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Kennedy a Heptathlon Champ

Corinne Kennedy

Corinne Kennedy

Nashua, n.h. — And to think the rest of New Hampshire high school track and field still has another three years to figure out how to beat Corrine Kennedy.

Kennedy, the freshman standout from the Lebanon High track team, added to her first-year title haul by winning the New Hampshire State Heptathlon meet on Sunday at Nashua South High School. Kennedy held a slight lead after Saturday’s first four events and needed to rally with one event left on Sunday to take the crown.

The Raiders nearly pulled off a double with Will Merchant, who took second in the boys decathlon competition behind Londonderry’s Starlin Ortiz.

Kennedy held a lead of 2,666 points to 2,563 for Bedford’s Letti Hibbard through Saturday’s events, two of which Kennedy won. Kennedy took the opening 100-meter dash with a time of 15.70 seconds, and later added a second win in the 200, clocking in at 25.39 seconds.

Hibbard quickly reversed her 103-point deficit by outscoring Kennedy in the long jump 640-466 thanks to a leap in the 17-feet, 6-inch range. Hibbard’s advantage grew further by a javelin toss of nearly 100 feet, giving her a 3,685-3,440 lead going into the closing event, the 800-meter run.

That’s where Kennedy’s legs won out. The Raider — who won the 300 hurdles at Division II states and added three other top-three finishes — earned 844 points with her winning time of 2 minutes, 18.49 seconds. Kennedy finished with 4,284 points to 4,187 for Hibbard.

The only other Upper Valley girl at the heptathlon meet, Hanover’s Hannah Mahon, finished 20th with 3,007 points.

Merchant trailed Ortiz after day one and made up ground on Sunday, but not enough to overturn the Londonderry athlete’s edge. Merchant split head-to-head encounters evenly, outpointing Ortiz in the five of the six field events to post 5,772 points to Ortiz’s winning tally of 5,836 points.

Kearsarge’s Reed Bell was fifth (5,333) and teammate Logan Maville took 19th place (4,541).