Above photo courtesy of Harrison Kim
Congratulations to Coe-Brown’s 4×1 mile Relay as Jamie Lano, Gavin Demas, Tyler Tkaczyk and Aidan Cox came within a few strides of winning the national title in the relay. Lano led off with a strong and tactical leg (field went out in 2:18) to hand off to 800 specialist Demas in 4:26. After following the pack going out hard in 59, Demas handed off to Tkaczyk in 9th. Keeping in mind, All-Americans are crowned by placing in the top 6, Tkaczyk went out on his leg patiently. He then executed a huge move over the second half of his leg, which has become characteristic of Tkaczyk this season, to move up from 9th to 5th with a PR split of 4:21. Places 2nd-4th were within reach, but the leaders had a significant lead. Cox then took off smoothly but with assertiveness going out in a necessary 60 seconds. With about 500 to go Cox, having done a ton of work catching the leader as well, he took the lead without hesitation. Only 1 team (Monroe-Woodbury, NY) was still in it, and it was that team’s anchor who was able to catch and pass Cox over the last 25 meters. Cox did all he could do as his split was 4:09 to the MW’s anchor’s 4:12. Coe-Brown, competing as the Black Bear Track Club, placed 2nd in the entire country with a super fast team time of 17:30!
That was Thursday. Friday, Cox lined up at 11pm for the 2 mile Championship race. Daniel Simmons of Utah, with a personal record of 8:34 to his credit, took off from the gun. Cox (9:00 PR) worked his way up steadily over the first 3 laps and then went after Simmons solo. Cox split 4:19 over the opening 1600 meters and had settled into clicking off 65’s and 66’s. He continued this through the remainder of the race. He was caught with 2 laps to go by a chase pack of 5. He battled to the end crossing in 5th with a new PR of 8:50 for 2 miles. This converts to a 3200 meter time of 9:47 give or take going through the 3000 meters in 8:14. The race was won in 8:41 and change.
Saturday night, dues to scratches, Cox was given an opportunity to race in the championship section of the Mile. He took advantage of the opportunity for sure. Racing once again against the best middle distance runners in the country, he held more than his own. He was in unfamiliar territory by competing in his 3rd highly competitive event in as many days. The plan going in was to hang back and try to pick his way to the top 6. The race and how he was feeling, Cox determined he should go another way. Sitting in the top 5 most of the race, Cox smoothly navigated the first 3 laps. He was as high as 4th in a race which was eventually won by RI’s Devan Kipyego in 4:04. Cox battled and ended up getting out-leaned by Simmons for the final All American spot. For his efforts Cox sports a new open mile PR of 4:09. His split through 1500 was 3:51.
A handful of other athletes also competed at nationals. Cox’s teammate Gavin Demas competed in the Championship 800 crossing the line in 1:55 and change. Keene’s Chris Stevens competed in both the Rising Stars 100 and 200 posting times of 10.97 and 22.24. Bedford’s Jacob Redman competed in the Rising Stars Mile and 800 posting times of 4:19 and 1:56. Portsmouth’s Jake Haley also competed in the Rising Stars 800 crossing the line in 1:59. Pinkerton’s girls and boys 4×100 meter relays competed in the Championship divisions and posted times of 50.13 and 43.70 respectively. Dover’s Clayton Johnson competed in the freshman mile posting a time of 4:36. South’s Rory Olsen placed 4th in the Rising Stars 400 meter hurdles in 55.20. Hanover’s James Chafouleas competed in the javelin achieving a mark of 167’10”.
Congratulations to Conant’s Ben Sawyer and North’s Isabella Di Vernieri as they are 2023 NH Decathlon and Heptathlon State Champions. Di Vernieri tallied 4035 points, over Newfound’s Malina Bohlmann’s 4009 and Newport’s Maddox Lovely’s 3493 points. Sawyer accumulated 5825 points for the win compared to Leb’s Tanner Ames and his 5123 points. Plymouth’s Cole Ahern totaled 5099 points for third. Congrats to all!
The highlight out in Oregon came courtesy of our friends at Phillips Exeter Academy as Byron Grevious won the Nike National Title in the 5000 posting a 14:24. He had run 14:04 a couple weeks prior at one of the Battle Road Twilight Series events. He won dominantly as second place was more than 20 seconds behind. His teammate Oliver Brandes ran 1:54.72 in the 800. Their teammate Tenley Nelson also had a nice weekend in the mile and the 800.
Hanover’s Ian Solberg placed 14th in the Championship High Jump clearing 6’5″. Oyster River’s Thomas Fogg cleared 5’11.25″ in the Emerging Elite division.
Congrats to all!