Recap! Replay! Results! PICS! 2024 Wilderness League Championships!

Wilderness Meet Hub

Well, the 2024 Wilderness meet is in the books and thank you to our gracious host Newfound for a spectacular day of racing.  As part of the committee I show up early to help get things ready and when I got there at 6:30am, the support staff and volunteers were out in full force.  And with weather great for racing (cool, overcast with low wind) we got to see some great racing.

In the preview I said I thought that Newfound and Gilford had lots of entries on the girls side, and Belmont, Kennett and Plymouth had some big time performers which would get them some big points.  On the boys side, I thought InterLakes had the firepower, but would see pressure from Brady and Plymouth.

But I also said I was bad at determining team scores.  In the end I was good on the girls side, with Newfound winning in a close one over Gilford, 72.5 to 65 points, with Belmont close behind with 62.  On the boys side, it ended up being Kennett, who brought it in the relays, over 65 to 43 points over Winnisquam, with Profile and InterLakes close behind with 42 a piece.  Hence why I don’t ever calculate points or place with my teams.

So let’s get on with the competition and racing.

In high jump, Kearsarge’s Maelle Jacques would clear 5 feet to win, with teammate Amelia Lefebvre in second at 4-10 over Plymouth’s Anelie Flynn also at 4-10.  Kingswood’s Emerson De Nitto would also clear an even height of 6-0, beating Nash Harrington of Kennett who jumped 5-10.  Plymouth’s Gabriel Keen would finish third with 5-6.

Winnisquam’s Skye Tibbetts would go 15-9.75 to win long jump.  Behind her Kingswood’s Norah Pelletier would go 14-11.25 and teammate Rowan Donovan-Laviolett 14-6.25. InterLakes David Walker would win the boys event by over a foot, jumping 21-0.50.  Woodville’s Garrett Emery would just miss the 20 foot mark, going 19-10.5 for second with Kingswood’s De Nitto in third.

In triple, Belmont’s Adeline Takantjas was tops in the field, jumping 33-5, almost two feet better than teammate Ava Lacasse and Plymouth’s Sydney Valenti who tied for second.  With Walker absent from triple, Woodsville’s Emery rode herd over the rest of the field, jumping 39-9.5 to beat everyone else by over three feet.  Second and third were Evan Lablanc and Sam Slayton of Belmont as the only other two beyond 36 feet.

In pole vault, Kearsarge’s Ainsley Frenkiewich had an 8-0 clearance to beat all vaulters by a foot and a half.  Back in second was Newfound’s Ryleana Barney with 6-6 and InterLakes Thea Wright at 6-0.  In what would be a pretty tight competition, Gilford’s Ben Wolpin would win with just three jumps at 9-9, but behind him were four with clearances at 9-6.  Winnisquam’s David Swain and InterLakes Ronan Hird would win the battles of similar heights for second and third.

In the throws, Georgia Kondi flexed her superiority in both the shot (37-0.75) and disc (109-1), winning shot by a foot and a half and disc by almost ten feet.  Behind her in shot was Winnisquam’s Lauren MacDonald, who gave her something to think about, as she was more than four and a half feet in front of Kearsarge’s Amelia Lefebvre.   Behind Kondi in disc was Newfound’s Isa LaPlume with a toss of 99-4 and Gilford’s Abby Kenyon 93-11.

The winners of shot put and disc would be split for the boys.  Kennett’s Owen Arias would win shot, tossing the cannonball 45-11.50, winning by over four feet.  Second would be Isaac Robert of Newfound (41-10) with Robert Prescott of Prospect Mountain (40-1.25) as the three throwers over 40 feet.  Mascoma’s Barnaby Deihn would win disce, tossing it 143 feet even.  Berlin’s Malachi Plociennik (134-2) and Belmont’s Brady Filteau (129-4) would finish second and third.

Victoria Kelly of Winnisquam would win javelin by almost twenty feet over Gilford’s Kenyon, tossing the spear 104 feet even.  Teammate MacDonald would finish third.  Laconia’s Keaton Beck would win javelin with a toss of 157-7 over Plymouth’s everything man Kean (138-6) and Kennett’s Cadence Kenney (130-11.)

Track events got going with the girls 4×800, with third seed Mascenic jumping out to an early lead.  Behind them Gilford worked to keep contact and showed they really wanted this one, making up 15 meters over the last leg and then some, to win with a D3 #2 time of 10:28, only behind Sanborn going into the championships.  Mascenic would finish second, with a big improvement in 10:34, with Kennett back in third in 10:59.

Next up was the boys, which would come down to Profile and Newfound, each teams with multiple entries into the distance races later in the program.  In the end, the top end speed of Profile would prove enough, pulling away to win, 8:52 to 8:56.  Gilford would take third in 9:01.

In the girls 100 hurdles Belmont’s Takantjas would win over Kingswood’s Pelletier, both going under 18.  Newfound’s Paul would finish in third about half a second back on Pelletier.  For the boys, Prospect Mountain’s Sergio Duerte was the only athlete to break 18, running 17.32.  Behind him was Belmont’s David Tripp in 18.18 gaining separation over Kennett’s Sebastian Brochu back in 19.22.

Like I like to say, the cream always rises to the top, and in the girls 100, that is Kennett’s Aida Wheat.  She sizzled a 12.50, six tenths of a second up on Belmont’s Lacasse and Newfound’s Elle MacDonald.  This computes to more than 8 meters in front of everyone in a race only 100 meters long.  Fantastic.  We saw a similar domination for boys with sprint stalwart Josh Gentchos from Bishop Brady mastering the field in 11.07 over Kennett’s Quintin Plourde in 11.24.  Plymouth’s Gabriel Kean was third, just two hundredths back of Plourde.

