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2018-19 High School Track Preview

  • 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 file photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/16/2018 11:40:48 PM
Modified: 12/16/2018 11:40:49 PM

Move over. Hartford High’s girls track and field team has arrived.

The Hurricanes are coming off a historic performance last winter, finishing second at the VPA Division II state championship meet — its best in program history — on a wild 4x400 relay race that pushed Hartford over the edge. Kennedy Mullen, Eleanor Hinckley and Gretchen Josselyn are back for more and could compete for a top-three finish even with multi-year standout Ileana Sirois graduating last spring.

The rest of the Upper Valley track and field landscape is littered with individual stars.

Hartford’s Abayomi Lowe, Lebanon’s Claudia Simione and Hanover’s Kyle Doucette should once again dominate sprinting events. Lowe is trying to break a VPA D-II record in the boys 55-meter dash he set last season. Oxbow’s group of Jarret Rock, Tim Hodges, Brennan Kimball and Max Klarich should be enough to put the Olympian boys squad back on the map. Hanover’s Colm Seigne and Thetford’s Layla Hannisian are athletes to watch in middle-distance events. Keep an eye on Windsor’s Daniel Dexter in hurdles and Oxbow’s Kelly Daigle in shot put.

Thetford, fresh off of a cross country state championship in the fall, should once again be locked and loaded in distance races, with Tad Darrah leading the way.

HANOVER

Coach: Steven McConnell (6).

League: NHIAA Division II.

Last Year: Boys finished eighth, girls finished 12th at states. Colm Seigne won the boys 600 and Kyle Doucette was third in the boys 55 at states. Ella Maclean was fifth in the girls 300 and Christine Aman was sixth in the 600; Doucette was 20th in the 55 and Seigne was 20th in the 600 at New Englands.

Returnees: Seniors — Dillon Bradley, Jasmine Lou, Jack Robey, Deveon Martin, Colm Seigne, Aimee Vollmann. Juniros — Christine Aman, Daniel Bandler, Matthew Bonner, Kyla Bouchard, Andrew Chen, Kyle Doucette, Lillian Hall, Quincy McBride, Sophia Nadeau, Aidan Ristino, Alex Roth, Paula Sedlacek, Anna Stafford, Abigail Wilson. Sophomores — Daniel Frost, Ella Maclean, Zoe Onyango.

Newcomers: Seniors — Abby Feyrer, Jack Lynch. Juniors — Grace Cottage, Macy Lawson, Alec McDevitt, Blake Palmer, Elizabeth Rightmire. Sophomores — Macy Demara, Mary Hedrick, Riley Roach. Freshmen — Amelia Berthold, Jessie Lichtenstein, Oscar Miller, Eleanor van Aalst.

Analysis: Colm Seigne and Kyle Doucette return as a one-two punch for Hanover’s boys; Doucette was third in the 55 at states and went on to place 20th at New Englands. Seigne made his money in the 600, winning the event at states and placing 20th at New Englands. Sixth-year head coach Steve McConnell is excited about what he has coming back this winter, even if the depth isn’t there for Hanover to compete for a team title: “We have lots of younger athletes that had success last outdoor season — Ella Maclean, Zoe Onyango, Anna Stafford and Christine Aman — who should be able to translate that success to the indoor season.” McConnell said he also likes the way his boys 4x800 team is shaping up this year.

HARTFORD

Coach: Mike Perry (26).

League: VPA Division II.

Last Year: Girls finished second, boys finished third at states. Abayomi Lowe set a state record in the boys 55, winning that and the 300 dash at states. Hartford’s girls 4x400 relay team won their event, the 4x200 team placed second and Kennedy Mullen was in the top three in three different events. Lowe was 18th in the 300 and 22nd in the 55 at New Englands. Sirois was 8th in the girls 55 at New Englands.

Returnees: Seniors — Abayomi Lowe, Hunter Noyes. Juniors — Aaron Mitchell, Daisy Phelps, Tayler Simmons, Anne Marie Schneller, Kennedy Mullen. Sophomores — Eleanor Hinckley, Gretchen Josselyn.

Newcomers: Junior — Maliya Sinclair. Sophomore — Clementine Phillip. Freshmen — Bethany Davis, Caroline Hamilton, Chloe Jensen, Kayla Burnham, Madisyn D’Amico.

Analysis: It was another stellar winter for Hartford’s robust track and field team. Its girls — led by the now-graduated Ileana Sirois and a group of talented underclassmen — helped the Canes place second at states, their best indoor finish in program history. Abayomi Lowe enters his final indoor varsity season as one of the best sprinters in the state. Expect more of the same from the Hurricanes this winter — a girls team near the top of the team standings and Lowe ahead of everybody in the sprint events.

LEBANON

Coach: Kevin Lozeau (6).

League: NHIAA Division II.

Last Year: Girls placed seventh, boys placed 13th at states. Kath Merchant won the girls shot put; Claudia Simione finished fourth in the 55. Marcus Roper won the boys shot put; Roper was 12th in the shot put at New Englands. Merchant was fourth in the girls shot put at New Englands.

Returnees: Seniors — Noel Vorachak, Collin Wainwright, Ryan Sullivan, Kevin Sullivan, Laken Mooney, Kaitlyn Merrihew, Zach Herndon, Nathaniel Cole, Sarah Ball. Juniors — Roneet Arora, Anna Bieszczad, Nathaniel Brown, Cody Davis, Emma Herndon, Jorgen Leuthauser, Claudia Simione, Abigail Snow, Michael Weeks. Sophomores — Alexander Felix, Kathryn Brennan, Thomas Belk.

