Hanover’s Perreard may soon capture the attention of collegiate coaches in two athletic pursuits

Summer Davis, of Lebanon, throws the javelin 48 feet, 5.5 inches in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. Sydney Schoenbeck, of Rivendell, won the event with a throw of 89 feet, 9.5 inches. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Summer Davis, of Lebanon, throws the javelin 48 feet, 5.5 inches in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. Sydney Schoenbeck, of Rivendell, won the event with a throw of 89 feet, 9.5 inches. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Hartford junior Ayodele Lowe clears 1.62 meters in the high jump before going on to win with a jump of 1.93 meters in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hartford junior Ayodele Lowe clears 1.62 meters in the high jump before going on to win with a jump of 1.93 meters in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley news photographs — James M. Patterson

Lebanon High School hosts a track meet with Hanover, Thetford, Hartford, Newport, Stevens and White River Valley in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High School hosts a track meet with Hanover, Thetford, Hartford, Newport, Stevens and White River Valley in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Oscar Gulledge, of Lebanon, sprints to a win with a time of 18.85 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Oscar Gulledge, of Lebanon, sprints to a win with a time of 18.85 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Maddox Lovely, of Newport, left, sprints to the finish as Sydney Schoenbeck, of Rivendell clears the last of the 100 meter hurdles in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. They finished first and second with times of  16.37 seconds and 16.67 seconds respectively. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Maddox Lovely, of Newport, left, sprints to the finish as Sydney Schoenbeck, of Rivendell clears the last of the 100 meter hurdles in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. They finished first and second with times of 16.37 seconds and 16.67 seconds respectively. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Lea Perreard

Lea Perreard

Rachel Horak, right, pulls her Lebanon teammates, from left, Grace D'Entremont, Daniel Calderon-Rios, and Ryle Isuga, while picking up blocks and hurdles around the track after the 300 meter hurdles races during a meet with Hanover, Thetford, Hartford, Newport, Stevens and White River Valley in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Rachel Horak, right, pulls her Lebanon teammates, from left, Grace D'Entremont, Daniel Calderon-Rios, and Ryle Isuga, while picking up blocks and hurdles around the track after the 300 meter hurdles races during a meet with Hanover, Thetford, Hartford, Newport, Stevens and White River Valley in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, April 24, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news — James M. Patterson

Oscar Gulledge

Oscar Gulledge

Mike Perry

Mike Perry

Jeffrey Vidou

Jeffrey Vidou

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 04-24-2024 5:08 PM

LEBANON — Lea Perreard’s wrists are wrapped in bracelets. How many? The Hanover High sophomore isn’t sure, but 15 would be a solid guess.

Rubber bracelets, woven bracelets, string bracelets with beads on them. It takes Perreard roughly five minutes to carefully remove them, but only when absolutely necessary.

That’s coincidentally about the time the Bears’ star needed to lead the field in the mile during Tuesday’s nine-team track meet at Lebanon High. Perreard ran 5 minutes, 14 seconds, besting second-place Anita Miller of White River Valley by eight seconds and nearly lapping the event’s final finishers.

“I was really nervous with all the wind and how it hasn’t been this hot for a while,” Perreard said. “These (early season) races help my confidence, but they also create pressure because if I do well, expectations go up.”

Perreard said runs of up to 10 kilometers with her father, Laurent, a Dartmouth research scientist, during the COVID-19 pandemic, got her interested in the sport. Winning races during seventh grade brought out her competitiveness. She was second at last year’s NHIAA Meet of Champions in 5:17.

Perreard said she hasn’t yet received college recruiting attention, but when it comes, it may also be for Nordic skiing. She won a five-kilometer skate-style race in that sport at the junior nationals this season.

“When I run, that’s my favorite sport, and then when I ski, I feel the same way about that,” she said.

Lebanon sophomore Oscar Gulledge won the 110-meter hurdles in 18.85 seconds, but the hurdlers struggled with the wind all afternoon. One crash-landed on the track behind Gulledge, drawing oohs and ahhs from spectators, many of whom empathetically winced.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Hartford parts with state champion girls hockey coach
Upper Valley Memorial Day ceremonies 2024
Upper Valley Memorial Day ceremonies 2024
Lebanon employers seek to meet workers’ child care needs
Kenyon: By charging for after school program, CCBA loses sight of its mission
5 things to know about Memorial Day, including its evolution and controversies

How many hurdles did Gulledge hit?

“It felt like all of them,” he said with a laugh. “Once you hit one it messes you up, because it throws off your steps. I should have adjusted, but I got the yips.”

How does Hartford do it? Year after year, the Hurricanes are more than competitive in track without having … a track.

Thirtieth-year coach Mike Perry looked downcast while discussing the situation. Hartford has somehow won the last two VPA Division II boys indoor titles and the girls version in 2020. Outdoors, the Hurricane boys were third in their division the last two years.

“We have running loops on campus and in the (adjacent) neighborhood, but practicing hurdling on grass isn’t easy,” said Perry, whose indoor competitors practice in the school halls. “I give all the credit to the kids for doing the best with what we have.”

Hartford athletic director Jeff Moreno was a member of Perry’s first title team, in 1994, and he’s worked to provide the Hurricanes with jumping practice areas and pits, along with a throwing cage. Still …

“It’s disheartening,” Perry said, noting that efforts to build a Hartford track have run into funding problems and bureaucratic red tape. “You want more for the kids.”

Hanover’s Jeffrey Vidou ran placed fourth in the 400 meters on Tuesday in 53.9 seconds, and he hopes to run for touchdowns at Maine’s Bates College beginning in the fall.

Although possessing a walk-on offer to play at the NCAA Division I level with the University of New Hampshire, he chose the Division III Bobcats.

“Division I is my dream, but I felt like I couldn’t be a full academic person there,” said Vidou, who was a standout running back and linebacker for the Bears and whose physique shows the results of his weight-room work.

“I was willing to sacrifice for the balance between school and sports.”

Vidou expects to play slot receiver for Bates, which was 0-9 last season and is 8-37 the last six years. The Bobcats are on their fourth head coach since 2017. Hartford High graduates and brothers Tyler and Kyle Hamilton recently played for Bates.

“They said they want to get me the ball quick and let me make plays,” Vidou said.

Notes: Hanover will stage the first meet at its resurfaced track on Tuesday. It’s named for the late Chris Brown, a former middle school coach and varsity assistant. Bears coach Steve McConnell said he was waiting on start and finish lines and other markings to be laid down. The facility was updated during last summer. … McConnell said his son, Jordan, a 6-foot-11 basketball player for Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., helped his team win a league title and is hoping to play for an Ivy League program or a Division III school such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Jordan McConnell once skated for the Hanover Wild youth hockey organization before focusing on basketball. … Lebanon athletic director Mike Stone said he hopes the school can host an invitational meet with more than a dozen teams next season. The Raiders, who received refurbished track facilities during the summer of 2022, went many years without a home meet because of deteriorating surface conditions.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.