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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Nashua North’s Zakari Jenkins, Pinkerton’s Zach Cicio shine at Londonderry Invitational

High School Track

LONDONDERRY – If Nashua High School North’s Zakari Jenkins and Pinkerton’s Zach Cicio are involved, it’s always a race worth watching.

On Saturday, spectators at the Londonderry Invitational got the best this rivalry has to offer. ...

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LONDONDERRY – If Nashua High School North’s Zakari Jenkins and Pinkerton’s Zach Cicio are involved, it’s always a race worth watching.

On Saturday, spectators at the Londonderry Invitational got the best this rivalry has to offer.

The sprinters faced off in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. And as expected, the two were neck-and-neck to the finish, separating each another by one-hundreth of a second in a pair of thrilling races. Jenkins edged Cicio in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.10 seconds, but fell short in the 200 as Cicio came from behind and beat Jenkins with a strong head lean over the finish line that both left Jenkins and the crowd stunned as the PA announcer
revealed Cicio’s time of 22.25 seconds.

“I’m scared of him sometimes,” Jenkins said of Cicio. “Not like I’m scared, but I know he’s gonna put up a good time, so I can’t hold up.”

While running down the track at full speed, the two are rivals. But between races Jenkins and Cicio can be seen talking about anything from the meet to sports in general.

“We’re friends,” Jenkins said. “We always talk after races and before them.”

Jenkins said this rivalry has existed since the 2012-13 indoor season, when they were always the top finishers in their bouts against one another. The two split at last week’s Merrimack Invitational, with Jenkins prevailing in the 100 and Cicio besting Jenkins in the 200.

The battles are expected to get even more exciting as outdoor season nears its end.

“It’s kind of split if I think about it,” Jenkins said. “(Cicio’s) gotten to me a couple of times now.”

There was little doubt from the start that Hollis-Brookline’s Emma Newton was going to win the girls 1,600-meter run. However, there was no room to get comfortable the entire time.

Newton won the 1600 with a time of 5:14.72, nearly four full seconds ahead of second-place finisher Gretchen McGrath (5:18.64) from Londonderry, but she knew she had to make a good impression with her coaches at Tulane University, where she will run track next year, waiting to hear her results.

“A lot of it is knowing I have to tell my college coach for next year what I did (Saturday),” she said.

“He’s always like, ‘How’d you do at your meet?’ So I have to be able to tell him a good time.”

Souhegan’s Eli Moskowitz had arguably the most impressive finish of the day, finishing the boys 3,200-meter run with a 9:10.60 mark, a whopping 28 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Phillip Parent of Pinkerton.

“I was really going for time, so I just wanted to keep it relaxed, just try and keep my form good and push, so that’s what I did,” Moskowitz said.

Although it left him exhausted by the end, Moskowitz said the 3200 is one of his favorite races to run.

“It’s not fun when you’re in it,” he said, “but when you look back, when you’re feeling better, it feels great to know that you did that, that you’re improving so much.”

Nashua South’s Tyler Doveno, won the boys 1,600-meter run in 4:28.01; Bishop Guertin’s Molly McCabe won the girls 800-meter run in 2:11.18 and North’s Heidi Ntengeri won the girls 3,200-meter run in 11:59.05.

Hollis-Brookline’s Lindsey Beauregard highlighted the field events, winning the girls triple jump with a 36-03.75 score and the girls long jump at 16-05.50. North’s Demitri Jackson won the boys triple jump at 41-10.50.

Elizabeth Allard took the girls pole vault with a 10-06.00 mark, while BG’s Amy Vegliante finished second at 10-00.00.