By Nate Leveille, Exeter High
Performance Lists – Thanks Lancer Timing!
It’s expected to be a rainy meet on Friday at Merrimack High School for the Division 1 State Championship meet. Despite the weather, it should be a good team battle between the 2017 indoor state champion Nashua North High and perennial power Pinkerton Academy of Derry. Based on seeds, Pinkerton should score 116 points to Nashua North’s 102, but this meet has a way of ending up much closer than anticipated. Nashua North will score their points in bunches needing to have big performances in the 3200 and Triple Jump to contend for the meet title. Pinkerton will use its long red line of athletes and should score in almost every event.
Individuals to watch include Billy Powers of Winnacunnet in both the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles as well as Winnacunnet’s solid 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Phillip Antonio of Winnacunnet in the long jump and 100 meter dash.
Scott Rathbun of Keene has taken his pole vaulting to a whole new level this season, literally and figuratively, with a seed of 15’3”! Last year the field event to watch was the Javelin. This year it is the Triple Jump led by Nashua North teammates Jordan Buckmire and Triston Delicema.
Noah Bellomo of Alvirne will attempt the 1600m and 800m double. He looked great at Merrimack a couple weeks ago and looks to repeat those performances. In one of the more exciting races of the night, indoor 600 meter state champ Noah Woodman of Pinkerton will go head to head with Mike Geraldi of Bedford in the 400 meter run. Some might not remember that Geraldi won this race as a sophomore.
Jadyn Ruimwijk of Pinkerton will need to score key points in the 100 and 200 meter run and based on him not being in the open 400 meters, he will most likely play a role on the 4×100 relay and number 1 seed 4×400 relay team. Terrell Lewis of Nashua South should score big points in the long jump, High jump and Hurdles.
Finally, Nashua North will use the 1-2 punch of David Vorbach and Connor Muise in the 3200m. They are the top two seeds entered.
When we talk about teams in the hunt for the championship plaque we have to start with defending champion Bedford. Simply stated, they are undefeated in Division 1 Championships and this may be one of their best teams they have ever had, which is scary for the rest of the teams competing. The Bedford girls are very deep and well balanced in the throws, jumps, and running events. They are led by thrower Shanna Scribner, who is ranked in the top 2 of all three throwing events, and distance star Leya Salis who will try for a double victory in both the 1600m and 800m. They have numerous other athletes that will score big points and excellent relays.
Should they have a thing or two go wrong Pinkerton Academy of Derry will look to take advantage much like indoors. Pinkerton features standouts Amelia Graves in the javelin and 400m, Brittany Johnson in the 1600m and 800m, and Maria Virga, the top seed in both hurdle events. Pinkerton found a way to make the indoor meet very interesting and I expect them to do the same in this outdoor meet. They have had a tendency to step it up in the big meet.
Individuals to watch include Nashua South duo of Crismeily Borg in the 100m and 200m and Sydney Lewis, the top seed in the high jump. The Salem High duo of Katy Nippert, top seed in the Long Jump, and teammate Katya Rojco, one of the top seeds in both the Long Jump and 300 hurdles.
I don’t anticipate any drama in the distance events. The 1600 cleared out for Salis which should allow her to save some energy for freshman sensation Caroline Fischer (Bishop Guertin) as she doubles back to the 800. After her recent 10:05.71 performance at the Loucks Games, Jacqueline Gaughan of Exeter will attempt to lower her own state record in the 3200.
Katya Levasseur of Manchester Central is the top seed in the 100 and also a tough competitor in the Long Jump and 200. If anyone can challenge Scribner in the throws it will be Dover star Sarah Williams. She is the top seed in the shot and the 2 seed in the discus.
Good luck to all!