The 2018 Black Bear Invitational is slated to begin at 9:00am this Saturday, April 27th in Northwood, NH at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. With 42 teams and over 1000 athletes from all 3 divisions, the Black Bear is quite unique. It is a team scored event and is the only invite to run the 3200 first, while culminating with ‘Relay City’, the 4×800 and 4×400 back-to-back. A perfect ending to the team competition! In its third year, the Middle School Mile will be contested as well. NHTF will also be there in full effect videoing the entire meet, interviewing all event winners under our NHTF tent and providing our free downloadable pics. All, including meet information, records, as well as 2016 and 2017 meets, interviews, and photos will be found at the Black Bear Meet Hub.
Black Bear presents us with an early season opportunity to witness inter-divisional battles in several events. As mentioned above, the 3200 kicks things off on the track at 9:30am. Simply stated, as one coach described, this year’s field is LOADED! Loaded with state champions, this particular event is the who’s who of NH distance running. Milford’s Lauren Robinson is the top seed at 10:55.44 with South’s Cali Coffin #2 at 11:01.01. But with names like MV’s freshman phenom Sophia Reynolds, BG’s Caroline Fischer, CBNA’s Addison Cox as well as Con-Val’s Clare Veverka and Rachel Hurley, this list is deep. Look for D3 champ Mya Dube (Kearsarge) to be a major contender over the final laps. She is fresh off an impressive double victory at the MV Invite and seems to be the sharpest at this point of the season. This will also mark our first chance to see this year’s guests from Maine, Bonny Eagle as they have 2 entrants in this event in Delaney Hesler and Christine Toy.
Later in the day, the 1600 will see Reynolds slated to double back where she will face a fresh Chole Trudel (Souhegan) and Julia Robitaille (West). Don’t be surprised if Bonny Eagle’s Ami Beaumier factors into this as well. Bonny Eagle has definitely come to play as Beaumier’s teammate Kayla Raymond is the top seed in the 800 where she will face NH state champions in West’s Corinne Robitaille, BG’s Fischer and Central’s Katelyn Pepin.
Do not go get a hot dog during the sprints either, as the reigning Miss NH Track and Field Grace Devanny (Concord) is the top seed in both the 100 and 200 with her teammate Sarah Waite and Oyster River’s Amelia Concannon as the #2 seeds respectively. The 400 sees St. Thomas’s Maggie Marsh as its top seed, but look for a fresh Concannon to challenge for the win in this event as well.
South’s Sydney Lewis is the top seed in the High Hurdles while her teammate Kourtney Lopez will have her hands full in the likes of the Seacoast’s Portsmouth’s April Weeks and Exeter’s Camille Sweet.
In the jumps, make your way to the High Jump as South’s Lewis and North’s duo of Olivia Mazerolle and Sarah St. Pierre will be writing another chapter in their D1 rivalry. Defending champ Lewis comes in with a 5′ 6.5″ seed with Mazerolle at 5’5″. Portsmouth’s Sarah Morin and Concord’s Hannah Barton share the top seed in the Pole Vault. Exeter’s Sweet is the top seed in the Long Jump at 17’3.5″ as is South’s Julia Zhang at 35’8.75″ in the Triple.
Milford’s Robyn Krafft is the heavy favorite in the Discus as she enjoys a 15 foot cushion with a top seed of 130’11”. Fresh off her MV Invite victory, Oyster River’s Corinne Quaglieri looks to claim another Invite win as she travels down Rt 4 with a #1 seed of 113’8″. The Shot Put looks like a D1 v. D2 showdown as St. Thomas’s Mady Buchalski and North’s Victoria Conrad enter with seeds in the 39 foot range.
As the meet on the track begins with the 3200, so will this preview. MV’s David Reynolds and Concord’s Eli Boesch Dining look to renew their Black Bear rivalry (see Black Bear XC Invitational!) as the seniors are the top 2 seeds at 9:39 and 9:40. But while the girls’ event is loaded with experience, the boys field of 25 sees only 7 seniors with the same number of athletes seeded at sub 10 in Concord’s David Cook, Oyster River’s Andy O’Brien, Trinity’s Danny Donovan and the Coe-Brown trio of Luke Tkaczyk, Dawson Dubois and Wyatt Mackey. O’Brien, Dubois, and Tkaczyk have all proven they can hang with Reynolds over the early part of the season. Other names to watch include Winnacunnet’s Colin Donnelly and Mascenic’s Landen Vaillancourt.
The 1600 looks like it will be a Concord time trial as Aidan O’Hern and Forest MacKenzie square off. MacKenzie is fresh off a 9:29 2 Mile at North last week. Look for Milford’s Caleb Korthals to factor in at seed #6 since will be fresh with Dubois, Tkaczyk and O’Brien all doubling back from the deuce. In the 800 Con-Val’s Evan Coyne and Winnacunnet’s Jack Taylor are the top 2 seeds.
In the sprints, South’s Paul Marchand is the top seed in the 100 while Merrimack’s Johnathan Paulhamus and South’s Brendon Frost share the top seed in the 200 (23.14). The 400 certainly will be the feature of the sprints as Exeter’s Dante Radigonda is the top seed with a 49.94. Look for Alvirne’s Davante Mckoy-Sophes to challenge Radigonda as he is seeded at 50.58.
Concord’s Mando Feliz, Spaulding’s Adrian Sutton and Pelham’s John Elie will square off in the High Hurdles with Elie and Sutton returning in the 300 Hurdles. Look for MV’s Dylan Lessard to challenge in the intermediates as well.
Fresh off his MV Invite win, Sidonio LaBelle-Brown is the top seed in the High Jump with 6’5″. White Mountains Jack Parker and BG’s Ethan Holt are the 2 seeds. Parker also will be a contender in the Pole Vault with a 13’1″ seed. He will be facing off with Portsmouth’s Chris Mood who is the top seed at 13’6″
South’s Marchand is the top seed in the Long Jump as well with a 21’8″ leap seed. Milford’s Victor Garcia, Hollis/Brookline’s Joey Dias, and Kennett’s Chris Caputo are all 20′ jumpers. In the Triple, LaBelle-Brown returns but is looking across the pit at top seed North’s Xavier Provost. West’s Jaymeson Maheux and White Mountain’s Kevin Schanlaber are the other 40′ triple jumpers.
During the day, make sure you wander over to the circles as Londonerry’s Patrick Hagearty will look to defend his 2018 Black Bear wins as the top seed in both the Discus and Shot Put. Coe-Brown’s Jon Thorn had a breakthrough last week in the shot and sits at #2 with a 49’5″ toss while Exeter’s Ryan Whitney is the second seed in the Discus where Hagearty enjoys a 17′ cushion. BG’s Jacob Pacheco comes into the Javelin with a mark of 173′! He will be challanged by Merrimack’s Adam Thornton.
Which teams will emerge as team champion? Spring breakers will play a significant role here as well! Good luck to all!