In the girls mile, the O’Shea sisters and Mascenic teammate Emma Schaumloffel were back from the 4×800, and Erin and Kaitlin moved to the front at the gun, with a large pack behind them, splitting 1:22+, or 5:30 pace on the nose.  Kearsarge’s Jacques would follow in behind the O’Sheas, being the only other athlete to hold onto the pace over the second lap.  Erin took the point with 900 meters to go and simply stayed on the accelerator, ripping a 1:23, a 1:24, then closing with a 1:20 to handle the field, winning in 5:30.03 over Jacques 5:38.12.  Kaitlin would finish third in 5:45.

The boys race would be a battle between two of the big dogs of D3 distance in Kearsarge’s Daniel Dalbec and Mascoma’s Gunner Currier. Dalbec took this out hard in 66, hoping to sting the hard grinding Currier, leading through the halfway point.   But after a 70 on lap two, Currier forced to the front and clicked off a 69 before unleashing a last lap 66.  But Dalbec was right there and the two battled down the stretch with Currier hanging on, 4:34.06 to 4:34.30.  Plymouth’s Tate Hayman closed the best, ripping a 65, to finish just over a second back in third. 

* Interesting side note, the winners of the mile would be attending the prom later that night in Enfield.

In the girls 4×100, top seeded Kennett would dominate with Wheat on anchor, winning by almost two seconds over Newfound, with Winnisquam in third.  Kennett was able to turn the tables a bit in the boys race, beating Brady 44.51 to 44.73.  Laconia was over a second back in third.

In the girls 400, White Mountain’s Olivia Lorenz dominated the field, winning by exactly one second, over Kingswood’s workhorse Kylie Rapoza.  Moutlonborough’s 8th grade sprint sensation was third.  In the boys 400, Profile’s Wyatt Lawton commanded the 400, winning in 50.84 over InterLakes Landon Richards in 51.67. Ross Stephens of Kennett was half a second back in third.

Newfound’s Stacia Paul won a close battle over Belmont’s Takantjas in the 300 hurdles, winning 50.01 to 50.21, both beating the rest of the field by over two and a half seconds.  Kingswood’s Pelletier was third. In the boys race, Ryan Casey of Brady would have a solid eight tenths of a second cushion over Joseph DeFruisco of Prospect Mountain, running 44.61.  Gilford’s Jaimen Sawyer was third.

In one of the most impressive doubles I witnessed on the day, White Mountain’s Lorenz won a come from behind battle with Plymouth’s Reagan Sutherland, passing her right before the finish line in the 800.  After being down from the lead by 4 seconds after the first lap, Lorenz got on her horse, running a huge negative split, 1:21/1:12 to win in 2:33 to 2:34.  Gilford’s Maria Tilley would be third in 2:35.  

The boys kept the excitement flowing, with a fantastic battle between Winnisquam’s Brendan Goodwin and InterLakes Isaac Nudd-Homeyer.  NH got a great start slipping right to the front while Goodwin got pinched and was stuck in about seventh 500 meters in when things started to stretch out.  Goodwin then made a hard move, swerving into lane three and punch the accelerator.  He rocketed to the front within 30 meters and kept right on going.  The gap between Goodwin and NH would grow to about 12 meters when NH started to slowly reel Goodwin back in.  With 100 meters to go, NH stepped to the front and looked destined to win the race.  But Goodwin would fight back, taking the race at the tape, 2:00.73 to 2:00.90.  In another impressive double Plymouth’s Hayman would finish third, after having that impressive close in the 1600.

The 200 saw the winners of the 100 back and they did not disappoint.  Wheat was once again victorious, setting a meet record by almost half a second and winning by the same margin, in 25.68.  Behind her, Gilford’s Macy Sawyer and Belmont’s Lacasse went under 27 seconds, running 26.54 and 26.93 respectively.  On the boy’s side Gentchos was once again the class of the field, dipping under 23 seconds and running 22.37.  Kennett’s Plourde would beat out Plymouth’s Kean for second.

The 3200 meter races played out quite differently, with Plymouth’s Elli Englund grabbing the race from the start and simply ripping off sub 90 second laps through halfway.  With now one to work off of, the pace slowed slightly, but Englund would get the win easily in 11:48.  Behind her the rest of the racers spread out around the oval, with Newfound’s Emerald Briggs looking to hold onto line of sight of Englund for inspiration.  Briggs would come in second in 12:14 with Berlin’s Audrianna Lefebrve in third.

For the boys, a nice battle between Newfound’s Evan Foster and Profile’s Emery Young.  Switching leads throughout the first five laps of the race, Young would then grab the reins and start turning the screws. Opening a gap of a second in each of the next two laps before charging for home, Young would win this one 10:09 to 10:16.  Young’s teammates Isaac Reeder and Noah Francis would take the next two spots.

And with the last event on the track, I got to witness something I generally don’t get to see, someone track down Aida Wheat.  More of a short sprinter, Wheat got the baton just ahead of Gilford’s Macy Sawyer.  Wheat hit the burners and opened a gap but Sawyer, wise for her years, was patient and chewed into the lead before bursting past over the final 30 meters, winning 4:20.63 to 4:21.12.  Belmont would be third in a distant 4:28.52.  In the boys race, InterLakes would show their mid D prowess, winning by over four seconds running 3:35.26.  Winnisquam would flex a little mid D muscle as well, finishing up over five seconds on Laconia to finish up the meet.

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