Courtesy of LancerTiming!
By Nate Leveille
It’s hard to believe this is the beginning of the 2018-2019 Indoor track season. Indoor track in New Hampshire presents difficult training conditions especially when most of the tracks across the state are already covered in snow, even on the Seacoast! For the first time since I began writing the previews for the website, it would appear that both the D1 girls and boys team titles are up for grabs without a clear cut favorite.
Girls Team Race!
The number to get to is typically 70-75 points. If you can score that many points you should win the meet. Last year Pinkerton won the meet while scoring 86 points. The runner-up finisher, Exeter, scored 59 points.
Pinkerton ran away with last year’s championship using their talent and depth to score points in almost every event. They return big point scores in the Graves sisters and are coming off a D1 cross country state title this past fall. If my predictions were based on returning points, they would be the hands down favorite to repeat as team champions.
2. Nashua South
Nashua South finished third in last year’s indoor championships. They return all their point scorers from a year ago and have the key point scorers to take the team title from Pinkerton this winter. Much of their success will depend on health. A year ago, Cali Coffin and Sydney Lewis combined for 40 points (not counting relays). If they can repeat that kind of performance this year, they will be very tough to beat.
3. Bishop Guertin
BG did not have a healthy Caroline Fischer last winter, but hopefully they will this winter. The 1-2 punch of her and Caroline Towle in the distance and middle distance events could be major points. Add in the top returning hurdler along with some solid relays and they could sneak into a top two finish.
I know what you are thinking, Nate must know something we can’t see on paper. Exeter graduated Jacqueline Gaughan and Ellie Johnston who combined to score 36 of the team’s 59 points. Those will obviously be tough points to make up, but the young Blue Hawks squad rose to the occasion last spring and is coming off a runner-up performance in cross country. They will have to use a similar approach to catch Pinkerton and score their points across many events with solid relays.
Sprints and Hurdles
Queen of the sprints, Grace Devanny of Concord, returns for her senior year. She has been at the top of the podium since her 9th grade year. She should be challenged in the 55 dash by returning champ, Johanna Koroma of Merrimack and Amelia Graves of Pinkerton. Graves and Devanny went 1-2 last year in the 300m, but that’s an event that returns all 6 place winners from a year ago. In the hurdles, last year’s champ Cameryn Nichols of BG returns to defend her title against Sydney Lewis of Nashua South and Camille Sweet of Exeter.
The 600-1000 are always hard to predict and too close together to try the impossible double. Katelyn Pepin of Manchester Central pulled off the upset over Caroline Fischer of BG in the 1000 meters last year. Chances are a healthy Fischer will find herself in the 3000 and 1500. Last year’s 600 meter Champ Dominique Milinazzo of Alvirne is back as well. Macy Graves of Pinkerton will challenge in either event depending on which she decides to run. The nice thing about the 600 and 1000 is there are always a couple of girls that come out of nowhere to challenge for the top spot.
The 3000 and 1500 will be loaded with some of the most talented athletes in the state and New England. Coffin of Nashua South figures to be the favorite in both events as long as she bounces back from her injury this fall. With Fischer of BG most likely back in the 3000-1500, there should be some exciting races this winter. Towle of BG, Meghan Cross of Pinkerton, and Violet Sullivan of Exeter should also factor in the distance events.
The field events are tough to train and practice for during the indoor season. Unless you rent space at UNH or have a field house like Pinkerton Academy, you are probably throwing and jumping in the school’s cafeteria. That being said, there are some talented jumpers and throwers in D1. Sydney Lewis of South and Emily Lesburt of Pinkerton Academy both are talented high jumpers. Meredith Basta of BG is the top returning thrower. In the Long Jump, all 12 girls that qualified for the D1 championships last year return. Camille Sweet of Exeter, Grace Jones of BG, Julia Zhang of Nashua South, will all try to dethrone defending champ Abby Coy of Nashua North.
Boys Team Race!
The D1 Championships have been dominated by Pinkerton and Nashua North the past few years. With both programs recently graduating talented senior classes, it may be time for a new team to take control this year.
The Bedford boys return some significant point scores from a year ago. Zach Verow, Aidan Kenney, and Lucian Mumpini could score a massive 40 points. In a year that expects to have the points spread out across many teams it may only take 55-60 points to win the meet. If a few players from their championship football or soccer teams come out, they could be the runaway winner, no pun intended.
Concord has the ability to load up all of the distance events. Led by UNH-bound Forest Mackenzie and the rest of the state championship cross-country crew, they can use their depth to score in the relays and any event from 1000 to 3000 meters. Manolo Feliz is one of the top returning hurdlers and will add some much needed points. If they can fill out the relays with some solid contributing sprinters, they could be dangerous.
Similar to Bedford the Blue Hawks have Jake Winslow the defending 800 and 1600 meter champion in outdoors. They also have Dante Radigonda in the long sprints and Jake Langevin in the High Jump. Those three could score big points. If they can put together some solid relays they could sneak in the top 2.
Pinkerton returns Adam Spencer in the hurdles, relays, and jumps. The always have excellent relays and should return a lot of depth. They graduated some major point scorers, but always seem to find a way to the podium.
A young Merrimack squad is ready for the big scene. They have a good crew of mid distance, sprinter, jumpers, and hurdlers. They are always in the running for the 4×400 and 4×200. Coach Snell will have them ready to compete at the D1 championships.
Sprints and Hurdles
I can’t remember a year where more upperclassmen have graduated in the sprinting events. The top guys returning in the dash are Zach Verow of Bedford and Jack McSweeney of Exeter. In the 300, the top returners are Verow, Dante Radigonda of Exeter, Jonathan Paulhamus of Merrimack. There are many team points up for grabs in these two events. In the hurdles, the top returner is Adam Spencer of Pinkerton and Manolo Feliz of Concord.
The top returner in the 600 is Aidan Kenny of Bedford, who ran a blazing 1:23.36 at states last year. He has a good cushion over the next returning guy Aidan Kindopp of Keene, but it could be interesting if a couple of the 300 meter guys bump up in distance this winter. The top returning guy in the 1000 meters is Jack Taylor of Winnacunnet. He may be challenged from Jacob Winslow of Exeter the defending 800 meter champ from outdoors or Joseph Curran of Nashua North.
In the distance events, the top returner in the 3000 is cross-country champ Forest MacKenzie of Concord then Joe Gagnon of Pinkerton. Others that could contend are Eli Boesch Dining of Concord and William Heenan of Londonderry. Those same names will be key factors in the 1500m as well as Colin Donnelly of Winnacunnet and Winslow of Exeter.
In the high jump, Jacob Langevin of Exeter and Adam Spencer of Pinkerton battled it out last year and are the top returners. In the Long Jump, Lucien Mumpini of Bedford and Avery Battle of Pinkerton are the top returners. After a monster spring season, Patrick Hagearty of Londonderry is the top returner in the shot. He is the top returner by more than 4 feet.
Good luck to all!!!