Newcomers: Seniors — William Tanski. Juniors — Nathaniel Brown, Ethan Sullivan-Dupuis, Benjamin Tichner, Sam Twarog. Sophomores — Sariyah Wilson, Theodore Spencer, Klaleh Punni, Ashley Fogo, Charles Cloud. Freshmen — Sofia Amaro, Zoe Chinn, Madison Labbie, Ethan Nicodemus, Sam Shipman, Sally Tretter.

Analysis: It was a tough winter for Lebanon in 2017-18, one year removed from losing multi-event star Corinne Kennedy to graduation. This past offseason was just as unkind as the Raiders said goodbye to two of the top throwers in the states — Marcus Roper and Kath Merchant. Claudia Simione returns after finishing fourth in the 55 last season, and Ryan Sullivan is always a possible top five finisher in short distance and jumping events. Cody Davis also returns after finishing seventh in last year’s 1,500.

OXBOW

Coach: Emily Willems (8).

League: VPA Division II.

Last Year: Boys placed fourth, girls fifth at states. Boys 4x200 team placed second; Jarret Rock won the boys weight throw. Izzy Giesing won the 600; Kelly Daigle was third in the shot put and weight throw. Giesing was fifth in the 600 at New Englands.

Returnees: Seniors — Tyrus Rosten, Calvin Cook, William Douglas, Tim Hodges, Brennan Kimball, Max Klarich, Jarret Rock. Juniors — Lana Wood, Harley Wescott. Sophomores — Abby Bartlett, Kelly Daigle, Lorr Rosten, Jordan Johnson.

Newcomers: Freshmen — McKenzie Ball, Evelyn Fleming, Kimberly Grant, Helina Torres-Dindo, Samuel Corti, Tobin Durham, Josh MacDonald, Lyle Rinehimer (from Rivendell Academy).

Analysis: Longtime Oxbow standouts Hannah and Izzy Giesing have since graduated, leaving eighth-year head coach Emily Willems to figure out what comes next. The answer seems to be a well-seasoned boys team, led by Calvin Cook on throws, Max Klarich on sprints and the trio of Jarret Rock, Tim Hodges and Brennan Kimball on sprints and jumps. Hodges, Kimball, Klarich and Rock made up a 4x200 team that made an appearance at New Englands last year. The girls team is young, made up almost entirely of sophomores and freshmen. Sophomore Kelly Daigle should once again compete for one of D-II’s top spots in shot put.

SHARON

Coach: Kevin Gish (7).

League: VPA Division II.

Last Year: The Phoenix did not send any athletes to states.

Returnees: Juniors — Sophie Chesnut, Laila Reimanis, Georgia Quackenbos.

Newcomers: Senior — Hailey Sweet. Juniors — Aili Johnstone, Cassidy Lewis, Jackson Ziegler. Sophomores — Finley Ford, Mayci LeDuc, Xia Gillespie, Ellie Jacobson-Goodhue. Freshmen — Caitlyn Ryan, Ever Tofel.

Analysis: Standout Dillon Buttner has graduated, leaving the distance-running junior pair of Sophie Chesnut and Laila Reimanis with the reins. Seventh-year head coach Kevin Gish has a large team with not a lot of track experience, forcing him into some early-season experimentation. “It is very exciting to have significantly more interest in the sport,” he said. “Our captains have done a good job of recruiting. … With many new faces, it’s a matter of figuring out what events best suit them and getting them some solid training.”

THETFORD

Coaches: Charlie Buttrey and Joel Breakstone (8).

League: VPA Division II.

Last Year: Girls placed fourth, boys fifth at states. Meaggie Balch was second in the 3,000; Layla Hannisian was third in the 1,000 as a freshman. Clifford Ransom was fourth in the boys 1,500. Balch was 17th in the two mile at New Englands.

Returnees: Seniors — Anabel Reining, Hannah Schwarz, Gabirle Gaetz, Eli Kaliski, Bel Spelman, Jason Wolstenholme. Juniors — Grace Davis, Elle Dixon, Morgan Gaffney, Tad Darrah. Sophomores — Kayla Busby, Layla Hanissian, Seraphyn Payne, Nattilie Sanso, Eloise Silver-Van Meter, Samara Spelman, Olivia White, Knute Linehan.

Newcomers: Juniors — Liam Curtis, Nate O’Donnell, Stephen Prunk, Emily Trage. Sophomore — Lucas Gilman. Freshmen — Kiran Black, Sophie Prescott, Nate Neubauer, Liam Patterson, Daniel Wolstenholme.

Analysis: Meaggie Balch and Clifford Ransom have graduated, but longtime long-distance powerhouse Thetford is officially on the map following last year’s varsity indoor track debut. The boys and girls each finished in D-II’s top five as a team after years competing at a club level. Eighth-year coach Charlie Buttrey is high on middle-distance runner Layla Hannisian, who was third in the 1,000 as a freshman last season, and Tad Darrah, who will focus on long-distance events. Buttrey’s program also should get a boost after the Panthers cross country team captured a state championship in the fall.

WINDSOR

Coach: Nick Skrocki (1).

League: VPA Division II.

Last Year: The Yellowjackets did not send any athletes to states.

Returnees: Seniors — Daniel Dexter. Sophomores — Trace Petermann, Brandon Hennessey, Paige Kleefisch, Kaeli Bennett, Lexia Stanley, Linda Ricard.

Newcomers: Freshmen — Jonathan Dexter, Richard Young.

Analysis: Outdoor track and field coach Patrick Gordon is taking a break to focus on his newborn child. Nick Skrocki, the team’s throwing coach, takes over for the winter. The group is led by Daniel Dexter, a championship-caliber hurdler who competed in last year’s decathlon. Dexter finished fifth in the 110 hurdles at last year’s spring D-III state championship meet.

Editor’s Note: Newport High did not provide preview information.




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