Recap! 2018 Division 1 Championships

Divisional Meet Hub

Girls Results – Courtesy of Lancertiming

Boys Results – Courtesy of Lancertiming

Exeter Girls and Pinkerton Boys Take Division 1 Titles!

By Nate Leveille

A hot and sticky day turned outIMG_0449 to be a perfect night for running the Division 1 State Championship Meet at Merrimack High School.  The temperature dropped and so did the times. Lancertiming and the officiating crew ran a smooth meet as always.

The girls meet on paper was a two-horse race between Nashua South and Exeter High School.  South was favored heading into the meet and expected to score 107 points to Exeter’s 92. Pinkerton came into the meet needing some help of the top two teams to have an off meet to get into the picture.  South and Exeter did not allow that to happen and both teams had excellent performances. Exeter won their first state championship since 2012 with a massive 109 points and South finished second with 103 points.  These were the best two teams in D1 all season long and to prove that point, it’s the first time since New Hampshire went to three divisions that a team (South) has scored 100 points or more at the state meet and not won.  If you told me before the meet that South was going to score 103 points I would have told you we (Exeter) were in trouble. I thought it was a race to 100 points.

The meet started out with the 4×800 being the first scoring event and as predicted, was absolutely loaded with most of the best middle distance and distance runners in the state.  The top two 800 meter runners got the baton about 5 meters apart but Caroline Fischer of Bishop Guertin used a strong kick to pass Macy Merrimack Invitational 2018-96Graves of Pinkerton to get BG the win with a time of 9:35.54 to 9:36.04.  South used a couple of their own distance stars to finish third and secure 6 important team points, while Exeter ran a younger group of girls and finished 6th for 1 point.

Next up for the scoring events was the sprints. Crismeily Borg of South ran away with the 100 meters in a blazing time of 12.65.  Behind her was Sarah Waite of Concord and Sydney Lewis of South. Sixteen big points for South. The 100 hurdles was next where Ellie Johnston of Exeter was the 1 seed heading into the finals. She didn’t disappoint, running a season best 15.80 for the win, followed by Sydney Lewis of South in second and Camille Sweet of Exeter in 3rd.  Sixteen big points for Exeter.

The 1600 meter figured to be Jackie Gaughan of Exeter, Cali Coffin of South, and then a pack of girls.  Gaughan cruised to the win in 4:58.37 over Coffin 5:10.36. Britney Johnson of Pinkerton ran a tactical race for third. Londonderry High School has made a habit of nailing prefect handoffs in the 4×100 at the D1 Championships and they did it again this year.  Besting an impressive field of 4×100 teams and winning in a time of 49.77. Five teams ran under 51 seconds!

The 400 Meters was the Gracy Devanny of Concord show.  She blasted to the lead early and never looked back finishing first in 56.80 and approaching the D1 and Concord School record held by Rachel Umberger (2000).  Amelia Graves of Pinkerton finished second in 58.78 and 4 girls broke 60 seconds!Merrimack Invitational 2018-86

Next on the track was the 300 hurdles.  At this point in the meet, Nashua South had a fairly comfortable lead requiring Exeter to have a big event and did placing 1-4-6 (15 points) in the 300 hurdles with Johnston getting her second win of the day in a all time best time of 46.46. Katya Rojco of Salem was the runner up in 47.83

In the 800 meters, Gaughan was back to work scoring more team points.  She finished runner up to winner Caroline Fischer of BG. Fischer finished in a time of 2:19.24.  Hannah Swaine of South used a late kick to finish an impressive 3rd place in 2:21.99.

In the 200 meters the Borg vs Devanny showdown took place.  Devanny got out in front by a step and used her strength to get the win in a time of 25.56.  Borg was second in 26.27.

