Milford, Amherst natives compete for Flash
Granite State Flash, a New Hampshire-based youth track & field program, competed at the USATF Junior Olympics Northeast Regional Championships July 7-10 in Albany, N.Y.
Milford’s Meredith Partridge dominated the 11- 12 girls’ discus, throwing a personal record 66 feet, 3 inches to win the event by almost 8 feet ahead of the second-place thrower. She also placed 12th in the shot put (22-2 1/4).
Competing all three of his events on a single day, Amherst’s Ryan Hauser fought hard for second in the 13- 14 High Jump (5-1), as well as fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (17.40), and sixth in long jump (15-9 3/4).
They were two of 19 Flash athletes from southern New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont competing at Albany University among almost 1,300 other top athletes that had previously qualified at Association races in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.
Athletes compete in 2-year age divisions, with top five athletes in each division qualifying for the National Championship July 25-31 in Sacramento, Calif.
Two Flash girls braved the multi-event Pentathlon, competing in hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and the 800-meter run. Hollis’ Audrey Murrin (11-12, 1,405 points) and Bedford’s Marie Hamill (13-14, 1,171 points) both finished seventh in their respective age division. This was the first time either competed in the pentathlon. Audrey also finished fourth in the high jump (4-1 1/4) and ninth in the long jump (12-5 1/4).
Second places were earned by Fiona Doherty (Manchester) in the 11-12 1,500-meter run (5:16.96) and Addie Berglund (Durham) in the 11-12 3,000-meter run (12:12.39). Addie also placed 10th in both the 1,500 (5:49.12) and 800 (2:48.16). Keegan Pepin (Manchester) placed third in the 13-14 Pole Vault (6-0 3/4) and seventh in the 1,500 (5:16.58), with twin sister Katelyn finishing seventh in the 200-meter hurdles (33.53) and eighth in the 800. Sylvia Caddell (Salem) ran dominantly for a fourth in the girls 13-14 800 (2:27) and fifth in the 400 (1:03.07). Lotta Berglund (Durham) took fifth in the 8-and-under 1,500 (6:44.43) as well as sixth in the 800 (3:08.47). Delaney Collins (Ashburnham, Mass.) took a hard-fought seventh (1:06.42) in the 15-16 400, Daphne Bartkus (Westminster, Mass.) placed sixth in the 15-16 high jump (4- 9), and sister Marlena took ninth in 17-18 shot put (26-3) and 10th in javelin (47-2).
On the boys side, Flash also had much success qualifying athletes to Nationals with top-five performances. Leading the boys with the sole first-place finish was Kevin Doherty (Manchester) in the 8 and Under 800 (2:56.80), holding off two other close finishers. Kevin also took third in the 400 (1:18.25).
In the 13-14 long jump, Spencer Bartkus (Westminster, Mass.) took 13th with a 13-6 3/4 jump. Evan Thornton-Sherman (Waterford, Vt.) ran smart races to place third in the 11-12 3,000 (10:37.89) and fourth in the 1,500 (4:58.15). Younger brother Andrew placed 10th in 9-10 long jump (11-4 3/4) and 17th in the 100 dash (16.18). Jaden Preston (Manchester) qualified on with a fifth in 15-16 javelin, hitting a personal record with a throw of 97-6. He also finished sixth in high jump at 4-11. Parker Cheyne (Brookline) ran exciting races for a pair of ninth places in the 9-10 distance events, running a 5:50.77 1,500 and 2:55.58 800. Josan Williams (Concord) earned ninth in 8 and Under Javelin (37-9), 16th in long jump (7-2 3/4) and 17th in the 100 (17.79).