In the running

For the second straight year, the Bishop Guertin High School girls track team knew it needed to place in the last event of the day to keep its Division I indoor championship streak alive.

But this time, the Cardinals didn’t just have to place in the final event – the 4×200-meter relay – they needed to do better than Bedford and Winnacunnet. With all three teams in the fastest heat, that likely meant Bishop Guertin needed a win.

Win is exactly what the Cardinals did, as Molly McCabe overcame Bedford’s Kathlyn Rooney on the final leg of the relay to give Bishop Guertin a first place in the event and a 12th consecutive track championship Sunday at Dartmouth College in Hanover.

Bishop Guertin finished with 611/3 points, beating Bedford (57) and Winnacunnet (55) in a finish that was anything but comfortable.

Londonderry (41) came in fourth and Exeter (371/3) was fifth. Nashua North (17) and Merrimack (16) finished eighth and tied for ninth, respectively, while Alvirne (11) was 13th and Nashua South (4) was 17th.

Pinkerton won its second-straight boys title, cruising to the victory by winning five events and placing in all but two events. The Astros scored 87 points with Bedford (44) and Londonderry (42) finishing a distant second and third, respectively.

Nashua North (41) came in fourth and Merrimack (37) took fifth, as the coaches of each team felt they could contend for second, but knew they should finish in the top five.

The Titans’ hopes at second were dashed when Zakari Jenkins, who finished the 300 in 36 seconds, was disqualified for a lane violation, removing 10 points from their score.

“He took too many steps outside of his lane on the top turn,” North coach Nate Burns said. “It was one of those days that it wasn’t going our way. The 300 was disappointing, but we bounced back in the 4×200.”

North’s relay team, which included Jenkins, won the event and the junior also took second in the 55. The Titans got a first place in the shot put from Julian Rendon, who threw 47-feet, 11/2 inches, and Duncan Holland also was sixth in the shot put. William Goulding came in third in the 55 hurdles and Michael Pagan added a third place in the long jump.

Merrimack was led by Nick Masella, who came in second in the 55 hurdles and fourth in the 55, while its 4×200 team came in second and the 4×800 team was fourth. But the Tomahawks were disqualified in the 4×400, which didn’t help their chase for second.

“We knew we were going to be in the top five and we were hoping to have a shot at second, but when we got DQed in the 4×400, that kind of did it,” Merrimack coach John Snell said. “It’s a young team and there were only two kids on the team who had been to this meet before. I’m very happy.”

Ben Francis took third in the 1,000 for Merrimack and Adam Floyd was fourth in the 300 while Chase Sweeney came in fifth in the long jump and Blake Williams was sixth in the 600.

Bishop Guertin took sixth with 24 points, getting a second place in the 300 from Christopher Arling and a third in the from Tyler McLaren in the 1,500. The Cardinals were also first in the 4×800 relay.

Noah Bellomo (second) and Phillip Demers (fifth) both placed in the 1,500 for Alvirne, which took ninth overall with 16 points. Robert Younghusband also came in third in the 600 for the Broncos.

South finished 11th overall with 12 points, with Evan Paterson and Brayden Hollowell taking fourth and fifth, respectively, in the shot put. Tyler Deoveno was fourth in the 1,500 and Trevor Knight finished fifth in the 55.

Going into the final event of the girls competition, the Bulldogs and Warriors were tied at 51, just a third of a point behind the Cardinals. With all three in that final heat, there was no secret that the winner of the race would be crowned the champion.

Bedford took the lead early and led going into the final lap, but McCabe wasn’t going to be denied in her final indoor championship meet.

“When I got the baton, I wasn’t thinking,” the Bishop Guertin senior said. “It was just go as fast as you can and pass this girl. I was just looking forward and just trying to stay ahead.

“It’s really incredible. Being a senior, we made a pact that we have to win. We don’t want to be the ones to end the streak.”

That streak will continue on, something that was in question before the meet started.

“The leg that Molly ran is something like I’ve never seen,” Bishop Guertin coach Rob DeSisto said. “I knew she was stronger. She’s a strong girl and she’s more determined than anybody I’ve ever seen. She was not going to be denied to win that title.”

But the Cardinals got a boost when they won the 4×800, setting a division record of 9:43.88, and another when Briana Silck won the long jump (17-51/2). Silck also came in fifth in the 55 hurdles and Bishop Guertin’s 4×400 relay team added another first place (4:04.45).

McCabe also won the 600, setting a division record of 1:33.49, while Gabby Richardson took fourth in the 1,000 and Elizabeth Goyette was fourth in the 3,000 and sixth in the 1,500. Danielle Poublon tied for sixth in the high jump.

North got a second place from Kayla Farren in the 1,000, while Heidi Ntengeri (3,000), Jexi Williams (300) and Kaleigh Dozois (shot put) each had a sixth place. The Titans also placed in the 4×400 (sixth) and the 4×800 (fourth).

Charlotte Perry led Merrimack with a third place in the long jump, while sister, Julia Perry, came in fourth in the 300. Erica Lane (1,000) and Callie Dwyer (600) both had fifth places for the Tomahawks, who were also fifth in the 4×800.

Alvirne took second in the 4×800 relay while Brittney Lambert was fifth in the high jump and Kristin Decost took sixth in the 1,000. Nashua South got a fourth place from Megan Cunningham in the shot put.

The top six from each event move on to the New England Championships on March 1.