Only having enough time to do some light jogging and grab some water, Gaughan was back at it again in the 3200.  Knowing that this would be her final race of the night, she didn’t hold back and blasted the field, breaking her own Division 1  meet record in a time of 10:14.35. Merrimack Invitational 2018-104Completing a triple that many will talk about years from now. After her in the 3200, Coffin and teammate Kendall Bush finished 2-3, making the team race mighty interesting with only a few field events to be scored and the 4×400.  I will save the 4×400 for the end.

In the fields, Lewis continued to be a point machine for South winning the high jump going 5’ 4”. Suzie Moore of Londonderry got the best of Skylar Bomba of Alvirne in the pole vault.  Both jumpers cleared 10 feet. On paper the javelin was suppose to be all Pinkerton, but South’s Amber Hedquist launched a life time best 122’ 08” to get the upset win over Haley Fontaine of Timberlane 109’6” and Graves of Pinkerton 107’3”.  In the shot Sarah Williams of Dover bested the field by two feet with a distance of 36’2” ahead of freshman Victoria Conrad of Nashua North, 34’ 8”. Williams followed up the shot performance doubling back for the win in the discus with a toss of 112’ 9”.  She was followed by Jordan Heiser and Samantha Vorster of Exeter. Fourteen massive team points for Exeter.

In the triple jump Alana Choate of Nashua North got the win with a leap of 36’ 7.5”. She was followed by Julia Zhang of Nashua South and Sydney Ward of Exeter. The last contested field event to be scored figured to be one of the most important ones, the long jump. Elizabeth Flynn(Bedford) proved you only need one as her first jump of the competition got her the win with a distance of 16’10”. She was followed by Sweet of Exeter who posted a lifetime best 16’9.5” andMerrimack Invitational 2018-445 Ward of Exeter 16’8.5”.  

Exeter secured 15 points in the event and carried a 4 point lead heading into the 4×400. South had a seed time of 4:19 putting them in the second heat. Their anchor ran a blazing last leg and nipped two teams at the line getting them the win in the second heat in a season best time of 4:13.70. Exeter, running 4 freshmen in the 4×400 knew they just needed to run faster than 4:13 to win the meet.  Exeter ran 4:11.80 and finished 4th just head of Nashua South to secure the team title. Ahead of them was an exciting three team race to the line. Bedford was able to hold off a charging Memorial and Pinkerton to get the win in a time of 4:07.55. Pinkerton was second in 4:08.18, and Memorial  was 3rd in 4:09.22.

The boys team championship figured to be a runaway on paper with Pinkerton Academy favored by 30 points.  If any team could challenge them it figured to be Concord with their superior distance depth. Concord did just that behind sprinter Dalton Mutz and the distance crew.  At one point the Crimson Tide pulled to within 8 points of Pinkerton with only a few events left.  But Pinkerton proved to be too deep and too strong with their contingency of massive point scorers. Pinkerton repeated as Division 1 champions with a massive 121 points to Concord’s 94. Props to Concord, who Merrimack Invitational 2018-75only scored 26.5 points in the 2017 championship, for really stepping up and having an excellent meet.  They return a number of point scorers and will be a factor in any team title hunt moving forward. Also congratulations to the Exeter boys team for a surprising 3rd place performance with 56 points.

The sprints didn’t disappoint.  Heading into the meet everyone was talking about the Mutz of Concord and Jadyn Ruimwijk of Pinkerton battle.  Noah Woodman of Pinkerton was somehow the forgotten man until he stepped up with the top time coming out of the trials.  The three of them remained separated by a few feet for 90 meters in the final until Ruimwijk pulled away at the end and became the first New Hampshire boy under 11 seconds this season winning in a time of 10.98 ahead of Mutz (11.03). This resulted with 16 huge points for Pinkerton.  In the 200, it was a repeat as Ruimwijk, who got the better of Mutz at the line 22.18 to 22.37.

