Nashua South runners off to sharp start

The Nashua South girls tracksters were happy to be out for the first major meet of the year Saturday, the Pelham Invitational. Taking a break between events here are, kneeling, Madeline Stevens, and standing from left, Sydney Lewis, Kelsie Leith, Mackenzie Betty, Kourtney Lopez, Jace Wai and coach Catrina Lougee.

By HECTOR LONGO

Staff Writer

PELHAM – After finishing so fast in 2018, taking second in the Division I State Meet, the Nashua South girls picked up right where they left.

The Panthers placed second among 15 teams, behind Bedford at the Pelham Invitational meet.

UMass Lowell-bound senior Sydney Lewis led the way, winning a pair of events. Lewis cleared 5-feet for the high jump victory, then edged teammate Julia Zhang for the long jump win.

Lewis soared 16-4, while her teammate checked in at 15-11.5.

Zhang wouldn’t be denied in the triple jump, though, winning with a 35-8.75 effort.

Vanessa Norton announced her presence with authority, dashing to victory in the 400 meters with a personal best, 62.31 clocking.

She also ran a strong leg on the winning 4×400 team, combining with Nadia Zhecheva, Hannah Swain and Mackenzie Betty to beat the closest competitor by nearly 15 seconds with a time of 4:21.12.

Swain was second in the 800 at 2:31.41, while senior Angie Suaza grabbed third place in the 200 (27.47) and 400 (63.19).

Kourtney Lopez was third in the 300 hurdles (50.47), with Lewis fourth. Lydia Mathson took fourth in the 1600 at 29.53, and freshman Meghan Conway added a fifth in the 3200 (13:28.49).

For the South boys, who took fourth overall behind champion Bedford, the day belonged to leaper Paul Marchand.

The junior flew 21-1 to dominate the long jump. He also sprinted to victory in the 100 meters at 11.59.

Capping the day off, Marchand combined with Jason Compoh, Josh Compoh and Brendon Frost to win the 4×100 with a time of 45.73.

Frost was third in the 200 at 23.59, while Chris Keefe took third in the 400 (53.66).

Eric Carlo was fifth in the high jump at 5-4 and Max Merkuryev was fifth in the pole vault, clearing 10-0.