By Nate Leveille
After 12 weeks of training the moment we have been waiting for has finally arrived. The D1 Indoor Championships will be held at Plymouth State University for the first time. It’s a beautiful track facility which has been accommodating the Indoor track league over the past few years and is very excited to host the state championship meets. Lancer Timing will be our timing company for the meet and as always NH Track and Field will be around the track and at each field event providing live video coverage and commentary of the meet.
After the seed meeting the boy’s team race looks to be pretty one-sided with Pinkerton expected to score a massive 115 points. Anytime you hit triple digits at the state meet indoors, you have quite the team. On paper, Bedford is projected with 61 points for second and Winnacunnet 43 points for third. Other teams that could get in the mix for a top-two finish include BG and Nashua South. There’s a reason we have the state meet and don’t issue the trophies ahead of time, because anything can happen.
The boys sprints should be very exciting. Kevin Brooks of Windham is the top seed in both the 55 dash and 300 meters. Chris Stevens of Keene is the defending champ in the 300m. Matthew Morrison of Pinkerton and teammate Travis Cavallo, only a freshman, are peaking at the right time. Those four athletes are separated by .05 seconds! Ethan Schnyer of Nashua South is the 3 seed in the 300m. In the hurdles, Morrison of Pinkerton took over the state lead the last week of the season, but Christopher Chong of Bedford is the defending champ and two seed. I believe these athletes split their regular season meetings with each other.
Middle Distance/ Distance
Jared Bekkering of Bedford is the top seed in the 600 by more than two seconds with a blistering 1:22.84 seed time. Pinkerton has 3 of the top 6 seeds in this event as it looks to score some major points. Jacob Redman of Bedford enters with a US#4 1000 meter time of 2:28.91. He has a 10 second cushion on the rest of the field and a big day ahead of him. I wouldn’t expect him to go after the state record, but he is well within range of that. Redman will double back in the 1500 where he is also the top seed. He should be challenged by Matthew Giardina of BG, Finn Kraft-Christiansen of Pinkerton and teammate Jason Rzasa of Pinkerton. If Redman is not on the 4×400 relay, and he’s not pushed in the 1000m the state record in the 1500 could be on watch as well. Giardina of BG is the overwhelming favorite in the 3000m. He comes in with a US#17 8:37.99 seed time. That seed time is faster than the current D1 record of 8:42.52 (Francis Hernandez – BG 2009). Dante Castellano of Nashua South is the two seed with a 9:04.07.
Oliver Duffy of Winnacunnet is having one of the best track and field seasons in the state. He enters the D1 meet as the top seed in both the HJ (6’4.25”) and the long jump (22’01”). In the high jump, he could be challenged by Gavin Suchecki of Nashua North. In the long jump, Chase Burris of Manchester Memorial and Chris Santana of Spaulding have both gone over 21’. The shot put has been dominated by Darius Smith of Nashua North. He enters with a top seed of 54’11.25. Joseph Packowski of Pinkerton is the two seed at 49’. Pinkerton again has 3 of the top seeds as this is a monster scoring event for them.
The always unpredictable 4×800 is led by top seed Bedford with an 8:13.16. Pinkerton is the two seed with an 8:29.47 and South the three seed at 8:34.27. In the 4×400 it reverses as Pinkerton enters as the top seed at 3:31.16 and Bedford the two seed at 3:35.91. This has been one of the fastest 4×160 seasons in recent memory. Its a 4×200 at the state meet though and with such small separation, this could make a major difference. Pinkerton is the one seed .2 seconds ahead of Winnacunnet. Nashua South and Bedford will also be in the heater heat, but there are a number of teams that could finish top 3.
The Pinkerton girls enter with the most expected points at the championship meet with 81 points based on seeds. The Bedford girls are expected to score 70 points, followed by Exeter, North, and Portsmouth. With so many athletes doubling and tripling anything can happen.
I can’t remember a year when the 55 dash was as loaded as it is this year. Eleven girls went under 7.5 seconds this year meaning 3 girls who ran under 7.5 in the dash won’t make the finals! Nyah Musa of Nashua South came on this season and has a top seed of 7.25 seconds. Alexis Best of Merrimack is the two seed with a 7.27 followed by Mariam Nada of Portsmouth and Harriet Barber of Manchester Central, and Rayna Thompson of Exeter filling out the top 5.
In the 300 meter, Barber of Central has been basically untouchable. She was runner-up last year but has run a blistering 40.63 this year. Following her is Hannah Sippel of Pinkerton, Jhanelle Thomas of Nashua North, Caroline Cooper of Concord, Lily Jenkins of Portsmouth, and defending champ Mikita Barry of Bedford. In the hurdles, Anika Scott of Bedford enters with a US#17 8.12. The state record of 8.02 will be on watch. Following her is Thomas of North, Morgan Doherty of Concord, and Petrina Ofori of Alvirne. The sprints are a must watch this year.
Middle Distance/ Distance
Samantha Ducharme of Bedford is the 1 seed in the 600, she was the runner-up a year ago. Clara Knab of Exeter enters as the two seed, Madeline Muller of Concord is the three seed, Danica Caron of Exeter the 4, and Sarah Rzasa of Pinkerton the 5. In the 1000m, Barry of Bedford is the top seed followed by Isabelle Groulx of Pinkerton and Anique Poulin of Dover. Eli Cross is the top seed in the 1500, followed by Groulx of Pinkerton and Contessa Silva of Pinkerton. Charlotte Koutalidis of Winnacunnet and Laura White of Nashua North will also be in contention as the other runners will be doubling back. Silva of Pinkerton is the top seed in the 3k followed by Cross of Exeter. Those two have a sizable advantage on the field based on seed times.
Ella Goulas of Concord is the top seed in the High Jump with a seed of 5’5”. Eres Delorey of Londonderry is the two seed at 5’ and Taylor Nastasi of Pinkerton and Petrina Ofori of Alvirne are the three seeds. In the long jump, Scott of Bedford is the top seed with a massive 18’7” seed. Don’t rule out a state record as her seed is 1” further than the current record. Behind her is Best of Merrimack and Nada of Portsmouth. In the Shot Maggie Foxx of Bedford has a 3 foot advantage over two seed Jameson Trask of Pinkerton. Nora Gautieri of Nashua South is the 3 seed.
Pinkerton enters the 4×800 with the top time in the state and just off the state record. If they run their A team they should make a run at the record. Exeter is the two seed and Nashua North is the three seed. Portsmouth ran a school record 4:10.31 the last week of the season to enter as the top seed in the 4×400. Behind them is Nashua North, Exeter, Bedford, and Pinkerton. Nashua North is the top seed in a loaded 4×200 meter relay field. Behind them is Bedford, Pinkerton, Nashua South, and Salem. The relays could determine the meet this year!
Good luck everyone.