Track and field: ConVal, Conant, Mascenic hit the ground running

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal track and field team hosted Conant, Mascenic, WIndham and Souhegan on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/17/2019 1:11:38 PM

August Kotula waved off his teammates’ encouragement as he stepped to the line for the 800M run at ConVal’s home track meet on Tuesday. After a personal best in the 1,600M earlier in the day, the ConVal sophomore runner wasn’t worried about a thing.

“I don’t care what I do here, I broke five in the mile!” he shouted back.

Personal records, big wins and close finishes were all on display during Tuesday’s meet, where Conant, Mascenic, Windham and Souhegan joined the host Cougars to kick the spring track season into full gear.

ConVal’s senior star runners looked strong as ever in their races. Clare Veverka won the 400M dash in 1:04.70 and then won the mile in 5:16.53, with senior teammate Rachel Hurley right behind her; Hurley won the 800M in 2:30.70. Those two are as powerful a 1-2 punch as you’ll find.

Evan Coyne showed his range, taking second in the 200M dash and then running down Mascenic’s Landen Vaillancourt on the home stretch to win the 800M.

 ConVal’s senior long jumper Sean Boggis won that event with a leap of 20’8”

Field and wind conditions grounded the throwing events and limited ConVal’s senior discus star Savanna Hall to a few sprints, but she said she hopes to improve on her school record this spring.

Junior Del Bonsu-Anane led the ConVal underclassmen with wins in the 100M dash (11.77) and the 400M dash (53.00).

Junior Gabriel Post won the 300M hurdles in 48.17.

The young Cougars were smiling after their performance in the mile. Mascenic’s Logan Thibault won it in 4:49.19 after a chasedown of ConVal’s Harrison Kim; following Kim were two Cougar sophomores, Danny Veverka (third, 4.51.94) and August Kotula (fourth, 4:57.41).

“Considering it’s the first meet I think it went pretty well,” Kim said. “Danny and August both broke five, which is awesome, because they’ve wanted to do that for a long time. It’s awesome seeing them step up.”

Mascenic goes the distance

Thibault’s mile win was just the beginning for Mascenic, who continue to reign supreme in the distance events. Thibault, Vaillancourt, Connor Traffie and Robert McLain went 1-2-3-4 in the 3,200M.

“It's not just their ability, it's their maturity” said head coach Mike Smith. “They've really started to come in to their own.”

Thibault and Vaillancourt are ranked No. 1 and 3 in the state in the mile, with Campbell senior Jeffrey Allen at No. 2.

“When Jeffrey Allen's splitting your top two guys, you're doing pretty good,” Smith said.

Thibault, Vaillancourt, Traffie and Sam Tucker teamed up to win the 4x400M relay as well.

The Vikings’ track team is smaller than in the previous couple years, which Smith said allows for more focus; and the Mascenic boys know how to get loose, too, as they exited the track after the 1,600M and headed straight to the high jump for a few dead-legged shenanigans.

Sophomore Quinn Aldrich is the standout for the young Viking girls; after a promising start to her cross-country season in the fall, Smith thinks she’s ready to take the leap this spring.

“We know she's capable of more,” Smith said, adding that she was 23rd at the state cross-country meet but is now running with the pack who finished 10-15.

Aldrich was fourth in the 800M (2:42.01) and third in the 1,600M (5:49.89) against some stiff competion.

Freshmen Victoria Smith and Maya Callahan trained hard in the winter and look to be nice additions this spring; they’d take first and second in the all-Mascenic two-mile race, with senior Kylie Bane in third.

Sophomore Sydney Bane should also be a contributor in the middle distance.

Conant’s youngsters moving up

Conant’s home opener was curtailed by snow, so Tuesday was the Orioles’ first full meet, and the first spring action for first-year head coach Bill Edson.

“This is really our first meet,” Edson said, “so there are a lot of moving parts, we have a lot of new kids, and they're learning that track and field is a three-ring circus and herding cats combined.”

The Orioles got excellent performances from their upper-class leaders on Tuesday. Senior Isabella Mormando got her final season going in style with a second-place finish (2:38.01) in the 800M. Junior captain Abby Drew won the 100M dash in 13.38, and her twin sister Haylie won the 200M dash in 27.51 as well as the long jump with a leap of 15’ 2.25”. Senior William Luksha won the 110M hurdles and took fourth in high jump.

But for the young Conant team, the improvements were as important as the wins.

Junior Chris Taylor, primed for a big spring, was third in the 200M dash in 25.66, a fraction behind college-bound Coyne, and then hit a PR in the 400M at 56.85. Freshman Ethan Vitello PRed in the 400M as well, and sophomores Matt Bernier (sixth, 4:59.24) and Ethan Weinhold (11th, 5:14.04) set personal bests in the 1,600M.

“I'm really pleased with those performances,” Edson said. “I think our carryover with middle and long distance from winter track has been strong.”


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