Pinkerton boys use sweep of 3,200 to pass Bedford, Nashua North for title
HAMPTON – The Division I boys and girls high school track championships were heading toward a fantastic finish Sunday, but Pinkerton Academy’s distance runners and Bedford’s high jumpers had other plans.
With the Astros a distant third through 15 events – trailing Bedford and Nashua North – Pinkerton was able to take the top three spots in the 3,200-meter race and leapt ahead of both teams to capture the boys title at Winnacunnet High School.
Pinkerton scored an even 100 points to finish ahead of Bedford (79) and North (71), which was trying to win its second title in a row.
Meanwhile, the Bedford girls had four athletes place in the high jump – good for 24 points – to pull within 2 1/2 points of Londonderry with just the 4×400-meter relay to go. The Bulldogs won the relay – and the Lancers finished fifth – to win their second straight division title.
Bedford finished with 86 points, winning the title in the final event for the second year in a row, ahead of Londonderry (80) and Winnacunnet (73).
“It feels amazing to fight back from a crazy meet, like track and field usually turns out to be,” Bedford girls coach Noah Pion said. “We relied on the relay at the end and we knew we could win (the relay). Other factors we couldn’t control, but it worked in our favor.”
As for the North boys, while coach Nate Burns was happy with the way the Titans performed, there were a couple of breaks that went against them that was ultimately the team’s undoing.
After the meet, which was originally scheduled for Friday, pole vaulter Morley Kert, who was seeded second, suffered an injury in practice and didn’t place Sunday. But teammate Marcel Laplante cleared 12-feet, 6-inches to place second.
In the 4×100, the Titans appeared to catch a break when Pinkerton’s relay team botched the final handoff, but Concord caught North in the final five meters to take two points away.
“I thought we had a good day,” Burns said. “We had a couple of unfortunate things happen early on. The kids really stepped up and I’m real proud. Zak (Jenkins) performed well and Demitri (Jackson) had an unexpected challenge in the triple jump.”
Jenkins won both the 100 and 200 while Jackson finished first in the triple jump and took fifth in the long jump. The Titans also got a win from Matt Lavallee in the shot put, a surprise to most, except for Lavallee, who was seeded 10th in the event.
“On Thursday, I have him class, and he showed up and said ‘coach, I’m winning,’ ” Burns said. “I said get out there and do it, and he did what he said he was going to do.”
North’s Michael Pagan picked up points in the triple jump and long jump, finishing sixth in each, while Andrew Dwyer placed in the 110 hurdles (fourth) and William Goulding in the 300 hurdles (sixth). Julian Rendon also came in fifth in the shot put, while the Titans were second in the 4×100 relay and fourth in the 4×400.
Merrimack tied for sixth with 24 points and got a big day from Nick Masella. The senior won the 300 hurdles and also took second in the 100 while teammates Blake Williams and Adam Floyd each had fifth place in the 400 and 200, respectively. The Tomahawks also placed in all the relays, finishing fourth in the 4×100 and sixth in the 4×400 and 4×800.
Bishop Guertin came in 13th with 12 points, led by Lukas Atwood, who was fourth in the shot put, and Alex Arika, who was fourth in the triple jump. The Cardinals were also fourth in the 4×800.
Tyler Doveno was the top finisher for Nashua South, finishing fourth in the 1,600, while the Panthers tied for 14th with seven points. Jonathan Zalman was fifth in the 800 and Tyler Plourde came in sixth in the pole vault.
Bishop Guertin was the top local finisher on the girls side, coming in fifth with 43 points. Merrimack and Nashua North tied for ninth with 19 points and Nashua South was 12th with 15. Alvirne finished tied for 14th with Spaulding with 10 points.
The Cardinals got a couple of second places, as Briana Silck was runner-up in the triple jump and Gabby Richardson was second in the 800. Rachel Pelletier came in fifth in the 400 while Molly McCabe finished fifth in the 800 and was sixth in the 400.
Amy Vegliante was fifth in the pole vault, but suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury during the competition; no update was available at press time. Ellie Goyette and Carolyn Nichols each took sixth in the 1,600 and triple jump, respectively. The Cardinals also won the 4×800 relay and placed third in the 4×400 and fifth in the 4×100.
Merrimack’s Jen Coffey won the shot put and also placed second in the discus. Teammate Siaoli Wright also placed sixth in the 300 hurdles.
Taylor Choate led North with a fourth in the 100 and a sixth in the 200, while Sara Horne took fifth in the triple jump and Kayla Farren finished sixth in the 800. The Titans also placed second in the 4×100 relay, fifth in the 4×800 and sixth in the 4×400.
Nashua South got a third place in the shot put and fourth in the discus from Megan Cunningham, while Elizabeth Allard took fourth in the pole vault and Bridget Murphy finished sixth in the long jump.
Brittney Lambert led Alvirne with a third place in the high jump and Shaylyn Saunders came in fourth in the 800.
The top six from each event advance to Saturday’s Meet of Champions, which will be held at Londonderry High School.