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Local champions abound at Division III track and field meet

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the Division III track and field championship at Winnisquam High School in Tilton on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:29PM

Conant senior Taylor Banish was only entered in the javelin and pole vault at Saturday’s Division III track and field championships, but she found herself running sprints anyway. Banish was next up on the vault when she spotted her brand new pole bouncing up and down in the distance, on the shoulder of a competitor who’d accidentally walked off with the wrong one. So, she ran a quick 200 meters to retrieve it.

“I guess she’ll be warmed up now,” joked Conant field coach Carlos Fuertes as Banish booked it on the muggy, 80-degree day.

New pole in hand, Banish rose above her competition, clearing 9 feet for the first time in her career to win the event. 

“I like it,” Banish said of her improved equipment, which she said was stiffer and six inches taller than the previous model. “It’s better than my old one.”

It was the latest addition to the arsenal for Banish, who’s improved notably each year since setting her sights on the school record of 9’3” after Jammie Mascitti hit that mark in 2016. Back then, Banish had just started clearing 7’6” consistently; she added a foot to that in a year’s time, and with another few inches, the record could be hers.

“I didn’t think it was really going to happen at first,” Banish said, “but it’s pretty close now.”

Banish took a run at the record Saturday, but came up short of her attempt at 9’4”. Still, her 9’ clearance was plenty for first, outscoring Fall Mountain senior Madison Parrott, who got over 8’6” – adding a foot to her 2017 mark – but nothing higher.

Banish will have another shot next weekend at the Meet of Champions at Merrimack High School.

“I really want to get the school record,” Banish said “Hopefully I will get a little more comfortable with the pole.”

Suzie Moore of Londonderry and Skyler Bomba of Alvirne both cleared 10’ at the Division I meet, and Sarah Morin won Division II at 9’10”.

Banish also took third in the javelin at 107’1”, behind freshman Jasmine Peterson of Newfound (121’9”) and senior Joslyn Lanteigne of Berlin (107’7”).

The Burner cools his jets

Mascenic senior DJ Turner hates the 800M run.

“It’s the worst distance there is,” Turner said. “It’s a sprint, and then in the second lap, you have to sprint even harder.”

However, he ran the final leg of the 4x800M relay in the final DIII meet of his career – and somehow, he was as relaxed as ever.

It didn’t hurt that junior Logan Thibault staked the Vikings a huge lead in the first two laps, which freshman Landen Vaillancourt and sophomore Dakota Somero easily held. By the time Turner got the baton, it was all but over, and after he widened the gap with a big push in the first 100 meters, “the Burner” finally had a chance to cool down, with head coach Mike Smith urging him on from the sidelines.

“I think this is the only time he’s said ‘DJ, relax!’ in a race,” Turner said. “He always tells me ‘DJ, what are you doing? Pick up the pace!’ And today I was kind of relieved. It was the best feeling ever.”

Turner crossed the finish line, arms raised in victory, as the Vikings took first in 8:24.32. Mascenic’s time would have put them third in Division II, fifth in Division I and sixth overall.

The two Drews improve, move on

Conant’s Abby Drew had her eyes on Gabby Isabelle of Winnisquam all day. The two sophomores went head-to-head in the long jump, where Isabelle launched a good one and Drew faulted right off the bat.

“Usually I pick out one specific girl who looks good and I try to beat her [jump],” Drew said.

Last year, that wasn’t going to happen, as Bow’s Dominique Biron edged out Drew and set the DIII record in the process. This year, Drew focused on Isabelle, and shortly thereafter, busted out a huge jump of 16’2.25” to win the event.

Drew then moved on to the 100M sprint, where she looked a few lanes to her left and found Isabelle again.

“I thought she was in front of me the while time,” Drew said. “We were neck and neck, and at the last second I just went a little faster and beat her.”

Drew beat Isabelle for first place by just three one-hundreths of a second, winning in 13.25 to Isabelle’s 13.28. She’ll return to the Meet of Champions for the second straight year and will look to bring her experience from last year with her.

“Once I was there, there was a lot more competition,” Drew said. “They even looked stronger and tougher and faster, but I just had to push more. I feel more confident in myself too, feel like I’ve gotten stronger as a sprinter and I’m able to stay with them up there.”

Nashua South senior Crismeily Borg won Division I at 12.65 and Hanover freshman Ella MacLean took Division II at 12.88. Drew’s time would have put her sixth in both DI or DII, or 11th overall.

Twin sister Haylie Drew had a big day as well. New to the pole vault this year, she didn’t quite hit her high water mark, but her 7’0” was good enough to tie her for fifth place with Campbell senior Shelby Phillips.

