2019 D2 NHIAA State Championships Preview

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Girls Accepted Entries

By Mike Smith 

Last year, the Souhegan Sabers won a close race for the championship, beating out Milford by two points. Souhegan did so by spreading the points around, while winning only the 4×200 and 4×800 meter relays. Milford came up just shy, by relying on Rebecca Durham, Lauren Robinson, Viankah Williams and Renee Wilson and a supporting cast to steal points where they could.  Both teams took some big hits to graduation, leaving the door open a crack to other USM (91 of 530)teams in Division 2.

If any team looks to capitalize on those losses, it’s likely the Bobcats of Oyster River.  With potential scorers in nearly every running event, top seeds in the 55m, 300m, 4×200 and 4×400 (by a few seconds!), as well as the top seed in the 4×800, OR should be in a pretty good position to upset the apple cart and take home the 2019 title.

The team next most likely to make some noise is Portsmouth.  With a similar look as the OR crew, Portsmouth likely boasts a bit more depth but not as many horses up front.  Ranked right behind OR in the 4×200 and 4×400, expect the Clippers to be looking to spoil the party. On paper, after scratches, Milford is in contention for the runner-up plaque as well.  Led by Renee Wilson and Lauren Robinson, who once again is doing the Robinson triple (3k, 1k, 1500), the Lady Spartans could head home with some hardware.  Hanover has athletes sprinkled throughout the meet, with some of the top seeds in the shorter events and might be able to capitalize by splitting up the scoring between OR and Portsmouth.

SprintsDiv 2 Indoor 2018 championship-703

As mentioned above, Oyster River looks to dominate the sprint events, having three individuals ranked in the top six scoring events in both the 55 and 300.  Led by Devan McClain in both events, keep an eye on teammates Laurel Gordon, Amelia Concannon and Jennifer Nadig, as they look to clean up in the sprints. Other names to watch are Zoe Onyango and Ella Maclean of Hanover, Renee Wilson of Milford and Skyler Taukus of Laconia.

Mid D

Looks like everyone ceded the 600 to West’s Corinne Robitaille where she finds herself a three second seed over Hanover’s Christine Aman. Hanover’s Grace Ripperger is the only other athlete under 1:44.

In the 1000, the top four seeds entered opted for other events, leaving Milford’s Lauren Robinson as the top seed over Con Val’s Rachel Hurley, both having run in the 3:07 range.  OR’s Olivia Lenk is ranked third as the only other runner under 3:10, with a five second drop back to Coe-Brown’s Ella Malone.


The emergence of Sophia Reynolds of Merrimack Valley as not just the top freshman distance runner in the state but possibly THE best female distance runner in the state has reshuffled the deck so to speak, making those returning to the distance events have to readjust their sights. Reynolds will be running both the 1500 and 3000, where she is the second seed to Lauren Robinson in the 1500 and the top seed in the 3000.   The 1500 is the who’s who of NH girls distance running, with all the entrants New England caliber runners. When your third seed is Kearsarge’s Mya Dube, USM (69 of 530)with CV’s Clare Ververka and Hurley with PCA’s Liza Corso your top six, that’s a solid distance crew. Add in Souhegan’s Chloe Trudel as the second seed in the 3000 and Robinson back in the third seed as well, it will be interesting to see how team points play out in the first individual event of the day.


There are five girls who have run under 9.5 this season, fronted by Evelyn Fischer of Oyster River in 9.24 quickly followed by White Mountain’s Taima Ronish in 9.26.  Portsmouth’s Sarah Morin and Campbell’s Tori Allen are in hot pursuit, having broken the 9.4 second barrier. April Weeks of Portsmouth makes up the rest of the sub 9.5 group.


Wilson of Milford leads all jumpers by just over half a foot, with Sanborn’s Kaylen LaChapelle next closest making them the only two breaking 16 feet. Portsmouth’s Dani Vigueras has a 16-0 jump, and there are eleven others jumping in excess of 15 feet, with Kingswood’s Caitlin Carpenter just outside 16 feet with a 15-11.75 jump.USM (397 of 530)

In high jump, Hannah Ehlers leads all jumpers with a 5-3 clearance, followed by nine more than have cleared 4-10.  Campbell’s Allen is among them and finished second last year with a 4-10 clearance so perhaps she deserves the nod over the rest of the field.

Shot Put

In the Shot Put, St. Thomas’s Mady Buchalski, leads D2 by more than three feet, expect her to be in the driver’s seat.  There are 5 others throwing in excess of 30 feet, with Robyn Krafft of Milford leading the rest by more than two feet.  Becca Olsen and Marianna D’Amelio of Sanborn and Abbe Laurence and Holly Galvin of Portsmouth make up the plus 30 chase pack.


As mentioned above, Oyster River leads all entries in the 4×200, 4×400, and 4×800 meter relays.  But just because you qualify in those top spots doesn’t mean that’s the team you’ll run as some of those times were run with athletes that might be focused on individual events.  

And while Oyster River is the top seed in the 4×800, expect Coe-Brown to run a championship team as their seed time ranks 3rd in the entire state.  After them, Souhegan has a seed time that will get them into New Englands as well so expect these two teams to run away from the field. Portsmouth and Milford sit in the fifth and sixth slot and may be looking to move up to add points to their bids for the team championship.

-Mike Smith

Boys Accepted EntriesDiv 2 Indoor 2018 championship-1332

By Mike Lyford 

It looks like it could be a close meet for a handful of teams this year; we’ll look into the team breakdowns in a bit, but let’s first look at individual events.


