2020 NHIAA Division 2 Indoor State Track & Field Championship GIRLS Preview

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With the 2020 Winter Track & Field League season coming to a close, the best in the state will head to Leverone Field House at Dartmouth College Sunday in hopes of personal records, school records, individual victory or the rarest feat, bringing home the team championship.  This without a doubt is our favorite day of the NH Winter Track and Field League season!  Thanks to the organization of Amy Sanborn, Larry Martin and company along with the NHIAA, LancerTiming, the NHIAA State Indoor Championships are certainly unique providing 2 action packed meets which the most casual track and field fan can appreciate.  But to the fanatics here at NHTF.com, we are simply in our element.  Good Luck to All!!!


Div II 2019 Indoor-178Girls Accepted Entries

Last year’s champions Oyster River look hungry for a repeat, but should get a strong fight from 2019 runner-ups Portsmouth who, on paper, sit at the top spot. As the events unfold, we will see a number of other teams looking to make some noise, vying for the top spot. Sunday starts at 10:00am with the girls getting things going in both the Shot Put and High Jump.

Shot Put

St. Thomas senior Mady Buchalski may have the first opportunity of the day to become a repeat champion, and with the top seed by over 3’ 6” in the Shot Put and exceptional state meet experience (top 3 every indoor state championship), she is the clear favorite. Milford’s Robyn Krafft and Epping’s Alexis Kailey look to challenge as they are the only two others in the competition who have thrown over 34’ this season. Krafft’s top throw of the year came at Dartmouth and looks to improve her season PR. With her 35’+ throw at last year’s states and 36’+ toss at 2019 East Coast Invite, don’t be surprised to see her seed mark improve. Sunday will be Kailey’s first Indoor State Championship and with the adrenaline of the big stage flowing, a big chuck is definitely possible. Newmarket’s Lilianna Gonzalez also looks to be a contender and play spoiler in the team battles as she is currently ranked higher than Portsmouth’s Holly Galvin and Elly McLaughlin as well as Oyster River’s Corinne Quaglieri. Div II 2019 Indoor-76

High Jump

Also starting at 10 and looking to set the bar pretty high (sorry) is the girls High Jump led by Milford’s Leslie MacGrath, whose top mark (5’ 4”) came on the big stage of the East Coast Invite, proving she can perform under pressure. If she can take home the 10 points for first, it could be an early momentum builder for her team. The Pride’s Theresa Irving challenges for the top spot with her season PR of 5’ 2”. She is closely followed by Campbell’s Tori Allen at 5’ 1”, Portsmouth’sOlivia Cray, Sanborn’s Hannah Ehlers, and Kaylen LaChapelle, all at 5’0”.  With High Jump being a difficult event to always be at your best, the ranks could easily shift around and give us all a surprise. 

Long Jump

Ladies Long Jump looks to start after the boys but could be another opportunity to give Milford a jump (ha ha) in the team score. Top spots go to Spartan teammates Renee Wilson and Sarah Sawyer. Wilson looks to be another repeat champion having won last year (2nd in 2018). Sophomore Sawyer looks to improve over her place from last year with another year under her belt, as well as an additional foot and a half on her PR. Freshman Ava Houle of Campbell (currently 3rd) looks to see what she can do with her best two performances coming in qualifying weeks of the season. Hanover’s Zoe Onyango, Kingswood’s Caitlin Carpenter, and Sanborn’s  LaChapelle (2nd in 2019) round out the girls over 16 feet. Portsmouth’s Dani Vigueras’s best was just shy at 15’ 11” and will look to steal some points for her Div II 2019 Indoor-117team.

4×800

The girls have the honors of getting things started on the oval at 11:00 with the strategic 4×800 leading the charge. The mid distance relay requiring four athletes is always a wild card at states with some teams loading up their squads, while others keep their top runners fresh for individual events. Teams with depth often enjoy this early event. With only the top 9 teams on the track and points going to the top 6, each qualifying team has the potential to score. Souhegan, Merrimack Valley, Portsmouth, Windham, Mildford, Oyster River, Coe-Brown, Bow, and Campbell will all toe the line looking for not only first, but also the coveted All-State batons.

3000 MetersDiv II 2019 Indoor-214

With a seed time advantage of 25 seconds at 10:05, it would appear Souhegan’s Chloe Trudel is a heavy favorite in this event.  After all, she showed her fortitude battling BG’s Caroline Towle all the way to the line when posting her seed time; certainly a breakthrough.  At the same time, MV’s Sophia Reynolds has been improving steadily throughout the season.  Don’t be surprised if the defending state champion gives Trudel all she can handle as Reynolds won a similar battle when winning last year in 10:07.  Also looking to score would be Coe-Brown’s Sheldyn Fisher, Campbell’s Cassie Hemming, PCA’s Lily Kjendal, and Leb’s Sofia Amaro.

Div II 2019 Indoor-194Dash & Hurdles

For the Hurdles and Dash, the eight lane straight means a trip to finals does not guarantee a top spot. Those thinking the team battle will be a close one between Portsmouth and Oyster River will want to keep a close eye on the hurdles. 5 of the 6 top spots belong to just those two schools. Portsmouth is represented by April Weeks (ranked #1 & 2019 #5) and Sarah Morin (T#3 & 2019 3rd). The Bobcats come with the clowder of Evelyn Fischer (#2 & 2019 runner up), Charlotte Cousins(T#3), and Ella Stasko(#6). White Mountains senior Taima Ronish (#5) will look to break up the scores along with Allen (#7) from the High Jump.

