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ConVal relay team sets school record at New Englands; Mascenic, WLC in elite company

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough compete at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Sunday, June 10, 2018 12:34PM

The ConVal girls’ 4x800M relay team broke the school record for the third straight week at the New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday.

“It’s really exciting,” said ConVal senior Maddy Garland, who ran the first leg for the relay team consisting of herself, freshman Lila White and juniors Rachel Hurley and Clare Veverka. “[The 4x800 team] really took off toward the end of the season when we all decided to commit to it.”

ConVal finished 15th in the 31-team race that pitted the best high school racers from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut against one another. The Cougars’ time of  9:42.19 broke the school record, shaving two seconds off their previous best, set last week at the Meet of Champions.

“That’s also really exciting, to keep progressing as the season goes on,” Garland said. As the relay team’s lone senior, Garland’s last race of her ConVal career was also her first on her new home track, as she’ll be a member of the UNH team next year. 

“It’s definitely a very happy/sad kind of day,” Garland said. “It’s an end and also a first. It’s my last day of ConVal but also my first run on where I’ll be for the next four years. Couldn’t be a better ending.”

Garland credited the springy UNH track – “it feels like you’re running on a trampoline!” – and the adrenaline of the big venue for boosting the Cougars into record-breaking territory. A converted 400M sprinter who joined the 4x8ooM team for the first time this year, Garland hit the final turn of the first leg with authority to put ConVal in striking distance.

“I’m not as in tune with myself as other distance runners are, knowing their splits,” Garland said, “so I just give it all I can for the first two laps and then whatever I have left, I give it all out. That’s usually where people start to burn out, so I try and use that as an advantage to turn it on.”

Garland handed off to White, who more or less held her ground through 800 meters. White gave the baton to Hurley, who came out a little too fast, coach Lance Flamino said, but didn’t surrender much as she powered through her second lap. Veverka cruised through her first lap and then hit the burners down the stretch to beat the clock and the record.

In individual competition for the Cougars, ConVal junior runner Evan Coyne broke his personal best in the 800M, where he placed 20th of 32. Coyne finished sub-two minutes for the second straight week, with his time of 1:58.99 slicing a fraction off last week’s 1:59.23.

Bailey keeps getting better

Wilton-Lyndeborough thrower Sam Bailey continues to rise with his competition as he progresses. The Warrior junior set a personal record (46’8”) in shot put at the Meet of Champions last week and broke that Saturday with a throw of 47’10.5”. 

“I’ve been doing a lot better in practice,” Bailey said. “I wanted to get to 47’ and I almost got to 48’.”

Bailey said an improvement in his footwork in the past few weeks helped him get that extra heft.

“I felt more balanced, things were finally just coming together at the end of the season, which is good,” Bailey said.

Bailey finished 23rd of 29. He’d also throw the discus Saturday, finishing 27th of 30 with a 125’1”.

Vikings try to keep the pace

Mascenic’s 4x800M looked to improve their own school record Saturday after their blistering 8:18.67 at the Meet of Champions, but it wasn’t to be. The Vikings finished 21st of 30 in 8:26.23. 

Junior Logan Thibault, who ran the opening leg, said the high level of competition threw off his pace a bit.

“At states, I had such a gap after the first leg that we were in control of the race,” Thibault said. “Here, we’re racing guys that are under two minutes in the first heat. It’s a lot different.”

Thibault said he came out a little hot trying to chase the leaders and spent too much energy early on.

“Just competitive nature alone, you want to win the leg or the heat at least,” Thibault said. “I could tell I was gassed  by those last 150 meters.”

Nonetheless, this Vikings team – Thibault, freshman Landen Vaillancourt, sophomore Dakota Somero and senior DJ Turner – etched their names in the record books.

“We feel pretty accomplished,” Thibault said. “It was nice to be able to run that and be successful at it.”