Bishop Guertin Girls, Pinkerton Boys Claim D1 Titles!
Results Courtesy of LancerTiming
Pics Soon – Keep checking the Indoor States Meet Hub
By Nate Leveille
D1 put on a real show Sunday morning. The atmosphere, individual performances, and team championship race couldn’t have been better. Let’s jump right into the action.
The meet started out with a little surprise as we were lucky enough to have the long jump on the infield. That didn’t change the meet schedule, which allowed for the field events to completely finish before the athletes had to run any races around the oval, aside from the 4×800’s. On the boy’s side, the 4×800 started things off as Keene High School wasted no time taking a commanding lead. This race was really a two horse race between gutsy Dover and Keene. The speed of Keene proved to be too much in the end as they won in 8:13 followed by Dover in 8:18. Typically Pinkerton enters younger kids in this event, but put a good squad out there that finished third securing 6 very important points (Remember these 6 points).
After the 4×800, the next events to be factored into the scoring were the Long jump, High Jump, and Shot Put, except the 4×800 was not included in the team scores on the live feed, More on this later. In the Long Jump,sophomore Ryan Dane of Pinkerton had a personal best jump of 21’9” to upset the field and win. He was followed by Paul Marchand of Nashua South and Triston Delicema of Nashua North. In the high jump, Matt Small of Pinkerton got the win over Jake Langevin of Exeter by clearing 6’2”. In the shot put, the big guys came to throw. Many of the competitors exceeded their season bests. Patrick Hagearty of Londonderry was the expected winner with a toss of 51’4” followed by Ryan Whitney of Exeter.
After the field events finished, it was time to get to work on the track. The boys 3000 filled the building with energy as the boys in that race did not mess around. Rather than making the race a tactical one, they took off from the gun which produced 6 boys under the 9 minute mark. Talk about a kick, Joseph Curran of Nashua North didn’t let the fast pace take it out of him as he sprinted away from the field over the last two laps with a blistering time of 8:46. He was followed by Joe Gagnon of Pinkerton, who was later DQ’d, so Eli Boesch Dining and Forest Mackenzie of Concord went 2-3 instead. The team scoring after 4 events was North 24.5, Pinkerton 21, Exeter 17. These three teams continued to throw punches at each other throughout the meet (figuratively, not literally).
Next on the track was the boys 55m Hurdles. Adrian Sutton of Spaulding was the winner in a time of 7.73 followed by Pinkerton teammates Adam Spencer and Conor Seleny. In the Dash, Adam Thornton of Merrimack kept his dominance going in the dash with the win in 6.67 over runner-up and 13 seed entering the meet, Jack McSweeney of Exeter. Team scores after the dash Pinkerton 41, North 27.5, Exeter 25.
The 1000 meters was highlighted as one of the races to watch and it didn’t disappoint. Aidan Kindopp of Keene doubled back from the 4×800 to get the win in 2:31.46 over Jack Taylor of Winnacunnet. North picked up 6 more team points. Pinkerton 43, North 33.5, Exeter 25.
Next on the track was the 600 meter run. Dante Radigonda of Exeter took control from the gun and didn’t look back with a blazing time of 1:23.82, but North followed with a pair of teammates Bryce Eckenrode and Colin Miller with the 2-3 finish and 14 team points. North 47.5, Pinkerton 43, Exeter 35.
The 300 meter race was loaded with returning talent. Zach Verow of Bedford remained unbeaten in-state with a winning time of 36.09 over Seleny of Pinkerton in second. Team Scores Pinkerton 53, North 47.5, Exeter 39.
The next event on the track was the individual performance of the meet. Jake Winslow of Exeter went after and broke the state record in the 1500 meters with a time of 3:57.60 and securing 10 important team points. He was followed by Aidan O’Hern of Concord and Curran of North. Team Scores North 53.5, Pinkerton 53, Exeter 49.
Pinkerton was not expected to score in the 4×400 heading into the meet and Nashua North and Exeter were the top two seeds. Coach French wisely made some substitutions and Pinkerton ran a blazing time in the second heat that was good enough for 3rd place overall. Exeter ran away from the fast heat with a winning time of 3:31.84 ahead of runner-up North. The unofficial online team scores had the score North 61.5, and Pinkerton and Exeter tied with 59, except that’s not what people like myself had on paper. The 4×800 had not been included in the live team scores throughout the meet. Lots of people forget the live scores online are for spectators, but are not official. Exeter didn’t run a 4×800 and North finished 7th, so it did not impact their scores, but Pinkerton did score those big 6 points I mentioned earlier. The actual team scores entering the 4×200 were Pinkerton 65, North 61.5, Exeter 59. This is why I always keep track of the points on my own. I don’t think my fellow coaches and athletes will make fun of me anymore for doing this.
In the final event on the track, all three teams were in the fast heat with Merrimack. Exeter jumped out to a commanding lead, but eventually was caught before the line by Pinkerton. Pinkerton won the 4×200 and left no doubt in the team scoring. Exeter finished second and North third meaning North edged out Exeter for the runner up plaque by .5 points. Somehow I didn’t have a heart attack. Congratulations to Champion Pinkerton Academy and Runner-up Nashua North as well as the rest of the teams and competitors. That was one of the most stressful and exciting finishes to a track meet I’ve been a part of. The boys at the end of the meet reminded me of the pitchers in the MLB playoffs last year. Everyone was available, it didn’t matter how many races they ran. Joseph Curran of North running the 3k, 15, and 3rd leg on the 4×4, Conor Seleny of Pinkerton in the hurdles, 300, and both relays and missing most of the skin on the bottom of his foot. Winslow setting a state record and then running a blistering 4×4 leg 10 minutes later. That’s what state championship level track as a team is all about.
