Track and field: Mascenic, Conant, Monadnock shake off two years of rust at track opener

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for a track meet on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/19/2021 11:14:12 AM

Conant High School’s track was abuzz with activity last week as the Orioles hosted Mascenic and Monadnock for the first track meet in nearly two years.

“We’ve got to get back in the mindset and the swing of things,” said Conant head coach Bill Edson, whose Orioles were championship contenders heading into the canceled spring 2020 season and are still among the best in Division III.

There’s no better way to bust that two-year rust than racing against DIII’s finest, and Conant’s Monadnock/Mascenic regional bubble certainly affords all involved that opportunity.

“It’s been a very collaborative effort with the three schools,” Edson, who’s worked with Mascenic’s Mike Smith and Monadnock’s Clint Joslyn to provide a unique new meet experience for the student-athletes this spring. 

Rather than run full-size meets each week, Conant will host half-meets, splitting up event offerings over two meets rather than getting them all done in one long session.

“The meets go faster, they’re a lot easier and more fun to watch, and it takes less people to run the meet,” Edson said.

The modification also allows athletes to compete seriously in a wider variety of events, Edson said. Conant’s Ethan Vitello, for instance, is a star in both the 400m and 800m. His times would likely suffer if he ran both in one meet, but if he plans to qualify for the state championship in both events, he’ll need to run both at some point – and this season, qualifying is harder than ever, as the NHIAA reduced the number of qualifying spots from 18 to 10. 

“It’s really about quality over quantity,” Edson said.

With meets split in half, Vitello was able to run the 400m last Wednesday and win it with a new personal record of 52.28.

“That is nuts fast,” Edson said.

Vitello also won the long jump with a jump of 18’7” and ran a leg on the winning 4x800m relay team while saving his 800m for the upcoming meet this Wednesday. 

Conant won the girls’ team competition on Wednesday thanks to some good running – and a little gamesmanship, as Orioles Kaia Colby (first, 21.56) and Eva Shirey (second, 21.94) were the only entrants in the 100m hurdles, giving Conant a few uncontested points to add to the rest of their across-the-board success.

“They held their own against a very strong Monadnock team,” Edson said

The Huskies have Division III’s best cross-country runner, Delaney Swanson, leading the way, and while Swanson won the 1,600m and ran on the winning 4x800m relay team, the Orioles finished with 29 team points to Monadnock’s 22 and Mascenic’s 6.

Colby added a win in the shotput (23-04.5) for the Oriole girls’ only other event win on the afternoon, as Conant put up their points due to strength in numbers. Orioles Lainey Holombo, Adrienne Kennedy and Laurel Bennett finished 2-3-4 in the 100m, and Holombo, Neve Mormando, Col by, Shirey and Bennett took second t hrough fifth in the 400m to pile up Conant points. 

“When it comes to track and field team scores, it’s that consistency that does more than one or two individual performances,” Edson said.

Senior Quinn Aldrich was the standout for the Mascenic girls Wednesday, finishing second behind Swanson in the 1,600m (5:58.82).

Reigning cross-country state champions Monadnock held off Conant by one point 28-27, to win the boys’ team competition; Mascenic scored 13.

The Orioles got a big win in the 4x800m relay, where John Mormando took the baton for the third leg with ground to cover and handed it off with a sizable lead.

“He broke it apart and gave Ethan [Weinhold] a big lead,” Edson said. “We all expected John to have a breakout –  but not this soon.”

Austin Poikonen scored another uncontested win in the hurdles, despite a fall; Vitello grabbed his two individual wins to round out Conant’s first-place finishes. 

Mascenic took a win in shotput, where senior Gabe Turner threw 38-10.5, with teammate Jimmy Crawford right behind with 38-06. 

Senior Landen Vaillancourt could only laugh as he saw Monadnock’s Harry Ryan cruise past him down the stretch of the 1,600m, which Ryan won in 4:53.57 to Vaillancourt’s 4:55.84. Senior Matt Bernier was the top finisher for Conant in 4:59.82.

Michael Brooks took second in the 100m (12.35) to add to Conant’s tally. 

Both teams are back in action, along with Wilton-Lyndeborough, at Conant on Wednesday. 


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