Billy Powers of Winnacunnet was 3rd in the 200 with a time of 22.76. His 200 meter time might have been impacted by the fact that he absolutely crushed the 300 hurdles just minutes before. Breaking my Seacoast Championship 2018-200former high school teammate’s Division 1 record in the process with a time of 37.98.  That D1 record had stood since 1999. Billy also dominated a very good field of 110 meter hurdles tying the state record with a time of 14.00. He was followed in the 100 hurdles by Adam Spencer and Conor Seleny both of Pinkerton. Another 14 points for Pinkerton.

In the 400 meters, Noah Woodman was the overwhelming favorite to repeat as 400 meter champ in a loaded field.  The only question was, could Noah be the first New Hampshire boy under 48 seconds? Noah did repeat and in a very fast time of 48.96.  He was followed by sophomore Dante Radigonda of Exeter in 49.94 and Brazden Ellis of Nashua North in 50.09.

Concord needed to use the distance races to get back into the meet with Pinkerton scoring bundles of points in the sprints and field events.  Jake Winslow of Exeter and David Vorbach of Nashua North had other ideas as they ran the final 200 meters of the 1600 shoulder to shoulder. I told Jake before the race he didn’t need to lead a step of the race until the end.  He took me a little too literal as he leaned at the line to get the win over Vorbach 4:19.26 to 4:19.29. In the 800 Meters Winslow was back at it. All the boys were coming off a double of some sort, so it was a tactical race. Winslow used another late surge to over take Colin Conery of Concord at the line.  Conery was later disqualified from the race, Merrimack Invitational 2018-205but Concord was still able to secure 15 points in the event with a 2-3 finish behind Winslow. In the 3200 meters, David Vorbach was back to work pressing the pace at the front trying to shake tough runner Forest MacKenzie of Concord. MacKenzie wouldn’t go away and challenged Vorbach all the way to the line, but Vorbach held on for the win in 9:30.66 to 9:31.68 for MacKenzie.

In the relays, Concord used their distance depth to prevail over Keene in the 4×800 with respectable times of 8:12.72 to 8:12.98.  It seems like Keene always has a very strong 4×800. In the 4×100, Concord got the win behind a blazing anchor leg from Mutz.  Five teams went under 44 seconds! In the 4×400, Pinkerton proved to be much too strong. Woodman got the baton in second place but ran around Zach Verow of Bedford to get the win in a time of 3:27.62. Bedford was second in 3:29.97.

In the field events, there was no surprises at the pole vault.  Scott Rathbun of Keene won the event by a foot with a clearance of 14’0”.  Donny Crowder of Bedford got the upset win over Jake Langevin of Exeter in the high jump.  Both athletes cleared 6’ 2”. Lucien Mumphini of Bedford won the Long Jump with a leap of 21’ 9” and Josh Sibanda of Salem was second with a leap of 20’ 5.25”.  Both monster jumps off of a runway and not a board when the meet official deemed the board to be unsafe. In the triple jump Dinebari Adumene of Memorial won with an impressive jump of 45’ 5.25”. Joron Harrell of Pinkerton was second with a distance of 42’ 0.75”.

In the throws, it was the Patrick Hagearty of Londonderry show.  He told his coach he was going to throw over 200 ft combined in the discus and shot and he backed it up with his performance.  He launched the shot put 49’ 8.75 inches for the easy 3 foot win the shot. He was challenged in the discus by Jeremiah Swett of Exeter. Swett actually took the lead on his final throw with a bomb of 146’ 11”. Hagearty entered the finals in first, so he had the final throw of the competition and saved his best for last with a huge toss of 155’0”.  John King of Pinkerton had to wait a while for the Javelin, but he secured the win with a toss of 175’ 8”. Adam Thornton of Merrimack was second with a season best throw of 164’ 6”.

It was a great meet with many excellent individual and team performances.  I look forward to seeing you all next week!

Note: We will be uploading pics and interviews soon.  Keep checking the Divisional Meet Hub.  Thank you for your patience as we sent separate crews to each of the 3 Divisional Meets.