Bears’ Seigne in it to win it

  • A finish line photograph for the 1600 meter race at New Englands shows Pierce Seigne winning the race by .04 seconds. (Courtesy North East Sports Training) Courtesy North East Sports Training

  • Pierce Seigne paces a race on June 4, 2022. (Stephen Solberg photograph) Stephen Solberg photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/22/2022 11:30:53 AM
Modified: 6/22/2022 11:30:34 AM

Pierce Seigne may have barely snuck into the fast heat for the 1,600-meter run at the New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships on June 11, but he was in it to win it.

A Hanover High senior, Seigne had won the 1,600 — which is essentially a mile — at every meet he’d competed in this year, including the NHIAA Division II state meet and the New Hampshire Meet of Champions. But against runners from much larger schools in the likes of Massachusetts and Connecticut, he wasn’t given much of a chance.

Seigne, seeded 11th, ran the race of his life that day in New Britain, Conn., diving across the finish line to win by four hundredths of a second.

He finished in 4:07.09, which broke his personal record by eight seconds, set a New England championship meet record and an all-time New Hampshire state record, and broke a 39-year-old school record in the event. The performance put Seigne in the top heat for last weekend’s Nike Outdoor Nationals in Eugene, Ore., where he finished sixth and was named an All-American.

“I saw the seed times going into the race, and they were fast,” Seigne said. “But I always have the confidence in myself that when we get on the starting line, it doesn’t really matter where you are. I always knew I had a lot more in my tank for the mile. In all the other races, I’d always negative-split my last lap, so I’d always think if I could run more consistent splits for all four laps, I could definitely run faster. Most of the time, athletes seeded toward the bottom, they’re just going for a PR, but I was going to try to win.”

In addition to starring on the track, Seigne was on the Hanover boys soccer team last fall that reached the NHIAA Division I championship game. He was also the School Council moderator, which is the equivalent of the student body president at most schools, and sang in the school’s a cappella group. Seigne was one of two student speakers at graduation, walking across the stage the evening before his big win at New Englands.

This was the last of 11 consecutive years Hanover has had a member of the Seigne family on its track roster. Pierce’s sister Siobhan, a 2015 graduate, went on to compete at the University of Rochester. Colm Seigne graduated in 2019 and ran at Connecticut College for a year before transferring to a much larger school and hanging up his spikes.

“It’s amazing. His junior year, his best time was 4:43, so he improved his time 36 seconds,” Hanover coach Steve McConnell said. “Thirty-six seconds in a marathon would be a big accomplishment, but to do it in the mile is insane. It speaks to his determination to go fast. I see him running around Hanover during the summer and in the fall, always getting his miles in. He really dedicated himself to it, and it has paid off. It’s very impressive what he’s pushed himself to be able to do.”

In the New Englands race, Seigne was in sixth place after the first lap, but McConnell knew that was because other runners had gone out too fast. He surged into the lead late in the third lap, and from there, it was between Seigne and Callum Sherry from Connecticut, a Stanford commit. Sherry briefly took the lead in the final 100 meters, but Seigne reeled him back in, and both runners launched themselves across the line in a photo finish.

The Nike Outdoor Nationals took place at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus, arguably the best-known track and field venue in the United States. Seigne showed up three hours before his heat to watch some of the other events and take in the atmosphere, but once his race began, he was locked in. He crossed the finish line in 4:10.83, although his time from New Englands would have landed him atop the podium.

Seigne’s rapid improvement over the past year has opened up his college options. He is currently committed to the Division I program at Elon University in North Carolina, which he chose over Minnesota — where he was not guaranteed a roster spot — and Division III Oberlin College.

But his stellar senior season has drawn the interest of a number of major-conference schools, and Seigne said he wants to make his decision by July 1 so he can begin training for cross country in the fall.

“I just had a really packed schedule,” Seigne said. “There’s always a lot of stuff with council to do, and then schoolwork and the college application process took a lot of time. A cappella met twice a week. But training would always be a nice little escape from all that. I had fun doing it, I had lots of friends on the team, so it would be two hours when I would just train, run, do what I like to do. I definitely took on a lot this year, so I’m glad I did it all, but I’m glad it’s all over.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at or 603-727-3302.

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