Courtesy of LancerTiming!
By Nate Leveille
Last year the D1 team championship came down to the wire (literally) with Bishop Guertin pulling off a stunning 2 point win over Exeter High School. BG and Exeter are the top two teams heading into this season based on returning point totals. BG returns distance standouts Caroline Fischer and Caroline Towle who accounted for 38 of their 68 points last winter. Exeter returns a number of point scorers across many events, but no champs. A young Salem team might be prime to make the big jump with some standouts capable of winning multiple events, and Pinkerton Academy is always dangerous at the indoor championships.
The graduation of Grace Devanny of Concord opens the door for a new champ in the dash and 300m. Autumn Aronofsky of Salem is coming off a breakout season outdoors and might be the one to grab the torch in the short sprints. She is the top returner in the 55 dash and 3rd returner in the 300m behind Ella Fraser and Allison Kelley of Exeter. Johanna Koroma of Merrimack is always a threat to win the dash. In the hurdles, Katya Rojco of Salem is the top returner followed by Camilla McAleer of Exeter and Sydney Lavelle of Exeter. Watch for Sheridan Mcgadden of Bedford to maybe be the favorite if she comes out for indoor track (she was the runner-up in the 100 hurdles outdoors).
It’s always interesting to see how the 1000 and 600 shakes out. The schedule restricts doubling in these events. Last years 1000m champ Caroline Fisher of BG looks healthier than ever and probably the one to beat in the 1000, even though the top 5 girls return from a year ago. Behind her are returning placers Mikayla Randall of Keene and Grace Mercier of Exeter. In the 600, Macy Graves of Pinkerton, Asia Mercier of Memorial, and Sylvia Caddell of Salem are the top returners. They finished 1-2-3 last winter.
BG dominated the 3k and 1500 last winter with Caroline Towle winning the 3000m and 1500m and Caroline Fischer winning the 1000 and finishing runner-up in the 1500m . Throw in spring star Fiona Doherty of BG and there could be a lot of points scored by the Cardinals in these events. D1 basically returned all their place winners from a year ago, so it should be a lot of fun to watch as the season goes on. Cali Coffin of Nashua South, Morgane Orcutt of Concord, and Megan Cross of Pinkerton all should be factors in the scoring.
Last year’s 4×800 meter champ, Keene returned all 4 of their runners from last winter. They will be tough to beat on paper unless BG decides to try to win the 4×800. Concord and its young core of distance runners could also challenge. Salem and Exeter went 1-2 in the 4×400 last year with Salem only graduating 1 member of that team and Exeter bringing all 4 girls back. Winnacunnet had an excellent spring 4×400 and might have enough to carry it over to indoors. In the 4×200 Exeter returns 3 of its 4 members off last year’s championship team. While most of the other teams lost more than half their team to graduation. BG, Salem and Pinkerton should have strong relay teams, especially when there could be a team championship on the line.
Field events are much more difficult to predict due to limited practice time but Olivia Mazerolle of Nashua North figures to be the girl to beat in the high jump having gone over 5 feet last year. Grace Jones of BG is the top returner in the long jump, and Emily Boswell of Keene is the top returner in the shot put, but Victoria Conrad of Nashua North joined the 40 ft plus club last spring and would be the one to beat if she comes out for indoor.
Last year was a wild 3 team race between Exeter, Pinkerton, and Nashua North with Pinkerton escaping with a narrow 7 point win of runner-up Nashua North. This year both Pinkerton and Nashua North return a number of point scorers and appear to be in the driver’s seat heading into the 2020 season. Pinkerton returns a very strong sprint squad with a young and upcoming distance group. Nashua North boasts a strong middle distance core with one of the best distance runners in the state in Rory Curran. The best of the rest should be Concord, Spaulding, and Winnacunnet but it’s hard to imagine a scenario not involving Pinkerton and Nashua North finishing 1-2.
Last year the top 5 finishers in the 55 meter dash were separated by a tenth of a second. The top returner in the dash is Ryan Dane of Pinkerton. He is followed by Adrian Sutton of Spaulding and Zach Verow of Bedford. All three are capable of winning. In the 300, Verow of Bedford is the returning champ followed by Connor Seleny of Pinkerton and Dane of Pinkerton. In the 55 hurdles Sutton of Spaulding is the top returner followed by Seleny of Pinkerton and Monolo Feliz of Concord.
Dante Radigonda of Exeter is the defending champ in the 600 meter run. He is followed by Colin MIller of Nashua North and Christopher Keefe of Nashua South. In the 1000, Jack Taylor of Winnacunnet followed by Yassine Jakib of Nashua North and Torin Kindopp of Keene.
A year ago Rory Curran of Nashua North surprised the field to win the 3k in a blazing time of 8:46. He could challenge the state record this indoor season coming off an excellent cross season. Behind him returns Colin Donnelly of Winnacunnet and Tyler Sheedy of Dover. In the 1500 Curran and Donnelly are the top returners followed by Brayden Kearns of Concord and WIlliam Heenan of Londonderry.
Pinkerton Academy won the 4×200 last year and returns their entire team from a year ago. They could make a run at the state record set by Londonderry back in 1998. Spaulding finished 4th a year ago and returns their whole team as well. Nashua North always finds a way to mix in the 4×200. Last year Exeter won the 4×400 but lost half the team. Nashua North finished second and return 3/4th of their relay. Others to watch in the 4×400 are Dover and Merrimack. In the 4×800 Keene has been the team to beat. Dover returns ¾ of their team and Pinkerton and Concord remain dangerous.
Ethan Holt of BG is the top returning high jumper followed by Timothy Trasatti of Timberlane. In the long jump, Ryan Dane of Pinkerton is the top returner of the long jump followed by Paul Marchand of Nashua South and Ryan Lane of Spaulding. In the shot put Jessiah Francis of Central is the top returner followed by Adam Roy of Bedford.
Get your snow shovels out and best of luck to everyone.