Too excited to wait until Saturday?? Check out the meet hub to watch past year’s Wilderness League Championships!!!
NHTF will be there recording, snapping pics, interviewing as well as selling Website shirts!! All proceeds goes to support the site!!!
By Mike Smith
An institution in the Lakes region since 1972, making it older than most of the athletes parents, the Wilderness League Championships have been a measure of excellence for 46 years. As the final run up to the Divisional championships for a number of D2 and D3 teams, athletes and coaches alike use the meet to set final rosters and practice the art of balancing duties and expectations before vying to State Championship supremacy. With coaching experience that runs almost as long as the meet is old, think Bob Lord of Berlin, Bernie Livingston of Kennett and John Goegel of Belmont, along with former Wilderness champions among the coaching ranks, this D2/ D3 matchup is a timely, appropriate opportunity to polish up the product before the Memorial Day weekend events. Let’s have a look at this weekend’s line up.
Plymouth’s Tara Smoker and Katherine Luehrs, Laconia’s Skyler Tautkus and Portsmouth Christian’s Delany Kjendahl make up names in the top of both the 100 and 200 with Luehrs #1 in the 100 and Smoker #1 in the 200. Looks like Kjendahl is opting to run the 200 and the 400, where she is the #2 in the 400 with Gilford’s Natalie Fraser is the top seed.
For the men, Plymouth’s Remy Beaujouan leads in the 100, 200 and the 400. Kearsarge’s JJ Davis and InterLake’s Eli Dupigny will be looking to knock him off that top spot in the 100 and 200, with Kennett’s Chris Caputo listed ahead of him in the 400 where Caputo enjoys a full second on #2.
In the women’s hurdles, the top four names remain the same, with White Mountains Taima Ronish #1 in the 100 HH and Belmont’s Sana Syed #1 in the 300IH, with Berlin’s Gwen Pelchat and Plymouth’s Luehrs rounding out the top four. Kearsarge’s Ben Corbyn is the top seed in the 110 HH as the only entry to run sub 17. He will be challenged by the #1 and #2 seeds in the 300IH, Newfound’s Matt Libby and Belmont’s Aidan Rupp.
Kearsarge’s Mya Dube, one of the state’s top distance runners has elected to focus on the 1600 and lend a hand to their 4×4 team, so expect her to let it loose in the 1600. With the doors thrown wide open, Blayne Lachance of White Mountains is the top seed in the 800, 2 seconds up on PCA’s Lily Kjendahl. Kjendahl’s teammate Liza Corso, also a force in distance running in the state will be the top seed in the 3200 with a 40 second seed over Belmont’s Alice Riley.
Zach Ennis of Belmont name is the #1 seed in the 800 and #2 in the 1600, having qualified from the 400 up. Mascenic’s Landen Vaillancourt occupies the top spot in the 1600 and the #2 spot in the 800, while Vaillancourt’s teammate Logan Thibeault is #4 in the 800 and #3 in the 1600 with Kennett’s Keith Badger in the #3 spot in the 800. It should be quite a battle int those races.
With the big dogs running down in distance before D3s, Berlin’s Sam Stiles and Winnisquam’s Kyle Mann lead all entries in the 3200 followed by Mascenic’s Connor Traffie and Robert McLain, and Kearsarge’s Gavin Garcia.
InterLake’s Emma Wheeler leads all high jumpers with the only 5 ft clearance. Plymouth’s Katherine Luehrs and Julie Ahern both having 4-10 clearances and a 4 inch advantage over the rest of the field. Wheeler is back in the triple jump, leading the field over WM’s Taima Ronish, who is seeded second behind Woodville’s Olivia Sarkis in the long jump, as the only two girls jumping more than 15 feet. Kennett’s Nadia VanDyne enjoys an eighteen inch advantage in pole vault.
White Mountains Jack Parker has a 2 inch advantage over Newfound’s Reid Wilkins and Kearsarge’s Ben Corbyn in the high jump, but it’s the pole vault where he excels and enjoys more than 4 feet on the rest of the field. Kearsarge’s Dupigny is back in the long jump with a 21 foot clearance with Kennett’s Caputo the only athlete within a foot of him (20-1.) Dupigny’s teammate Owen Billin leads Caputo in the triple jump by 7 inches, with both athletes out over the 40 foot mark.
Newfound has the top three entries in the shot put, with Oceanne Skoog and Ashlee Dukette with throws over or at the 34 foot mark. Hannah Blackburn of Winnisquam enjoys a 4 foot advantage over Berlin’s Natalie Guitard in discus with both over the 90 foot mark. Plymouth’s Samantha Meier is the only thrower over the 100 foot mark in javelin, 8 feet better than Newfound’s Dukette.
Newfound’s Mason Dalphonse leads Belmont’s Zack Duclos by 4 feet in the shot (44-6) and 10 feet over White Mountains Zeke Pribbernow (125-4) in the discus. Cale Swanson of Plymouth has a 20 foot advantage (156-11) over Kennett’s Trey Snowden.
Belmont girls have more than half a second on Plymouth in the 4×100, while Plymouth enjoys half a second on Kennett in the 4×400. Kennett’s 4×800 team has a 13 second seed time advantage over Plymouth.
Belmont has almost a full second advantage over Kennett in the 4×100 on the guy’s side but ranks #2 behind InterLakes in the 4×400. Mascenic has a 28 second advantage in the 4×800.
Expect the Plymouth girls to pick up points scattered around the events with strong performances in the sprints in particular. Gilford has some scoring mixed in the various events and Newfound could have a stranglehold in the shot put which will give them some big points. Other challengers could be Belmont with some strong hurdling and points in the distance and sprint events.
On the boys side, Plymouth also has scoring spread around the various disciplines but keep an eye on InterLakes. Usually strong in the mid distance/distance end of things, they have points spread all over. Belmont might not have the individual studs like they have had in the past in a Hunter Dupuis, but they have quite a few behind the scene type guys looking to step up. White Mountains has their usual strong specialties, with Jack Parker, Kevin Schanlaber and Zeke Pibbernow leading the way for the Spartans. We’ll see what happens when the dust settles.