This figured to be a 3-team race between last year’s champ Pinkerton Academy, Exeter High School, and Bishop Guertin. Exeter had the advantage based on seeds and number of athletes, Pinkerton had the advantage based on experience, and BG had the advantage based on absolute superstars. Like the boys, the girls started out by completing the 3 field events and the 4×800 relay. In the high jump Sydney Lewis cleared 5’2” to beat Sarah St. Pierre of Nashua North. In the Long Jump, Camille Sweet of Exeter flew out to 17’3.5” nearly a foot ahead of runner-up Julia Zhang of Nashua South. In the shot put, Kathryn Lynn of Nashua North won with a season best throw of 33’9.25”. Following her was Emily Boswell of Keene with a throw of 33’1.75”.
In the 4×800, Keene went right to the front and never looked back, breaking the 10 minute mark in 9:57. They were followed by Pinkerton, Salem, Nashua South, BG and Dover. Like the boys meet these points in the 4×800 would not appear in the unofficial live team scoring until the end.
In the girls 3000 meter run, Violet Sullivan of Exeter went out in front and tried to shake the kickers on her heels. With a lap to go Caroline Towle of BG proved to be too much and kicked her way to the win in 10:25.56 to Sullivan’s 10:30.10. The team scores after the 3000 were Nashua North 25.5, Nashua South 24, Exeter 21, BG 14.
Next on the track was the hurdles. Cameryn Nichols of BG remained undefeated in the state getting the win with a time of 8.86. The next two were a photo finish as Katya Rojco of Salem finished runner up in 8.99 with Sweet of Exeter 3rd in 9.00. In the Dash, Grace Devanny of Concord continued her dominating sprinting career. She was able to get the win in 7.33 seconds ahead of freshmen Autumn Aronofsky of Salem. Team Scores after the Dash were Exeter 31, North 26.5, South 25, BG 24.
The girls 1000 saw Mikayla Randall of Keene gave Caroline Fischer of BG all she could handle but Fischer broke the 3 minute mark and got the win in a time of 2:59.33. Macy Graves of Pinkerton was able to use her strength to get the win over Asia Mercier of Memorial in the 600 with a time of 1:40.76 to 1:41.38. Team scores had BG and Exeter tied at 38 as these two begin to separate from the other teams.
Devanny returned in the 300 where she put on a show nearly breaking the 40 second mark and establishing a new D1 record, winning in a time of 40.08. She was followed by Amelia Graves of Pinkerton in 42.56. Exeter finished 4-5 for 6 big team points to take the lead with a score of 44 points to BG’s 38.
In the 1500 meters Cali Coffin of Nashua South was running in only her third race of the winter after having her cross country season cut short due to Injury. The rest of the field was back from either the 1000 of the 3000, including Sullivan, Fischer, and Towle. Coffin took the lead and began wisely pushing the pace on the tired field of runners. She was followed by Fischer, Towle, and Sullivan. Coffin continued to push the pace hard until she only had two chasing her in BG’s Towle and Fischer. It was with one lap to go that my biggest personal fear became a reality as both Towle and Fischer showed off their masterful kicks finishing 1-2 in the 1500 and securing 18 monster team points.
BG took a 56 to 48 lead over Exeter heading into the final two relays. I didn’t know what event the two points were missing from, but in my hand scoring I had BG with a 10 point lead over Exeter.
In the 4×400 Exeter was the 1 seed, Salem the 2 seed and BG the 5 seed (in the second heat). BG won the second heat with a season best 4:16. In the 3rd heat Exeter took an early lead, but was unable to hold off Salem. Salem got the upset and the event win in a time of 4:09.22. Exeter finished second in a time of 4:10.20 with BG 4th.
So, BG had a 6 point lead heading into the last event on the track the 4×200 meter relay. Bedford was the 1 seed, South the 2 seed, Exeter the 3 seed and BG the 4 seed. Exeter needed to win the event and BG to finish no better than 4th to either tie for the win or win the meet outright. BG just needed to finish in the top 3 to secure the D1 crown. Exeter took the lead after the first leg followed by BG, Bedford, and South. Exeter continued to lead after the second leg, but BG was still in second. Heading into the anchor leg, Exeter had a commanding lead. The question now was would BG finish in the top 3? As they came around the last turn Bedford surged ahead of BG and South. Sydney Lewis of South came way back on both Bedford and BG, but was unable to hold BG off as she got clipped at the line. BG finished 3rd over South by .01 seconds. Exeter won the 4×200 in a blazing time of 1:48.49, but would have to settle for the runner-up plaque. Congratulations to Bishop Guertin as they won the 2019 D1 Indoor State Championship!
This was easily one of the closest meets in D1 history. I thought about the meet a lot on the way home and there’s a few different conclusions I came to. One of the greatest aspects about track and field is that you cannot control how other people perform. You can’t steal the ball or block a shot. BG had one heck of a meet led by some very talented runners. They also had huge efforts from their girls in the relays and outperformed their seeds in many events. It takes a total team effort to win the D1 meet and they displayed that by scoring across many events. Congratulations to the coaching staff and athletes of Bishop Guertin and the coaching staff and athletes of Exeter High School as well as everyone else that competed. Thanks again to Larry Martin, the NHIAA, Rick Berrymen and Lancertiming for running an excellent state meet. I look forward to seeing some of you at New Englands or New Balance Nationals and the rest of you in the spring. Now, let’s melt this snow, clear the tracks, and get to spring!