2020 NHIAA Division I NH Indoor State Track & Field Championships Preview

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By Nate Leveille

This Sunday teams and individuals will put their hard work and dedication to the test. All are lucky enough this year, since the Super Bowl has already been played!!!  This indoor season has been unlike any other, less snow and more meets than past years. Kudos to Amy Sanborn and Larry Martin and the on-site directors for the various meets that we compete at!  New Hampshire Track and Field website continued to step it up this year between the articles, rankings, results, and database that tells you all the results by grade, event, and/or individual.  Not to mention the new Winter Track Div I 2019 Indoor Championship-594League merch!

Below are just predictions based on performances throughout the season and seeds going into the state meet.  There is a reason we have the state meet each year. Two years ago, we saw the #1 seeds in the 55 dash and 1500 meters false start.  There have been numerous examples of dropped batons, no heights in the high jump, and fouls in the jumps over the years. Let’s not forget about the flu that likes to circulate schools around this time.  Anything can happen at the state meet.

Boys

Accepted Entries

Pinkerton Academy was able narrowly escape last year with a close win over runner-up Nashua North.  This year behind major point scorers in the sprints and solid depth in the middle distance, field events, and distance, they should run away with the team title. Based on seeds they are expected to score a massive 99 points.   On paper, the real race is for second place with many teams in the mix. Typically it would take a score in the 60’s to be the runner-up, but with Pinkerton expected to score so many points, and many other teams sharing points, it may be a race to between 40 or 50 points to be the runner-up.  Nashua North would appear to have the insideDiv I 2019 Indoor Championship-527 track with a couple of significant point scorers and an expected total of 42 points. If Nashua North slips up somewhere Keene has the distance and middle distance crew to get in the mix and potentially score over 40 points. Winnacunnet, Spaulding and Dover can get into the mix with a near perfect meet.

4×800

Pinkerton Academy comes in with the top seed time of 8:09.76 from this past week at PEA. I wouldn’t expect them to run their A team at the D1’s, but you never know. Keene is the defending champs in the 4×800, but opted out at the seed meeting. The door may be open for Merrimack or Dover to take home first in this relay. The Greenwave have a slew of mid distance kids and 10 points in this relay could catapult them to a runner-up team finish.

Div I 2019 Indoor Championship-2443000 Meters

Colin Donnelly of Winnacunnet and Jake Velazquez of Keene have been the top two performers in this event with Donnelly the only one with a seed time under 9 minutes.  That being said, last year’s champ Joseph Curran of Nashua North looks to be in outstanding shape and probably the favorite heading into the 3k. Donnelly and Velazquez will try to make the race honest to shake Curran’s wheels at the end, but they have their work cut out for them as he won last year’s race in 8:46.73 and is certainly faster this year!

Hurdles & Dash

The Hurdles would appear to be a three man race between Adrian Sutton of Spaulding, Conor Seleny of Pinkerton, and Nasir Perry of Nashua IMG_2903.jpgNorth.  All three ran their fastest time of the season at PEA and all three can win this race. Seleny is the top seed at 7.60.

The Dash again looks like a 3-man race.  Benjamin Fleming of Pinkerton ran 6.61 at PEA Saturday to take over the top seed only to watch Zach Verow of Bedford match that time without spikes the next day at UNH.  To my knowledge, Verow also handed Paul Marchand of Nashua South his first loss of the season in that same dash. Might come down to who gets the best start out of these three.

1000 Meters

Returning champ Jack Taylor of Winnacunnet should be the favorite heading into the 1k.  He comes in with a blistering seed time of 2:30.80. If he is challenged, it will come from Torin Kindopp of Div I 2019 Indoor Championship-321Keene of Matthew Griffin of Londonderry.  Kindopp will not have the 4×800 ahead of this race, so it’s possible we could see a sub 2:30! Francis Hernandez’s D1 record of 2:31.35 could be in trouble.

