Dartmouth Relays Notebook: 29-Year-Old Record Goes Down

  • Runners Morgan Lavoy from Thetford Academy, left, Kennedy Mullen, from Hartford High School and Ella Maclean from Hanover High School wait to receive their lane assignments for the 300 during the Dartmouth Relays in Hanover, N.H., on Jan. 6, 2017. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, January 06, 2018

Hanover — The biggest story out of Saturday’s Dartmouth Relays was Jacqueline Gaughan’s two-mile run, which broke a 29-year-old meet record and left much of Leverone aghast.

“I had it in my mind, but I wasn’t focusing on it or anything,” said Gaughan, from Exeter High. “It’s exciting, setting a two-mile personal record in my first race (of the year), coming in feeling a little unprepared, too. I’m excited to see what I can do when I’m prepared.”

Gaughan finished the race in 10:20.77, nearly 12 seconds better than Cheri Goddard’s record-setting race in 1989. Goddard ran at the Relays for Saratoga (N.Y.) High and later competed for Villanova.

Gaughan, the 2016-17 Gatorade New Hampshire cross country runner of the year, is committed to run for the University of Notre Dame starting in the fall.

Dartmouth College track and field commitments Drew Thompson, of Fairfield Prep (Conn.), Anoush Krafian, of Belmont (Mass.), and Rachel Donner, of Iroquois (N.Y.), all had big days on Saturday during their final high school season before joining the Big Green in the fall.

Krafian won the girls 55 hurdles, finishing in 8.41 seconds to beat second-place Scarborough (Maine) sophomore Emily Labbe by 0.10 seconds. She also tied for third (5-2) in the girls high jump and settled for 15th (15-0) in the girls long jump.

Donner took sixth (43-11.25) in the girls weight throw. Thompson ran out of gas in the final stretch and finished the mile run in sixth place (4:25.69).

“It was really the bond I felt when I came up here to meet the team,” Thompson said on his Dartmouth decision. “They were all super close and welcoming of me. That’s the same type of bond we’ve created on my high school team. That’s really what I was looking for.”

Barry Harwick, head coach of the Big Green men’s track and field team and main organizer of the annual Dartmouth Relays, said at least a dozen teams did not make their scheduled trip to Hanover on Friday due to extreme cold and snow that canceled after-school activities. The result was much smaller crowd inside Leverone on Saturday, a decrease in merchandise sales and an array of absentee entrees on several events.

Harwick also said he and his team are beginning to make plans for next year’s 50th anniversary of the Relays, which may include endowed events and a possible connected outreach event with some of Dartmouth’s Olympic alumni.

Next year’s Relays will run from Jan. 11-13.

Oxbow’s Izzy Giesing seemed in the clear rounding into her second lap in the girls 800. But the final stretch told a different story, as Juliana Selser, a senior from South Portland (Maine), caught up and pulled ahead of the Olympians’ distance star. Selser, Giesing’s future teammate at UMass Lowell, won by 0.82 seconds; the pair was nearly a full four seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

Hanover sophomore Kyle Doucette went up against Hartford’s Abayomi Lowe for much of the morning and left feeling accomplished. He made it to the boys 55 final, finishing seventh out of eight in 6.81, and finished the 300 in eighth place with a 36.69.

“He’s been great,” Hanover head coach Steve McConnell said of Doucette. “He’s really committed himself to track. It’s good to see it pay off for a kid.”

Ileana Sirois, Hartford’s senior leader, took third in the girls 55 hurdles final, finishing in 8.52 seconds behind future Dartmouth athlete Krafian by 0.21. Sirois did not make it out of the preliminary round of the Relays last year, finishing in 9.37 seconds. She shaved nearly a minute off of her 55 hurdle time in 12 months.

Hartford sophomore Kennedy Mullen finished the 300 in 45.27 seconds, good enough for 30th place in her first time competing at the Relays. Mullen played basketball last winter before breaking out last spring on the outdoor track.

Lebanon’s Kath Merchant placed second (39-0) behind Donner in the girls shot put championship, Cody Davis took 31st (2:48.75) in the boys 1,000, and Marcus Roper got seventh (48-6.25) in the boys shot put and 12th (49-4.25) in the boys weight throw.

Hartford’s Callum Brittain took 35th (2:18.71) in the boys 800. Sharon’s Dillon Buttner took 33rd (1:32.91) in the boys 600.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.