The dash sees Portsmouth and Oyster River combine 4 of the top 6 ranked girls. Portsmouth’s Maddie Ricard (#2) and Paige Betournay (#6) will try to sail the straights faster than OR’s Jennifer Nadig (#4) and Shealee Dulin (#5), who will look to get their blue uniforms across the line first. Hanover junior Ella Maclean (2019 runner Div II 2019 Indoor-280up) looks to be the clear favorite as she has finished first in every dash final this season except for her second place finish at Dartmouth Relays. It also won’t hurt that the Hanover athlete will have as much of a home field advantage as anyone can at Dartmouth. Gwenyth Dahlinger of Pelham rounds out the junior heavy top 6 coming in at 7.67, good for a 3rd place ranking.

1000 Meters

With the pre seeding meeting 2nd and 3rd ranked girls scratching out, you would expect the 1000m would be an easier time for #1 Lily Doody of Oyster River, but newly ranked #2 is fearless freshman Brianna Malone of Portsmouth Christian, who is only a couple seconds behind and has looked strong in recent weeks. Coe-Brown’s Abigail O’Connor (#3) would love nothing more than to play spoiler to the rival Bobcats in any way she can. Grace Ripperger (#4) of Portsmouth and Olivia Lenk (#5) of Oyster River has the makings to be a good battle as their seeds are separated by less than half a second in this five lap event. Abby Hughes of Windham rounds out the top six, and has improved her 1k time each race this season, showing she has yet to reach her ceiling. With a lot of 1000m girls potentially coming back from the 4×800, and #1-12 all within 22 seconds of each other, a lot of shifting could happen with surprises!

600 Meters

The 600m introduces one of the closest battles all day. On paper, Christine Aman Div II 2019 Indoor-304(2019 3rd place) of Hanover and Sarah Morin (2019 runner up) of Portsmouth are separated by just .01 of a second, and with this three lap race, they very easily could end that close. If we were to give an edge, it would be to Aman who will be coming into it fresh, while Morin will have the hurdles in her legs and maybe a leg of the 4×800? Ranked a couple seconds back, but definitely not a pair to sleep on is Adrianna Zlotnick of Souhegan and Kristina Pizzi of Bow. Pizzi has been in the 1:44 range the last two weeks while Zlotnick’s top time came on the big stage of Dartmouth Relays. Abigail Shagena of Bishop Brady and Kate Butcher of Oyster River round out the top 6, with Anabelle Nelson of Kingswood also looking to threaten.

300 Meters

The 300m is host to another Bobcat-Clipper showdown with Jennifer Nadig (OR, 2019 #3) as the favorite at number one and Paige Betournay (Portsmouth) at number two. Nadig consistently put up better times throughout the year, but both had their season’s best at Dartmouth Relays where Betournay posted a huge PR. Don’t be surprised if Hanover speedster Ella Maclean (#3) comes to shake Div II 2019 Indoor-333up the order. Pelham’s Paige Hurst and Hanover’s Zoe Onyango should also be feared as those three are separated by a mere .03 of a second! Another fun battle watch will be between Natalie and Brianna Fraser from Gilford, these two are .01 apart in the seeding.

1500 Meters

The 1500 usually is one of the more exciting competitions of the state championships, especially given the fact most of the entrants will be doubling or tripling back.  Right now, PCA’s Liza Corso certainly has the hot hand as she has the fastest seed time of 4:45.18 accomplished this past Sunday at UNH.  PCA does not have a 4×800 entered, so Corso will be on fresh legs.  She will need them as Souhegan’s Chloe Trudel is entered but doubling back from the 3k.  With Trudel doubling back, defending champ, Kearsarge’s Mya Dube, also on fresh legs, should be ready for the next chapter in their D3 friendly rivalry.  While Dube seems to have the upperhand, Corso certainly seems to be breaking through this year.  In addition to these three, watch for MV’s Emma York as she too will be fresh.  CBNA’s Abigail O’Connor and MV’s Sophia Reynolds will be doubling back.

4×400 & 4×200 Relays

If the team scoring is tight the last two events for D2 might end up being the loudest. The 4×400 sees Portsmouth in the number one spot and Oyster River number two. It will be the end of the meet with girls coming off multiple events, so one never knows what you will get. And if that wasn’t enough, Portsmouth is #3 and Oyster River #4 in the 4×200. Hanover and Souhegan are also poised to Div II 2019 Indoor-601make an impression.  The meet may very well come down to which team has the better relays.

Team Championship

Portsmouth and Oyster River each boast well rounded teams which have always proven to be a key to success. Milford’s strong field and a Hanover’s sprint/mid distance crews will help these teams to claim some of the top spots. Also hard to count out Souhegan if Trudel and the relays have a good day. Merrimack Valley’s relays and distance (plus a jump) put them right in the battle for top six, along with Portsmouth Christian which are comprised of a few stand out athletes.

Good luck and good health to all teams this Sunday!

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