600 Meters

Defending champ Dante Radigonda of Exeter has looked excellent all season.  He comes in with a seed time nearly three seconds faster than number 2 seed Stephen Connelly of Pinkerton.  The next three seeds are separated by less than a second. Radigonda could make a run at the D1 record of 1:21.85 held by Merrimack’s William Godfrey.

300 Meters

The 300 meter marks the showdown of top seed Seleny of Pinkerton and defending champ Verow of Bedford.  Both have had amazing seasons and have a chance to go under 36 seconds. The next four Div I 2019 Indoor Championship-357seeds are under 37 seconds, so this could be one of the fastest 300 meters in recent history.

1500 Meters

Curran of North figures to be doubling back and might still be the favorite to pull off the double.  He enters with the top seed time of 4:03. Brayden Kearns of Concord is fresh in the 1500, so he could make things interesting as most of the other top seeds will be coming off a double or triple.  Kindopp of Keene, Tyler Sheedy of Dover and Taylor of Winnacunnet to name a few.

4×400 & 4×200 Relays

No team has stood out in the 4×200 event this year.  On paper, Pinkerton has the ability to run a really fast time and enters as the Div I 2019 Indoor Championship-504top seed. Bedford, Dover, Merrimack, and Keene all follow.  If it comes down to the anchor leg, it would be tough to look past Pinkerton or Bedford who could trot out Seleny or Verow.

I said in my season preview that Pinkerton had a chance to break the state record in the 4×400, and i stand by it.  This is one of their two shots as you can only establish a state record at the state meet or at New Englands.  If they can get out in front and have clear handoffs, this might be their best chance. The rest of the teams are a log jam although Merrimack looked fantastic in the 4×160 this past weekend.  Don’t count out Salem, Nashua North, or Spaulding in this event.

Long Jump

Marchand of Nashua South has dominated the long jump this season, establishing a new school record, and going over 22 feet.  He is the IMG_2904.jpgfavorite in the long jump. Ryan Lane of Spaulding is the two seed at 20’9”. A trio of Pinkerton athletes occupy the 3-5 spots.  The long jump is always one of the more unpredictable events due to the lack of indoor facilities and time athletes spend in the pits.

High Jump

Jacob Pacheco of Bishop Guertin is the top seed at 6’3”.  After Pacheco there are three boys, Sean Quinlan of Nashua North, Timothy Trisatti of Timberlane, and Ethan Holt of Bishop Guertin that have cleared 6’0” on the season. Holt was the runner-up in the high jump a year ago.

Shot Put

Jessiah Francis of Manchester Central is the top seed in the shot put and the only boy over 50 feet in Division 1.  Owen Gromley of Salem is the number 2 seed in the shot with a seed over 49 feet. If the top two seeds should struggle, 3 seed Adam Roy of Bedford has been improving each week.


Div I 2019 Indoor Championship-51Girls

Girls Accepted Entries

Last year this meet was decided by two points and .01 seconds with Bishop Guertin pulling off a somewhat upset over Exeter.  On paper the two teams are again in the driver’s seat separated by around 5 points on paper. Two very contrasting styles with Exeter throwing many athletes across all events and loading up in the sprints and relays.  Bishop Guertin has absolute monster point scorers in the distance events. This should be exciting to watch unfold. If both teams should struggle Nashua North and Bedford could sneak into the picture. Nashua North is dominant in the field events and with sprinter Coy.  Bedford is built on a solid sprint crew, relays, and Rinko in the distance events. It should take 70 points to win and 60 something points to place second.  

4×800 Meter RelayIMG_2899.jpg

One of the more intriguing events of the girls side.  BG enters with the top seed time of 10:04.1. They have the top distance group in the state and could run away with this relay if they use their big guns in it.  Behind them is Keene, who has always brought their “A” game in this event. The three seed is Exeter, who similar to BG, would have to use some fire power to run up at the front.  Pinkerton is another team capable of winning this relay depending on what girls teams use.