In between bands of driving rain at the end of the day, Haylie also competed in the 200M, in which she’d placed third in 2017. There, she shaved a fraction off her PR and finished first in 27.25, earning a trip to the Meet of Champions next weekend. Last year, she finished tenth there.

WLC’s Bailey in throwing events

Once again, Wilton-Lyndeborough junior Sam Bailey was thwarted in the javelin by Berlin’s Joey Fodor. Fodor’s toss carried nearly to the long jump pit, all eyes turning toward the projectile as it sailed through the gray sky, wind whipping it and foreshadowing the coming storm. It landed at 187’06, shattering the DIII record by a good 19 feet.

After that, the javelin throw was purely academic. Bailey took ninth in 135’4”.

Bailey made a bigger splash in the shotput, where he improved his toss three inches over last year’s fourth-place finisher of 42’3”. With 2017’s top two finishers – both seniors – out of the way, the door was open for Bailey. However, it was open even wider for Newport’s Peter Thibault, who was just in front of Bailey last year and moved up into first place Saturday with a throw of 46’6”. Bailey threw his shotput 45’10” and took second. Thibault’s a senior, and Bailey will be the top returning thrower next season.

Rest of the pack

Mascenic’s 4x800M team of Kylie Bane, Sophie Callahan, Kailyn Matson and Emma Knisley was 15th in 12:13.75.

Mascenic freshman Quinn Aldrich was tenth in the girls’ 1,600M run at 5:58.46 and 11th in the 3,200M at 13:13.49.

Mascenic junior Logan Thibault was seventh in the 3,200M at 10:28.97.

Mascenic junior Robert McLain was 11th in the 3,200M at 10:58.25.

Mascenic freshman Landen Vaillancourt was 11th in the boys’ 1,600M run at 4:59.40.

Mascenic senior DJ Turner was 12th in the 1,600M at 5:07.51.

Mascenic sophomore Jasmine Williams was sixth in the 300M hurdles at 51.12.
Mascenic sophomore Dakota Somero was fifth in the boys’ 800M run at 2:05.14.

Mascenic’s 4x400 relay team of Lauren Sikkila, Sophie Callahan, Lainey Somero and Emma Knisely was 15th in 5:18.39.

Turner, Thibault, Vaillancourt and Somero teamed up again for the 4x400M relay, where they finished 14th in 3:49.62.

Division II

ConVal’s track and field team was up at Kennett on Saturday for the Division II championship, and the Cougars ended up with a trio of third-place finishes to show for it.

Junior Evan Coyne finished the 800M in just over two minutes, about two and a half seconds out of first place. Coyne’s 2:00.37 was good for third and a six-second PR.

“As far as individual performances on the day his was by far the most surprising,” said head coach Lance Flamino, who explained that Coyne was shooting for a fast time and a meet of Champions berth, but neither had expected to make such a leap.

Senior Spenser Sawyer of Windham won it in 1:57.90 and junior Colm Seigne of Hanover was second in 1:58.98.

Junior Clare Veverka had one of her best 3,200M times, finishing third in 11:22.56. The pair of Milford runners – junior Lauren Robinson (first, 10:55.44) and senior Rebecca Durham (second, 11:11.71) were unbeatable that day, overtaking Veverka partway through the race and holding on.

And, the girls’ 4x800M relay team of Rachel Hurley, Maddy Garland, Lila White and Veverka took third place in 9:47.45, setting a new ConVal school record in the process. Souhegan was first in 9:39.43.

ConVal had plenty more top competitors as well.

Junior Sean Boggis was fourth in the javelin at 141’5”.

Senior Rhiannon Bell was ninth in the shotput at 28’9” and 14th in the discus at 84’11”.

Senior Lily Denehy was 12th in the shotput at 27’11”.

Senior Ryan Murray was sixth in the discus at 124’9” but was disqualified in his final shotput competition for not checking in on time.

Junior Savanna Hall was sixth in the discus at 98’10”.

Sophomore Hailey Doherty was 11th in the 1,600M at 5:40.25.

Junior Sarah Newell was 13th in the 3,200M at 5:45.25

Senior Maddy Garland was 17th in the 400M in 65.62.

Sophomore Finn Wegmueller was seventh in the 400M in 53.41.

Sophomore Del Bonsu-Anane was eight in the 400M in 53.72 and 12th in the 200M at 23.95.

Sophomore Harrison Kim was ninth in the 3,200M at 10:16.86.

ConVal’s 4x400M relay of Newell, White, Garland and Doherty was 12th at 4:27.81.

The 4x400M team of Wegmueller, Bonsu-Anane, George Shiarella and Coyne was eighth in 3:39.75.