Track and field: Records fall at Meet of Champions; ConVal, Conant, Mascenic, WLC punch tickets to New Englands

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  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/2/2019 1:27:38 PM

ConVal’s Evan Coyne sprinted down the UNH football field in the setting sun Saturday night, leapt in the air, and whooped. He and his teammates had just broken the school record in the 4x400M relay, but when the dust settled on the second heat, they really had something to celebrate.

“We don’t have to go to marching practice!” Coyne shouted as he and fellow senior Carter Hunt took off over the turf to meet coach Lance Flamino on the sideline. 

ConVal’s time of 3:30.87 won the first 4x4 heat and held up after the second to put the Cougars in third overall, good enough to send Coyne, Hunt, Nick Drummond and Bonsu-Anane to the New England Championships in Saco, Maine next Saturday – the same day as ConVal’s graduation. They won’t be alone, either, as teammates Rachel Hurley and Clare Veverka qualified as New Hampshire’s best, along with Conant’s Haylie Drew, Wilton-Lyndeborough’s Samuel Bailey and Mascenic’s 4x800M relay team.

In all, four ConVal school records fell on Saturday afternoon. 

“I don’t think it gets much better than that,” said Flamino. 

Veverka had a historic day on the track, breaking the ConVal school record in both the 800M, where she finished fourth in 2:18.92, and the 1600M, where she also finished fourth, in 5:02.41.

“That was kind of the goal every year, but this year it just came together,” Veverka said. “Good health, great teammates, great coaches, all came together to make this happen. It takes a village – it takes a village.”

“I like a lot of the technical stuff about coaching,” Flamino said, “but having it work out for an athlete that’s put in a lot of time and effort is really rewarding.”

Fellow senior Rachel Hurley didn’t quite equal last week’s school-record time in the 3,200M; still, she finished third in 11:04.12 after leading in the sixth lap and then succumbing to a last-gasp push by Merrimack Valley freshman Sophia Reynolds, who collapsed over the finish line in 10:57.99.

Hurley has qualified for the New Englands, which means she’ll have two races next Saturday – the 3,200M, of course, and, after she gives her salutatorian speech and hops in the car, the 122-miler from ConVal to Saco for the meet.

With Hurley’s 3,200M mark, Veverka’s 800M and 1,600M and the pair’s share of the 4x800M relay record they set last year, the longtime running partners will graduate with ther names all over the ConVal record books.

“Rachel and I, we’ve got four records on that board now,” Veverka said. “It feels really good. It’s all coming together. All the years, hard work with my teammates and my coaches, it all came together today and hopefully next week at New Englands.”

Earlier in the day, Bonsu-Anane set an individual school record of his own, shaving fractions of a second off his 400M time to finish third in 50.48.

“That was my main goal,” Bonsu-Anane said. “I didn’t care about my place too much, I just wanted to break the record before the end of the season.”

Bonsu-Anane, who battled through a midseason ankle injury, also finished 10th in the 200M dash in 23.99. He credited his breakthrough season on the extended soccer and basketball seasons he played in earlier this year, as ConVal’s soccer championship and basketball Final Four appearance kept him active for a few extra weeks.  

Fresh off last week’s Division II third-place finish in the boys’ 3,200M, ConVal’s Harrison Kim was 14th in the event on Saturday, finishing in 10:14.35.

Coyne’s individual race, the 800M, was a tight one, and his time of 2:01.29 was less than a second back of the sixth-place Meet of Champions berth on which he’d set his sights. But when the results of the day’s final event, the 4x800M relay came across the big screen as the Cougars watched from midfield, he knew his high school career would march on, one more week.

“This is the biggest team we’ve had in a long time,” Flamino said, “and that brought its own challenges with it. Early in the season, with the bad weather, we were bumping up against some challenges in getting everyone on board. But our upperclassmen, our seniors, kept their nose to the grindstone. Everyone who was here today, they were as focused on Day One as they were a week ago. I’m really glad it paid off. They deserve it. They worked really hard...They didn’t get there by chance.”

Conant, Mascenic, and Wilton-Lyndeborough had their day in the sun, too. 

The Vikings’ lone entry in the Meet of Champions set a school record in the 4x800M relay, breaking the mark set last year at MOC’s. 

Mascenic’s team of Landen Vaillancourt, Logan Thibault, Dakota Somero and Connor Traffie broke out for a fifth-place finish in 8:18.48, as the freshman Traffie made a bold move down the stretch of the anchor leg to pass Coe-Brown’s Porter Heigis and stumble through the finish, onto the turf and then into the waiting arms of his teammates.

Last year’s 4x8 team went Thibault-Somero-Vaillancourt and then-senior DJ Turner, and Mascenic head coach Mike Smith had to tinker with the team to find the right mix this season before settling on the freshman Traffie, who made his final pass with reckless abandon. Sixth would have been good enough for a New England Championship berth, but Traffie went above and beyond.

“I don’t think he really knew what he was doing,” Smith said, “which sometimes is for the better.”

After the race, Thibault, who’ll attend UNH next year, was honored with New Hampshire Track and Field’s Larry Martin Book Award in a ceremony at midfield. 

Wilton-Lyndeborough’s senior thrower, Samuel Bailey, was faced with stiff competition, as always, but still made the cut in discus, where he finished third with a throw of 142’3”, and in shotput, where he took third with a throw of 49’7”.

Conant’s down-to-business season kept on rolling, as Haylie Drew set a personal best in the long jump at 16’5”, putting her in a tie for fourth place and qualifying her for the Meet of Champions. 

“I just hit it pretty good,” Drew said. “I felt really comfortable, I felt warm, and my steps were just amazing.”

Drew also competed in the triple jump, finishing ninth in 32’7.75” and ran a leg of the 4x400M relay, as Conant brought a sizable contingent to MOCs after last week’s strong showing at the Division III meet.

“We didn’t think our team was going to do that well at states, but we had half our team qualify,” Drew said. 

Abby Drew also competed in the long jump, finishing ninth in 15’10.75” and ran the 100M dash, but came up hobbled in the preliminary heat and wound up in 16th in 13.59.

Senior Isabella Mormando teamed with Haylie Drew, Alleigh Lipinsky and Giana Sangermano for the 4x400M relay, where the Orioles finished 17th in 4:36.73. Mormando, a one-time middle distance star, morphed into a relay runner this year, embodying the 2019 Orioles’ team-first attitude.

“In my freshman, sophomore year, it was mainly about me, my personal performance,” Mormando said. “I wanted to move on for myself. This year, that changed a lot. I went into states really, really just wanting that 4x4, I think that was our goal. I’ve never really had any relay teams with that much success through my years in high school. This year was a really cool year. I’m really sad to be leaving but I know all my teammates are going to do great things.”

The legacies left behind by this senior class of 2019 are far-reaching, and left their mark in tangible ways, especially at ConVal, where they rewrote the record books.

“We just set expectations for ourselves, and expectations for the group,” Veverka said. “We’re not like past groups, we’re this group, and we’re going to work hard every day to be the best that we can. As one of our core values is, as it says on the back of this shirt, be the best at being better, and those were the expectations we set for one another.”

There’s no way to know how long the newly set records will stand, but Veverka – who’ll run at Quinnipiac University in the fall – said she hopes a future class will take her place on the board someday.

“I’d be so happy if those records get broken,” Veverka said, “because my teammates – well, they’re not going to be my teammates, but they are in a way, even when I’m away at college, they are my team – I want to see them be the best they can be, and if that means getting three minutes in the 800, great, if that means breaking the record, great. It’s just the best that they can be and that’s so rewarding to see.”




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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