Dash & Hurdles

Abby Coy of Nashua North ran the top time in D1 in the Dash at the Dartmouth Relays and hasn’t looked back since.  She enters with a top seed time of 7.52. She should be challenged by Taryn Naftali of Bedford, who has continued to improve all season and Sydney Lavelle Div I 2019 Indoor Championship-216of Exeter.  The top 8 seeds are separated by less than half a second. Lancertiming will need extra cameras for this finish.

Sheridan McGadden of Bedford arrived on the hurdle scene halfway through the season and established the top hurdle time of 8.80.  If she is to stumble, look for Katya Rocjo of Salem of Camilla McAleer of Exeter to challenge for the top spot.

3000 Meters

Caroline Towle of Bishop Guertin comes in with a dominant seed time of 10:05.82.  She is more than 45 seconds clear of the two seed Katherine Kennedy of Concord and three seed Ali McFarland of Exeter.  Towle could cruise to victory and save energy or make a run at the 10 minute mark that has only been accomplished by few New Hampshire girls.

1000 Meters

This could go many ways depending on what girls are used in the 4×800.  Fiona Doherty of Bishop Guertin is the top seed with a 3:00.56. She is followed by Mikayla Randall of Keene and Grace Mercier of Exeter.  It’s possible that all three of those ladies will run the 4×800 making 4 seed Carly Rinko of Bedford the only “fresh” athlete. If they are all fresh, all 4 girls could go under 3 minutes.

600 MetersDiv I 2019 Indoor Championship-310

Typically the 600 is the event with many athletes doubling back from the 4×800.  The top seed is Macy Graves of Pinkerton with a 1:40.63. After her are 4 girls all within 1 second of one another.  Ashlyn Smith of Dover and Silvia Caddell of Salem should both be fresh as both are not expected to run 4x800s.

300 Meters

The race will have a lot to say about the team race.  The top seed is Ella Fraser of Exeter with a 43.03. She is followed by Grace Jones of BG as well as Raye Neil and Sydney Lavelle both of Exeter. With seeds 2-8 separated by less than 1 second, those extra cameras may need to be put to use again!

Div I 2019 Indoor Championship-5481500 Meters

Caroline Towle will be back to work in the 1500 with the top seed time of 4:51.49.  She pulled off the double victory last year and will look to repeat again this year.  Randall of Keene, Rinko of Bedford, Doherty of BG, Cross of Pinkerton, and McFarland of Exeter should all factor in the placing.  BG was able to break the meet wide open in this event last year and will look to do the same thing again this year.

4×400 & 4×200 Relays

Exeter comes into the meet with a 4×400 seed time of 4:10.62. Nine seconds ahead of two seed Pinkerton and 13 seconds ahead of three seed BG.  With the meet potentially on the line, teams will be sending out their best squads to secure points. John Snell, longtime Merrimack coach once said to me, “If i’mIMG_2854.jpg going to win or lose a state meet, I want that to be decided with my best kids on the track in the relays.”

Exeter is also the top seed in the 4×200 meter run.  They enter with a 4×160 seed time of 1:26.92. The two seed, Manchester Central, has been running excellent lately and should give Exeter all they can handle.  Don’t count out Nashua North led by Coy, and Bedford girls who are always at their best in this relay.

Long Jump

Grace Jones of BG is the top seed in the long jump and the only girl over 17 feet.  After her are a bunch of girls that have been in the 16’s all year long. Rojco of Salem, Coy of North, and Ashlynn Ducharme of Manchester Central could all pull off the win.

IMG_3051.jpgHigh Jump

This should be an exciting event with the top seeds both over 5 feet 4 inches.  Olivia Mazerolle of Nashua North and Emily Lesburt of Pinkerton have gone back and forth all year.  This could be determined by misses. The high jump is very deep this year as it may take 5 feet to place.

Shot Put

One of the best shot putters in recent memory will be in the girls circle this weekend.  Still only a junior Victoria Conrad of Nashua North could clip the 40 foot mark indoors. She has a 6 foot advantage over two seed Emily Boswell of Keene.  Emily is a consistent thrower and was the runner-up last year. Freshman Briana Danis of Pinkerton enters as the three seed.

Good luck to all!!!

 

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