Coffey repeats as D-I shot put champ
HAMPTON – It may not have been the best overall day for Merrimack High School as a team, but the Tomahawks were able to celebrate Jen Coffey’s repeat performance in the shot put.
Coffey hurled the weighted ball 37 feet, 31/4 inches to victory.
“I hadn’t done well recently, but (Friday) felt really good,” Coffey said. “Two time D-I champ (in the shot put) is pretty nice. There’s always that pressure, but big meets like this, you’ve got to forget about it and just throw the best that you can.”
Coffey also grabbed second in the discus and sixth in the javelin to round out a solid day individually. Like the shot put, her runner-up in the discus also happened in back-to-back seasons.
A nice finish for a senior who helped Merrimack win the Division I girls volleyball title and will play volleyball at Quinnipiac University in the fall.
“Winning the volleyball championship, then winning indoor in the shot put, then winning it in outdoor, so three times with a championship as a senior … this year has just been unbelievable,” she said. “It’s a pretty nice way to finish high school.”
The Tomahawks as a track team didn’t finish as strong, with the girls in seventh and boys 17th by meet’s end.
The Nashua High School North boys on the other hand were celebrating, oddly enough, another outdoor track championship.
Not odd in the sense it’s strange, but odd in that, if it’s an odd-numbered year, the Titans are taking home the Division I championship.
North captured its third title in five years – the previous ones in 2011 and 2013 – thanks in part to a strong showing in the long jump, scoring 81 points to finish ahead of Londonderry (77 points) at Friday’s Division I meet, held at Winnacunnet High School.
Leading the way for the Titans was senior Zak Jenkins, who for the second year in a row won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Those two wins, along with Jordan Buckmire’s first place and Edward Vargas’ third place in the long jump, helped put North on top.
“We knew going in, it was the head-to-head events, the long jump, the pole vault, the triple jump,” North coach Nate Burns said. “Those were the big events. We had had a couple of weeks where the kids weren’t really performing well, but they stepped up.
“Long jump sealed the deal, it was unbelievable. I thought they could do it, but to have it happen was awesome.”
Pinkerton took third with 67 points and Timberlane finished fourth with 53 while Bedford rounded out the top five with 49. Alvirne came in eighth with 24 points while Bishop Guertin (20) tied for 10th,
Nashua South (12) finished 14th and Merrimack (2) tied for 17th.
The girls meet wasn’t as close, as Bedford won its third title in a row with 116.5 points, and Londonderry took second with 75. Exeter was third with 59.5 points and Pinkerton took fourth with 54, while North came in fifth, scoring 51 points.
Bishop Guertin (36) came in sixth and Merrimack (35) was right behind in seventh, while Alvirne (5) was 14th. Nashua South competed, but didn’t have anyone finish in the top six.
Jenkins turned in a stellar performance in his final division meet, winning both the 100 and 200 for the second year in a row. He finished the 100 in 11.2 seconds, just two-hundredths of a second ahead of Concord’s Angel Feliz, and won the 200 in 22.48.
“It’s going to be tough losing him,” Burns said of Jenkins. “He’s a kid that is irreplaceable. To have him do what he’s done the last four years, and to have him (double) repeat is unbelievable.”
Buckmire, a sophomore, had a big day as well, finishing first in the long jump with a leap of 20-6, besting Londonderry’s Starlin Ortiz by half an inch. Buckmire was also second in the triple jump, finishing second to Ortiz, who also won the high jump and the 110 hurdles.
Duncan Holland also had a first place, winning the discus (139-5), while also taking fifth in the shot put. Vargas was also third in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump, while was Morley Kert third in the pole vault and Matt Lavallee was fourth in the shot put.
Jenkins also teamed with Vargas, Connor Baldassaro and Randell Jenkins to win the 4×100 relay in 43.35 seconds, and the Titans also came in fifth in the 4×400 and the 4×800. Alvirne’s Noah Bellomo won the 800 in 1:55.42, turning it on in the final lap to pass several competitors on his way to the victory. Kendall Westhoff added a second place in the 3,200 for the Broncos and Ethan Rainville finished third in the discus.
Bishop Guertin got second places from Nick Lorden (high jump) and Tom Lampognana (pole vault) and fifth places from Justin Thompson (200) and Alex Arika (triple jump).
Evan Paterson was the top scorer for the Panthers, finishing third in the shot put. Terrell Lewis came in fifth in the 300 hurdles and was sixth in the 110 hurdles, while teammates Mathew Guay and Tyler Plourde finished fifth and sixth in the pole vault.
Merrimack got a sixth place from Benjamin Parent in the 400 and from Nick Kachmar in the long jump.
Bedford cruised to the win thanks to great performances from Letti Hibbard (first 100 hurdles, second high jump and long jump), Anika Hibbard (first high jump, third long jump) and Gwenyth Winship won the 400, was second in the 200 and anchored the first place 4×400 and 4×800 relays.
The Titans got a big day from Taylor Choate, as she finished second in the 100 and third in the 200, and Adaeze Okorie, who was second in the 400. The pair also teamed with Gabrielle Masseur and Nicole De Almeida to win the 4×100 (49.44) and finish second in the 4×400.
Amanda Stumpf came in second in the javelin for the Titans while North’s 4×800 relay team also finished fifth and Sierra Mullin was sixth in the pole vault.
Briana Silck led Bishop Guertin with a first place in the triple jump, leaping 36-1?4. Chloe Conway finished second in the 1,600 and third in the 800 while Danielle Poublon tied for third in the high jump. The Cardinals’ 4×800 relay team came in third.
Scoring along with Coffey for the Merrimack were Siaoli Wright, who finished second in the 300 hurdles, Kathlyn Torrens, who was fourth in the triple jump. The Tomahawks also got fifth places from Brittaney Gravallese in the 800 and Kellie Mathewson in the pole vault.
Alvirne got points from Erin Rosier, who came in fourth in the 100 hurdles, and Emily Barry, who was sixth in the triple jump.
The top six finishers from each event advance to the Meet of Champions, which will be held at 2 p.m. June 6 at Londonderry High School.