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  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Bishop Guertin's Betsy Garnick clears the second to last hurdle during the Girls 100 Meter Hurdle event during Friday's Division I State Championship Track Meet at Merrimack High School.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Souhegan's Isabella Stuopis launches the 12-pound ball during the annual Throwers Meet for shot putters Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at Nashua High School South.


  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Nashua High School South's Mia Eisenhandler leads the girls 1600 meter during Tuesday afternoon's track meet at Nashua South.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

BG out to defend D-I title; North, South improving

Spring traditionally brings sunshine, warmer temperatures, and success for the Bishop Guertin High School girls track team.

The Cardinals have become a force in Division I over the years, and the defending champions should be tough again this year, barring injuries. And, says head coach Steve Hunt, with the further development of his distance runners.

“We’ll need the continued development of the distance group,” Hunt said, “and stay healthy.”

The Cards have two key athletes who helped them to last year’s championship returning, namely junior Betsy Garnick and sophomore Molly McCabe. All Garnick did was set a Division I record in the 100-meter hurdles and McCabe gained valuable team points with a win in the 800 meter run.

What about the other area Division I teams? Both Nashua High School North and Nashua High School South are looking to improve, as is Merrimack. The Titans have one of their youngest teams ever, while the Panthers, under first year head coach Siobhan Kemezys, hope their depth really works with a number of potential qualifiers across the board.

Alvirne, meanwhile, graduated lot of its top performers from a year ago, and head coach Tarek Rothe is looking at a group comprised of two-thirds underclassmen. But with youth comes enthusiasm.

“I’m really looking forward to coaching this young bunch of hungry kids,” he said.

In Division II, Milford looks like a contender. The Spartans won the whole thing two years ago and last year finished third. They have two event winners from last year’s division meet returning, 3,200 champ Courtney Hawkins and 400 meter winner Dina Pitsas, both juniors.

With some depth, they could be dangerous. “We have a very strong group of kids,” Spartans head coach Mike Wright said, hoping for improvement in relays and field events. “It could be a very interesting year.”

Souhegan was also a top 10 team a year ago (eighth), and are led by the returning discus champion from last spring, Isabella Stuopis, who was also the top girls shot putter this past winter, and have depth in other areas, especially distance events.

“We should improve on last year’s finish,” head coach John Eastman said.

Same for Hollis Brookline. The Cavaliers have nowhere to go but up from a 20th place a year ago, but the Cavs were without top sprinter-jumper Lyndsey Beaugregard, now a sophomore who should make a huge difference come late May.

The Cavs also have a good 4x800 relay squad that head coach Dave Babin is counting on. It’ll be interesting with 18 new members on a 35-girl squad.

In Division III, Campbell is hoping for a top 10 finish with a lot of new athletes, coming off a 14th-place finish a year ago. An interesting team to look at is Wilton-Lyndeborough, because the Warriors are undergoing a track explosion, with 40 athletes on the girls squad.

“We’re really excited,” head coach Jen Dumont said.

DIVISON I

ALVIRNE

COACH: Tarek Rothe (11th year).

2011: 13th in Division meet.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Meghan McCarthy, sr. hurdles/relays; Livia Gosselin, jr. hurdles; Allison Bendell, jr. throws; Erica Notini, jr. distance; Lydia Lyman, so. distance; Marie Morrier, jr. distance; Sarah Rossetti, jr. distance; Brittany Lambert, so. jumps.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Emily Barry, fr. middle distance; Kim Reed, jr. middle distance; Kelly Ann Connolly, fr. jumps/hurdles.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We’re an extremely young team, so we’re missing some experience,” Rothe said. “It depends on how quickly the young athletes develop as to how competitive we can be.”

BISHOP GUERTIN

COACH: Steve Hunt (3rd year).

2011: Won Division I title.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Betsy Garnick, jr., hurdles/jumps; Melissa LaCoste, sr. jumps; Molly McCabe, so. distance; Sarah Burke, jr., distance; Jacklyn Dubois, sr. throws; Jenna Lavalle, sr. sprints; Sarah Hunt, jr. throws.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Sarah Murphy, so. distance; Sabrina Beaulieu, fr. sprints; Jamie Sherburne, so. sprints.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We’ll need the continued development of the distance group,” Hunt said, “and stay healthy.”

MERRIMACK

COACH: Shawn Croteau (16th year).

2011: 16th in Division meet.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Renee LaFosse, sr., throws; Maggie Kenney, sr. jumps; Taylor Blain, sr. sprints/relays; Alex Pickett, jr. distance; Jenn Cermanero, jr. distance.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Christy Roy, so. jumps; Maryam Bafageeh, so. sprints/relays; Brittany Gravallese, fr. sprints; Abby Smith, fr., hurdles/jumps.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We need to continue to work hard and stay healthy,” Croteau said. “We have a number of new athletes to the program who can contribute in many ways.”

