The 2018 Black Bear Invitational is slated to begin at 9:00am this Saturday, April 28th in Northwood, NH at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. With 42 teams and over 1000 athletes from all 3 divisions, the Black Bear is quite unique. It is a team scored event and is the only invite to run the 3200 first, while culminating with ‘Relay City’, the 4×800 and 4×400 back-to-back. A perfect ending to the team competition! In its third year, the Middle School Mile will be contested as well. NHTF will also be there in full effect videoing the entire meet, interviewing all event winners under our NHTF tent and providing our free downloadable pics. All, including meet information, records, as well as 2016 and 2017 meets, interviews, and photos will be found at the Black Bear Meet Hub.
Black Bear presents us with an early season opportunity to witness inter-divisional battles in several events. Beginning with the sprints, Oyster River’s Xiana Twombly is he top seed in the 100 but will face Kaitlin Jelley and Sarah White from Concord as well as Sydney Lewis and Taylor Mohler from Nashua South. Twombly is the second seed in the 200 behind South’s Crismeily Borg and one rank above Concord’s studette Grace Devanney. Perhaps the most intriguing match pits Davanney against freshman upstart Kristina Allard (Sanborn) in the 400. MV’s Katilyn Covell is the top seed in both hurdle events. She will have to hold off Portsmouth’s Sarah Morin in the Intermediates and St. Thomas’s Adrienne Bevins, who actually won the MV Invite last week.
As mentioned above, the distance events begin with the 3200 at 9:30am. South’s Cali Coffin fresh off her win in the 1600 at last week’s Nashua North Invite is the top seed. She will have plenty of company as twelve girls are seeded at 11:48 or faster and the top 8 were all-state in cross country. Another captivating event will be the 1600 as West’s Julia Robitaille takes on Raymond’s Anna Harmon. Both are state champions with Harmon embracing her first outdoor season. In the 800, Souhegan’s Elise Lambert is the top seed with Moultonborough’s Rebeca Velie is the second seed, both in the 2:23 range. Look for West’s Corinne Robitaille to have a say in this outcome.
In the jumps, South’s Sydney Lewis and Pelham’s Mia Herrling will be facing off. Allard is the top seed in the Long Jump with South’s Julia Zhang and Londonderry’s Madolyn Croteau top seeds in the Triple Jump and Pole Vault respectively.
Coe-Brown’s Kathleen Collins looks to improve upon that 144′ bomb she tossed in the Discus last week as she is the event’s top seed. She is also seeded second in the Shot Put to St. Thomas’s Mady Buchalski. Amber Hedquist of South is the top seed in the Javelin, but keep your eye on freshman Samantha Meier of Plymouth, ranked second entering the meet.
We will begin previewing the boys in the distance events, since they are loaded! With the 3200 first, it features a handful of state champions. MV’s David Reynolds is the top seed to Concord’s Forest McKenzie with North’s Max Ireland certain to be a factor. Add in names like Cam Starr (Pelham), Jeffrey Allen (Campbell), and Evan Tanguay (CBNA) and deuce fans should be in for a treat. NH’s current distance majordomo, North’s David Vorbach, has opted for the 1600 and is the top seed with a 4:26. MV Invite 3200 champ Moultonborough’s Tyler McLaughlin is dropping down to the 1600 this week as Concord’s Matt O’Brien and Windham’s Spenser Sawyer, both state champs indoors, will certainly factor in. The 800 will not disappoint either as Inter-Lakes’s Ian Daly is the top seed with McLaughlin and Starr doubling back. One has to consider Concord duo of Colin Conery and Aidan O’Hern as players at this distance as well.
The sprints sees Kingswood’s Tyler Gosselin as the top seed in the 100 narrowly ranked above Central’s Devin Jones and Londonderry’s Khalique Bagley. Jones comes in as the top seed in the 200 with North’s Randall Jenkins ranked second. The question in the 400 is can Sanborn’s Kashief Bogannam break 50? Portsmouth’s Will Fahey is top seed in the Highs and Concord’s Jacob Nichol will face Portsmouth Christian’s Fiston Kapongo in the Intermediates.
Perhaps the most exciting of jumping events, the pole vault, will have a tight competition as state champion Will Shepard (Milford) will compete against MV Invite Champ CBNA’s Tyler Troy. Hopkinton’s Kevin McGrath, MV Invite Champ in the High Jump and Long Jump will face similar competition this week in the vertical leap, but will have plenty of company in the Long as Tyler Mondi of South is the top seed. As this event features five 20-foot jumpers, the big sandpit should have a crowd! Plymouth’s Sam Ebner, winner last week, is this week’s top seed in the Triple.
In the throws, Londonderry’s Patrick Hagearty is the top seed in the Shot Put and Discus at 46’11.5″ and 137’0″ respectively, while Jacob Donahue of Alvirne has the number one ranking in the Javelin at 163’4″.
Which team will emerge as team champion? Spring breakers will play a significant role here as well! Good luck to all!