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track and field

Fafard takes first at Meet of Champs

Barrett, Haase headed to New Englands

  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.
  • Mascenic junior Tim Fafard captured the state title in the boys 3200 meter run at the Meet of Champions held at Londonderry high school on May 7.

Mascenic’s Tim Fafard headed into Saturday’s Meet of Champions a little perturbed.

During last year’s Meet of Champions, Fafard lost the state 3200 crown by just three seconds to Concord’s B.J. Smith. Then in November Fafard was out-kicked by Coe-Brown’s Jeremy Brassard during the cross country state championships, losing by just four-tenths of a second.

After losing two state titles by a total of three and a half seconds, Fafard broke through and won his first state crown on Saturday in the boys 3200 meter run with a time of 9:33.73.

The time is a new personal best for Fafard, and impressive to be sure, but it’s how he ran tactically without error that should instill fear in his opponents at next weekends New England Championships.

When the gun sounded on Saturday evening, Souhegan’s Eli Moskowitz, who qualified for the event with a seed time more than 20 seconds faster than any other entrant, darted out to the front of the pack.

Over the course of the next four laps, Moskowitz did nothing but put more space between himself and the chase pack consisting of Fafard, Josh Fontaine of Lebanon, and Alvirne’s Kendall Westhoff.

“For the first six laps, I felt horrible. My legs weren’t working,” recalled Fafard. “I settled in to the pace in third place thinking to myself that if I get third I’m going to be so upset.”

As the race played out and Moskowitz began to dip into cruise control, Fafard’s coach Mike Smith yelled at Fafard from across the track, “You have to bear down — get a move on!”

Fafard responded to his coach’s voice despite his legs not feeling right for the majority of the race.

“After I heard coach I started going and began to feel better,” said Fafard.

Moskowitz had stopped putting distance between himself and the chase pack with just under two laps to go.

“My coach kept yelling that Eli wasn’t putting distance between us anymore,” recalled Fafard. “I didn’t believe him. But then I looked up and realized that I was catching Eli.”

With just under 300 meters left in the race, Fafard passed Moskowitz.

“I could hear a ton of people screaming on the sideline from the moment I started to catch him. As soon as I passed him I knew I had to sprint the whole way,” said Fafard.

Coach Smith smiled as Fafard threw his hands up, crossing the finish line with the first state title of his already brilliant high school career.

“I was able to hold [Moskowitz] off by giving it all I had,” said Fafard who will move on to the New England Championships held at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass., on June 14.

Fafard will be trying to improve on his 20th place finish at last years New England meet.

“My goal is top eight. I know that I have to settle in and run what I know I can run. Unlike last year when I sprinted and tired myself out during the first mile,” Fafard said.

Joining Fafard at New Englands will be Conant’s Justin Haase and ConVal’s Cory Barrett, who both captured forth in their respective events.

Haase threw 44 feet, 9.75 inches in the shot put.

“I wanted a new personal best today, but came up one and a half feet short. But my goal was to make it to next weekend and I did that,” said Haase following his final throw.

ConVal’s Cory Barrett ran 22.86 in the 200 meter dash.

“Cory has had hamstring and quad injuries, significantly limiting his workouts in the last two weeks. His performance in the last two meets has slipped some as a result,” said ConVal head coach Thomas Mbungo. Barrett’s time of 22.86 is almost half a second off of his personal best this spring.

A pair on ConVal seniors saw their track and field careers come to a close at Saturday’s meet as Kyle Murray and Haley Zanga performed well, coming up just short of qualifying for New Englands.

“I was really excited to go to MOCs and I was happy to make finals,” said Murray, who finished eighth and will attend Adelphi University in Long Island, N.Y. next fall with plans to study computer science.

“I wanted to set a new personal best at my last meet, but it didn’t happen. Just to go [to Meet of Champions] was an awesome experience,” reflected Murray.

Murray, who threw the shot put 44 feet, .75 inches, saw his last attempt soar through the air only to be called a foul.

“It was a bitter end watching that third throw go foul. I’ll miss throwing with all my buddies and the coaches,” said Murray.

Zanga ran 16.58 in the 100 meter hurdles, finishing eleventh.

“I could have done better if I had gotten a faster start. I was nervous at first because I knew their was a lot of good competition,” said Zanga who will attend Hartwick college in Oneonta, N.Y. next fall with plans to major in biology.

“I’m going to miss coach the most. He pushed me and believed in me most. I’ll also miss the team, we were like a family. I’ll miss competing at track meets, but I am overall happy with how may career went,” said Zanga.

Dylan Fisher can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235, or dfisher@ledgertranscript.com.

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