2024 Black Bear TF Preview!

Black Bear Meet Hub

Live Results 

The Black Bear Invitational hosted by Coe-Brown Northwood Academy has become one of the premier invitationals in the state.  It annually accepts the top entries per event to ensure an efficient, high caliber meet featuring mostly varsity athletes engaging in intense but friendly competition on the track and the field.  It was the first meet to feature the 3200 as the opening event on the track while culminating with relay city with the 4×800 and the 4×400 relays.  As always, we will be there to livestream, interview, snap pics! Coe-Brown’s facility literally presents all events right in front of the spectator, so this preview will follow the order of the track events and then take a look at what will happen in the field.

On The Track!

The girls’ 3200 meters kicks things off at 9:30am with Emma Hagstrom of Phillips Academy as the top seed with a 10:26.94. Exeter’s Eli Cross is second seed at 11:04 while last year’s top seed, PEA’s Daria Ivanova is 3rd seed at 11:10. The boys’ side sees a couple national XC qualifiers as the top seeds. Last year’s Nike Outdoor Nationals Champ in the 5000 meters, PEA’s Byron Grevious is the top seed (8:58) followed by Phillips’ Tam Gavenas (9:05), last year’s runner up. BG’s Matthew Giardina is 3rd seed with a 9:12. Then a couple interesting entries as both CBNA’s Jamie Lano and Bedford’s Jacob Redman are also entered. Yep, this will be a memorable one on so many levels!

The High Hurdle prelims will be next and they are headlined by state champions. Bedford’s Christopher Chong comes in as the top seed while Monadnock’s Gavin Lombara is the 2nd seed. Throw in Souhegan’s Cole Henderson along with Bedford’s JJ Powers and Winncunnet’s Oliver Duffy and the High Hurdles will be competitive and exciting as always. On the girl’s side, Bedford’s Anika Scott is the heavy favorite as she is the top seed by more than a second.

Boys 100 also features many of the top names from our state and region. PEA boasts 2 seeds in the top 6 with Jaylen Bennett, Kai Honda and Isaiah Reese. PCA’s Tim Kelm, Windham’s Kevin Brooks and Oyster River’s Talon Ouellette are also seeded in the top 6. PEA’s Gianna Phipps is the top seed in the 100 with South’s Nyah Musa seeded second just .03 behind. The next 4 seeds, Portsmouth’s Mariam Nada, Phillips Academy’s Caitlin Ly, South’s Soraya Ross, and Oyster River’s Erin Carty, are only separated by .06 in the seeds.

The girls 1600 is shaping up to be a battle between Oyster River’s Haley Kavanagh and Phillips Academy’s Anya Budzinksi. Watch for Winnacunnet’s Charlotte Koutalidis, North’s Laura White and Bedford’s Fiona Lee to be factors as well. South’s Daniel Byrne and Salem’s Brock James are the top 2 seeds in the boys’ 1600 at 4:21 and 4:28 respectively.

We are looking forward to the 400 as Central’s Harriet Barber is the top seed with an incredible 56.20. While she seems to always give her best regardless of race situation, she will be kept honest by North’s Jhanelle Thomas and Portsmouth’s Lily Jenkins. At the same time, PEA’s Jaylen Bennett is one of the best 400 meter runners in the country. He comes in with a seed of an insane 47.60. Phillips Academy’s Emerson Kington is next with a 50.00. John Stark’s Logan Montgomery and Timberlane’s Hunter Beaudoin will be looking to benefit from them!

With that in mind, although PEA’s Jannah Maguire is the heavy favorite in the 300m Hurdles with a 45.55, do not overlook Concord’s Morgan Doherty, Alvirne’s Petrina Ofori or Bedford’s Scott. Chong returns as the top seed on the boys side, with Duffy, Alvirne’s Joey Marcotte and Sanborn’s Ben Cardoso hoping to bridge that gap.

PEA’s Tenley Nelson comes in as the top seed in the 800 with Concord’s Chloe Gudas next. The boys’ 800 may be the battle of Exeter as PEA’s Austin DeSisto and Max Lacombe will try to run away from Exeter’s Nathan Mikulsky.

Barber returns as the top seed in the 200 meters in what could be a super interesting match up with Oyster River’s Erin Carty. The boys’ side may be the deepest in recent years as the top 7 seeds are all seeded in the 22’s. Phillips Academy’s Emerson Kington is the top seed but he will have company from PEA’s Reese, Brooks, Bow’s Kody McCranie, Ouellette, Kelm and Powers.

And then we have relay city. Looking forward to the 4x100s in the middle of the meet; Nashua South v. Nashua North on the girls side and Nashua South v. Phillips Academy on the boys side. But at the end of the meet, depth is king as the 4x800s and 4x400s will cap a monumental day on the oval.

In the Field

The field events actually kick off the day at 9am! And believe us when we say there will be as much drama in the field as on the track. We have not one, not two, but three javelin throwers with seeds over 180′ with Concord’s Nick Reynolds, PEA’s Isaiah Reese and Tanner Boulden. Newport’s Kyle Ashley is the best of the rest seeded 4th with 162’+ toss. He will keep the top 3 honest. For the girls, host school Coe-Brown sports the top 2 seeds with Emma Zeblisky and Annika Gunderson.

Phillips Academy’s Nor DeHoog and PEA’s Maya Sharer are the top 2 seeds in the discus at separated by only 3 inches. Look for Coe-Brown’s Isabelle Grenier and Portsmouth’s Maria Akalonu to take a crack at the top of the podium as well. Host school’s Elias Warner sees himself as the top seed on the boys side with a 153’11” mark. Look for North’s Darius Smith and Mascoma Valley’s Barnaby Diehn to challenge here.

With a seed of 51’8″ Smith is the top seed in the Shot with PEA’s Boulden and Coe-Brown’s Warner as the 2 and 3 seed. Mascoma Valley’s Georgia Kondi is the top seed on the girls’ side at 35’10”. PEA’s Sydney Anderson is the only other thrower seeded at over 35′.

Somersworth’s Sya McKay, Concord’s Ella Goulas and Timberlane’s Danielle Bates all come into the High Jump at 5’3″ or better. Spaulding’s Paul Butler is the favorite seeded at 6’5″ on the guys side. In the other vertical jump, expect Concord’s Madeline Muller and Phillips Academy’s Hailey Piasecki to battle in the pole vault. Piasecki’s teammate, Bennett Rodgers is the top seed on the boys side coming in at 13’9″. Look for Winnacunnet’s Wyatt Patterson and Bow’s Ben McDowell to have a say in this event.

Bedford’s Scott is also the heavy favorite in the Long Jump seeded at 18’2.25″ but has jumped much further indoors. Expect her to begin to round into form Saturday. Also watch for Portsmouth’s Mariam Nada who is the only other athlete seeded over 17′. With 8 guys seeded over 20′, the boys Long Jump is as deep as it has ever been. Spaulding’s Cris Santana comes in as the top seed with a 21’8″ mark, but don’t count out Alvirne’s Colin Fay and Winnacunnet’s Duffy.

Merrimack’s Alexis Best is a pretty heavy favorite in the triple jump with a seed of 38’8″, almost 3 feet better than the field. Somersworth’s Tayshawn Sheppard is the top seed on the boys side with a 43’3″ mark. Look for Concord’s Alain Twite and MV’s Aiden Paquette to take their best shots here as well.

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