The 2017 Black Bear Invitational is slated to begin at 9:00am this Saturday, April 29th in Northwood, NH at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. With 30+ 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 second year the Middle School Mile will be contested as well. NHTF will also be there in full effect LIVESTREAMING 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 races, interviews, and photos will be found at the Black Bear Meet Hub.
How many meet record will Leb’s Corinne Kennedy break? Her seed performances are better than the meet record in the Highs and the 200! She is also ranked first (5’5″) in the High Jump along with Pelham’s Mia Herring. Kennedy should expect some major competition in the 200, which may be the race of the day. South’s Crismeily Borg, Londonderry’s Gretchen McGrath, and Oyster River’s Xiana Twombley are all entered with seed times in the 26’s.
Other meet records in jeopardy includes Hannah Parker’s 2:13.17 (2014) as MV’s Kristie Schoffield is seeded at 2:12.75. Bedford’s Mollie Redman (36’3.5″) has a shot at Milford’s Nicole McMorrow’s Triple Jump record (35’9.5″).
Can freshman Caroline Fischer (Bishop Guertin) make it 2 for 2??? Last year she won the inaugural Middle School Mile, and this year she is ranked first in the 1600. This after competing in the 3k Thursday night at the Penn Relays in Philly. Awesome!
Looking at the throws, its D1 (Bedford’s Shanna Scribner) v. D2 (Coe-Brown’s Kathleen Collins) v. D3 (Gilford’s Marina Baer)!
As is Black Bear tradition, the 3200 begins all things on the track at 9:30am! The girls feature 12 girls under 12:00!
Finally, which team will emerge as team champion? With being at the end of spring break, most teams will not be at full strength. How this plays into the team title is difficult to predict. Regardless, the Bedford Lady Bulldogs haven’t lost a D1 title, ever, should be considered the favorite.
MV’s Brandon Wood will be loving life when he sees the accepted entries! Last week he tangled with D2 rival Oliver Thomas (Trinity) and this week he has to step it up even further as Winnacunnet’s Mr. Hurdler, Billy Powers is in both of Wood’s events (Highs and 300 Hurdles). Right now on paper, Powers has the edge in the Highs, while Woods could threaten a D’Mahl McFadden meet record for the second consecutive week in the 300 meter hurdles. With his 14.16 seed time Powers has a shot at the meet record in the Highs. McFadden might see both his records fall.
In the sprints, Winnacunnet has the dynamic duo of Brandon Haley and Philip Antonio, who are the top seeds in the 100 and 200. Antonio is also the top seed in the Long Jump at 22’4″.
With the top four seeds separated by a second, the 800 seems to be one of the races of the day. Coe-Brown’s Zach Richards, Timberlane’s Jacob Swanney, Monadnock’s James Elmour and Londonderry’s Chris Zaino all have a legit shot at the win. All are seasoned veterans who know how to race. We should be in for a treat with this one.
Oyster River’s Patrick O’Brien makes his season debut in the 1600, as does Pelham’s Cameron Starr in the 3200. While O’Brien is certainly the majordomo of NH distance, his heir apparent seems to be Starr, who has put together quite the resume over the past 12 months.
With no dominant thrower this week, the competition is wide open in all three disciplines.
Which team will emerge as team champion? Again spring breakers will play a significant role here as well! Good luck to all!