes, but with 23 points coming off of field events, Pion’s Bedford team was a balanced track and field team. Depth comes to mind as an adjective as well. A team has to have depth to score in all 3 relays. They placed 4th in a highly competitive 4×100, 2nd in the 4×400 and won the 4×800. That is another 22 points in the relays. Congrats Coach!