Pics – Thanks Devin!
By Mike Smith, Mascenic Regional
On a beautiful day for track and field, the 44th Wilderness League Championships got underway in preparation for the championship season. With low wind and moderate temperatures, the competition was hot as the athletes tuned up for the Divisional Championships.
In the preview, I highlighted ladies of Kennett as the team to beat, chased by White Mountains and Inter-Lakes and when the final tally came in, the ladies finished in that order, with Kennett with a fairly commanding lead of 99 points to 84 and 70.
Plymouth’s Jordan Meier did prevail in the 100 in 13.01, with the 200 being won by Kennett’s Selena Gauthier in 27.57. The 400 was a Gilford affair, with Lauren Dean, Natalie Fraser and Brianna Fraser going 1-2-5. With Rebecca Velie in the 1600, Jasmine Syed of Belmont controlled the women’s 800 in 2:30.20. Belmont’s Alice Riley pulled off the double, leading start to finish in the 3200 and dropping the field in the last lap of the 1600.
Gilford’s Marina Baer appeared to be the shoe in for the women’s javelin and did not disappoint throwing 133-9. Discus was dominated by Sadie Bushway, with a throw of 33-10, but the anticipated White Mountain dominance did not pull through, with five different teams represented in the top six. Kennett had four pole vaulters in the top five, led by Nadia Vandyne. While Inter-Lakes’ Emma Wheeler won the long jump and the triple jump, Inter-Lakes did not show the dominance their projected seeding.
In the relays Gilford won both the 4×100 and 4×400, upsetting Kingswood in the process, while Kennett won the 4×800 only by 4 seconds over a fast closing Kingswood.
On the boys’ side, while anticipated to be a battle between D3 contenders Belmont and Kearsarge, with Kennett, Plymouth and Kingswood chasing, it turned out to be Belmont’s day. With their first ever Wilderness title in the meets’ 46 year history, winning with 80 points, they were followed by Plymouth and Kingswood tied for second with 62 points. Belmont accumulated points wherever they could, and didn’t have to rely only on the strength of their sprint/hurdle corps. This puts Belmont squarely in the driver’s seat going into the D3 championships.
In the sprints, Kennett’s Noah Lautenschlager came up big, winning both the 100 and 200 sprint titles. Winnisquam’s Scott Hind pronounced himself as the man to beat at Division 3’s in the 400, winning in a commanding 51.73, practically 2 seconds ahead of second. Ian Daly (Inter-Lakes) did similarly by finishing almost 2 seconds up on second in the 800. In a wildly fast start, Mascenic’s Jake Movsessian led gun to tape in the 1600, running 4:29.76 off a suicidal 61-second opening lap. The 3200 was won by Kennett’s Nicolas Whitley, on a final two lap burst that saw him clear of the field down the stretch.
Eli Dupigny prevailed in the long jump, going 20-2.5, while Sam Ebner won the triple jump in 39-11. In the throwing events, Newfound’s Leo Ntourntourekas asserted himself as the Athlete of the Meet by winning both the discus (126-9) and shot (46-8.5). Giovanni Lemon of Franklin, the top seed in the long jump, redeemed himself by winning javelin with a throw of 153-4.
The relays ran true to form, with Belmont winning the 4×100 and 4×400, with the latter in a scorching 3:34.52, and Inter-Lakes controlling the 4×800 meter relay.