Tops on the track
The Division I boys and girls high school track championships were heading toward a fantastic finish Sunday, but Pinkerton Academy’s distance runners and Bedford’s high jumpers had other plans.
With the Astros a distant third through 15 events – trailing Bedford and Nashua North – Pinkerton was able to take the top three spots in the 3,200-meter race and leapt ahead of both teams to capture the boys title at Winnacunnet High School.
Pinkerton scored an even 100 points to finish ahead of Bedford (79) and North (71), which was trying to win its second title in a row.
Meanwhile, the Bedford girls had four athletes place in the high jump – good for 24 points – to pull within 2 1/2 points of Londonderry with just the 4×400-meter relay to go. The Bulldogs won the relay – and the Lancers finished fifth – to win their second straight division title.
Bedford finished with 86 points, winning the title in the final event for the second year in a row, ahead of Londonderry (80) and Winnacunnet (73).
“It feels amazing to fight back from a crazy meet, like track and field usually turns out to be,” Bedford girls coach Noah Pion said. “We relied on the relay at the end and we knew we could win (the relay). Other factors we couldn’t control, but it worked in our favor.”
Johanna Celli, Katie Ho Sang, Mollie Redman and Gwenyth Winship turned in a time of 3 minutes, 59.97 seconds to win the 4×400 relay for the second year in a row.
Winship also finished first in the 400 (57.66 seconds) and Celli was second in the 100 and fourth in the 200, but it was in the high jump that the Bulldogs really won the meet.
Anika Hibbard won the event, clearing 5-6, with Letti Hibbard taking second. Emma Bzik was fourth and Michelle Morrison fifth to give Bedford two dozen points.
Letti Hibbard also took third in the 100 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles, while Anika Hibbard was also third in the long jump.
Redman finished third in the 300 hurdles and Megan Poremba was fifth in the discus and Natalie Giraldi was fifth in the 100. Janelle Makmann (javelin) and Riley Blue (100 hurdles) were both sixth in their events.
Ho Sang and Winship also teamed with Rebecca Rooney and Danielle Angelini to finish fourth in the 4×800 relay. About the only thing that went wrong for the Bedford girls was in the 4×100 relay, which the Bulldogs didn’t finish after a botched handoff.
The Bedford boys were leading the meet before Pinkerton’s crushing win in the 3,200. They got there thanks in part to Rob Flynn’s win in the 400 (50.05) and Keelan McCoole’s win in the high jump (6-4).
The 4×800 relay team of Flynn, Ryan Wittenberg, Ty Benson and Matt Gould also finished first (8:15.09).
Nate Jaeger finished second in the 110 hurdles and was fourth in the 300 hurdles.
Tyler Cibotti came in second in the long jump and Sean Brodeur took third in the shot put.
Wittenberg was fourth in the 400 and Scott Daly and Tristam Winship were fifth in the 1,600 and 3,200, respectively. Tyler Krause was fourth in the pole vault and sixth in the high jump.
Austin D’Anjou, Mackenzie Turgeon, Brandon Levenstein and Connor Harrison took fifth in the 4×100 relay, while Flynn, Wittenberg, Michael Giraldi and Shay Evans were second in the 4×400.
Bishop Guertin came in 13th with 12 points, led by Lukas Atwood, who was fourth in the shot put, and Alex Arika, who was fourth in the triple jump. The Cardinals were also fourth in the 4×800.
Bishop Guertin was fifth with 43 points. The Cardinals got a couple of second places, as Briana Silck was runner-up in the triple jump and Gabby Richardson was second in the 800. Rachel Pelletier came in fifth in the 400 while Molly McCabe finished fifth in the 800 and was sixth in the 400.
Amy Vegliante was fifth in the pole vault, but suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury during the competition; no update was available at press time. Ellie Goyette and Carolyn Nichols each took sixth in the 1,600 and triple jump, respectively.
The Cardinals also won the 4×800 relay and placed third in the 4×400 and fifth in the 4×100.
The top six from each event advance to Saturday’s Meet of Champions, which will be held at Londonderry High School.