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Friday, May 30, 2014

Nashua North going for two straight boys track titles

Nashua High School North and Bedford High School are in great positions heading into Friday’s Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Winnacunnet Regional in Hampton at 4 p.m.

The Titans and Bulldogs will be trying to hold off the competition for a chance to defend their Division I boys and girls titles. ...

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Nashua High School North and Bedford High School are in great positions heading into Friday’s Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Winnacunnet Regional in Hampton at 4 p.m.

The Titans and Bulldogs will be trying to hold off the competition for a chance to defend their Division I boys and girls titles.

Should North accomplish the feat, it would be the first back-to-back boys champion since Merrimack in 2006 and 2007.

North has the horses to pull it off, led by defending individual event champions Zakari Jenkins (100, 200), Morley Kert (pole vault) and Demitri Jackson (triple jump). Titans will also challenge for titles in the 400 (Jenkins), 110 hurdles (Andrew Dwyer), 300 hurdles (William Goulding), 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay, long jump (Jackson) and shot put (Julian Rendon).

Despite their depth, the Titans will face challenges from perennial contenders Pinkerton Academy and Bedford.

The Astros are led by the speed of Zach Cicio, who has formed quite a rivalry with Jenkins in the 100 and 200, and the endurance of Phillip Parent in the 3,200. Bedford’s Rob Flynn is the favorite in the 400, while fellow Bulldogs Nate Jaeger (hurdles) and Keelan McCoole (high jump) are threats.

With 11 seniors on its roster, Merrimack can’t be overlooked, especially as Nick Masella returns to form after battling back from a hip injury. Alvirne (Noah Bellomo), Bishop Guertin (Alex Arika) and Nashua South (Trevor Knight, Tyler Doveno, Tyler Plourde, Brayden Hollowell) all have individuals expecting to challenge for event titles.

In girls action, a Bedford repeat would be the first since Manchester Central in 2009 and 2010. That Little Green repeat put an end to BG’s six-year run as champions dating back to 2003.

Led by sprinters Gwenyth Winship and Johanna Celli; hurdlers Letti Hibbard and Mollie Redman; and jumpers Anika Hibbard and Emma Bzik; the Bulldogs will be attempting to hold off Winnacunnet, Exeter, Londonderry and BG.

The Cardinals, always in the title mix, are led by Molly McCabe – who is the favorite to win the 800 and a strong contender in the 400 and 1,600 – and Briana Silck (long jump).

Other locals expected to challenge for individual titles include Alvirne’s Brittany Lambert (high jump), Nashua South’s Elizabeth Allard (pole vault) and Megan Cunningham (shot put, discus), Nashua North’s Sara Horne (triple jump), Merrimack’s Jen Coffey (shot put, discus) and Kathryn Flynn (javelin).