The 55 Dash could be a wild race that has real implications for teams in the title hunt. It would not be a surprise if the results of the final look very different from the prelims. Unsurprisingly, three Windham sprinters are in the top 6 in the rankings; Matthew Garafano, Cam Burns, and Cody Stevens are very fast and have performed well in big spots before. Kyle Doucette of Hanover, Seth Baylus of Merrimack Valley, and Trevor Chapman of Portsmouth will be in the mix as well.

The 300 is a little more predictable with Doucette sitting atop the rankings with a half second lead on paper. Victor Garcia of Milford and Trinity’s John Thibeault will be USM (360 of 530)right with him and could threaten for a title. There’s always a lower seed that makes some noise, so watch for someone currently ranked outside the top 6 to score.


The 600 looks to be a very tight race with Hanover’s Colm Seigne and Portsmouth’s Ryan Prinz boasting comparable times as the top two seeds. Equally as exciting will be the race for 3rd with Porter Heigis of Coe-Brown, Portsmouth’s Jacob Grant and Christian Olglesby of Merrimack Valley all capable of big races. This race could also be a major factor in the team title chase.

The 1000 looks wide open and could belong to a number of athletes. Evan Coyne of Con-Val is the top seed, but Campell’s Luke Gomes, Coe-Brown’s Dawson Dubois, Alex Cermak of Trinity, Harry Ryan of Monadnock, and Oyster River’s Owen Fleischer could all challenge for the win.


In the 1500, the game will be who is fresh and who wants it the most. Myles Carrico from Oyster River is the top seed by 4 seconds, but you can never count out Campbell’s Jeffrey Allen or Cody Davis of Lebanon and David Reynolds of Merrimack Valley is always dangerous. The athletes doubling in this race and the 4×8 or 3000 certainly have an uphill battle, but it can and has been done successfully.

The 3000 on paper looks like it’s David Reynolds’raceto lose. He’s the #1 seed by 12 seconds and showed dominance in D2 all through the Cross Country season. Pushing him will be Oyster River’s Andy O’Brien and Landen Vaillancourt of Mascenic; both dangerous competitors.

USM (86 of 530)


This might be one of the more exciting events of the day with a loaded field and title implications on the line. Newport’s Mason Martell is the top seed with a blistering 7.88, and right behind him and sure to push the pace is Will Fahey of Portsmouth. John Elie of Pelham will be right with these two as well. The next tier of hurdlers is barely a tier away at all. Andrew Kelly and Chris Mood both of Portsmouth and Alesandro Jacobellis of Windham will be all very tightly bunched. Jacobellis was a surprise scorer last year and look for the same thing to happen with one of the lower seeds this year as well. Someone always come out of “nowhere” in the hurdles.


The 4×800 is a great tone-setter to start the running events off with, and there are several teams tightly bunched into 2 tiers. The first bunch is Oyster River, Hanover, and Coe-Brown all separated in the rankings by less than a second! This will be a firefight all the way to the finish. The second tier of teams: Hollis/Brookline, Souhegan and Portsmouth are separated by only about 5 seconds and will be equally USM (337 of 530)as hard fought.

The 4×400 will feature gutsy performances as most of the top teams will have athletes on their 2nd , 3rd, or 4th events of the day. Hanover is the top seed by 6 seconds, but watch out for Portsmouth, Coe-Brown and Oyster River to threaten for a win here.

The 4×200 might be the most dramatic race of the day; titles could be decided here! Windham is the #1 seed and has experience. Trinity has put together a nice team, however, and is a legitimate threat as are Holis/Brookline, Hanover and Portsmouth.

Field Events

The High Jump seems to be clear cut on paper, but this event in particular can be fluky. Sidonio LaBelle Brown of Oyster River has been jumping well all season and is the top seed. He will be likely be matched jump for jump by Andrew Kelly of Portsmouth, Jack Parker of White Mountains and Goffstown’s Joseph Lambert. All of the top seeds are outstanding jumpers and could challenge for the top spot.

The Long Jump will be extremely interesting as the top 6 seeds are only separated on paper by about 8 inches. Chris Caputo of Kennett, Milford’s Victor Garcia, Sean Leahy of Goffstown, Windham’s Tommy Emrick, JJ Kennedy and Joey Dias also both of Holis/Brookline all have the capacity to jump well and take the win. Don’t count out the lower seeds either as jumpers can always catch fire at the right time.

In the Shot Put, Coe-Brown’s Jonathan Thorn is the top seed by almost 3 feet and has been throwing well all year. He will be difficult to unseat as a top seed but Cody Stevens of Windham looks like the most likely threat. Both are excellent overall athletes; Thorn qualified for the high jump and Stevens is in the 55 dash. Joshua Hoffman of Campbell looks to be right in the top mix as well.

Prediction Time

This meet’s outcome might just come down to the last event. Hanover, Portsmouth and Oyster River all look to be the most likely to take home a plaque. Hanover and Portsmouth are almost mirror images in some respects as both will rely heavily on the relays and the 600 to score big points. Hanover has the 300 edge and Portsmouth is looking to score big in the hurdles. Oyster River is coming at this with a distance based approach, looking for big points in all distance races and the high jump as well.

Fearless Predictions:

1) Hanover

2) Portsmouth

3) Oyster River

4) Windham

5) Coe-Brown

This meet looks like it will see-saw back and forth all afternoon and might come down to 4×200 performances. The final 3-4 teams might well be separated by just a few points. This is how it should be; a fight to the finish! Many of these athletes will be doubling, tripling and even quadrupling to do everything in their power to give their team a chance to win.

Good luck and good health to all teams this Sunday!


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