NASHUA NORTH

COACH: Russ Cardin (8th year).

2011: Finished 12th in Division I meet.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Lauren Kirby, sr. throws; Keilah Ireland, jr. sprints/jumps; Sarah Kert, jr. sprints/hurdles; Sara Horne, so. jumps; Summer Choate, jr., sprints; Kayla Farren, so. distance; Annie Fitzpatrick, jr., jumps.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Taylor Choate, fr. sprints/jumps; Rachel Nakos, fr. distance; Amanda Stumpf, fr., hurdles/sprints.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “This is the youngest team I’ve ever had,” Cardin said. “We need some of the kids to come along in the technical events, and our distance runners to progress by the end of the season.”

NASHUA SOUTH

COACH: Siobhan Kemezys (1st year).

2011: 9th in Division meet.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Arshana Yanes, sr. sprints; Hannah Cunningham, sr. sprints/hurdles; Bruna dePaula, sr. throws; Kristen Dechne, sr. pole vault/sprints; Mia Eisenhandler, jr. distance.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Adaeze Obinelo, fr. throws; Bridget Murphy, fr. jumps; Holly Gaudet, fr. distance; Elizabeth Allard, so. sprints.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “I’m looking for some hard work and dedication,” Kemezys said. “I believe we have qualifiers in every

category.”

DIVISION II

HOLLIS BROOKLINE

COACH: Dave Babin (2nd year).

2011: 20th in Division II meet.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Lyndsey Beauregard, so. sprints/jumps; Meg Philpot, so. distance; Logan Levesque, so. throws; Sam Slater, so. throws; Felicia Lombardi, sr. relays, Mary Martin, sr. relays.PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Maria Eklund, jr. sprints; Sarah Mauser, so. sprints.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “The dedication of the team is going to be crucial,” Babin said. “We’ve been able to pick up a few new members who will be striving for a top-five finish.”

MILFORD

COACH: Mike Wright (7th year).

2011: Third in Division II Meet.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Hanna Ladeau, sr. middle distance; Sarena Patel, sr. sprints; Cecelia Muller, sr. jumps; Courtney Hawkins, jr. distance; Jessica Krafft, jr. sprints; Dina Pitsas, jr. middle distance; Sarah Martineau, jr. jumps; Morgan Andrews, jr. throws; Cassie Wright, jr. distance; Hannah Soucy, jr. jumps; Brooke Olsen, jr. jumps; Rachel White, so. jumps/sprints.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Miranda Couture, fr. middle distance; Aimee Krafft, fr. distance; Brianna Lippitt, fr. distance; Rylee Bailey, fr. prints.; Alex Hiley, sr. jumps.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We have a very strong group of kids,” Wright said. “If we can improve on our relays and field events it

should be a very interesting year.”

SOUHEGAN

COACH: John Eastman (13th year).

2011: 8th in Division II.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Isabella Stuopis, sr. throws; Jade Humphreys, sr. sprints; Erin MacDonald, sr. sprints; Elizabeth Fontaine, sr. hurdles; Jordan Springmann, sr. hurdles; Rachel Springmann, sr. hurdles; Csilla Va’mos, sr. distance; Pia Marciano, jr. distance; Angela Blume, sr. middle distance; Raleigt McElvery, sr. middle distance.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Sarah Hurd, so. middle distance/jumps; Min Lu Kelly-Durham, so. middle distance.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “With a total of 40 girls in the program, we should improve on last year’s finish,” Eastman said.

DIVISION III

CAMPBELL

COACH: Kevin Hodge (3rd year).

2011: 14th in Division III.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Kiley Bourque, sr. pole vault; Ashley Gannon, sr. hurdles; Caitlin Heaton, so. middle distance; Michelle Pomerleau, sr. hurdles; Savannah Cavanaugh, so. sprints; Olivia Planty, sr. jumps; Jess Belzil, sr. throws.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Valerie Hubbard, fr. jumps; Sara Nolan, fr. jumps/sprints; Brianna Silck, fr. hurdles/jumps.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We have a lot of new people,” Hodge said, “and we hope to finish in the top 10 in the division meet.”

WILTON-LYNDEBOROUGH

COACH: Jen Dumont (2nd year).

2011: 20th in Division meet.

KEY RETURNING PERFORMERS: Paula Kemmerer, sr. middle distance/throws; Willy Henr, sr., throws/relays; Nick Bensmiller, sr. middle distance; Emma Brett, sr. throws; Zach Hagen, sr. throws; Sierra Bragdon, sr. throws.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Chelsea Barnes, fr. sprints; Abbie Kemmerer, fr. distance.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We have a lot of promising kids,” Dumont said. “Our team is significantly larger than last year, and we’re excited.”