Garnick leads Bishop Guertin High to 11th straight NHIAA indoor track title
Betsy Garnick didn't set any personal records, but she made sure a state team record remained intact.
Garnick won the 55-meter dash, 55-meter hurdles and the long jump to lead Bishop Guertin of Nashua to its state-record 11th straight NHIAA Indoor Track Championships at the Leverone Field House on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover Sunday.
"It's my understanding that we're only one of five high school indoor track teams in the country that has won 11 straight state championships," said BG assistant coach Robert DeSisto, who works closely with Garnick. "I can tell you our girls take pride in the record. Every year the seniors are determined not to be that class when the streak ends."
Bishop Guertin needed every point en route to a 74-73 victory over runner-up Londonderry in the 16-team meet. Winnacunnet of Hampton placed third with 56 points and Bedford was fourth with 55.
Pinkerton Academy of Derry defended the boys' crown with a 78-75 win over runner-up Nashua North in the 17-team meet in Hanover. Concord was third with 38 points, followed by Londonderry with 36 in fourth place.
DeSisto said two events Sunday allowed BG to nudge Londonderry for the girls' crown.
The first one involved Garnick in the long jump. "We needed to win that event and get the 10 points for first place," said DeSisto. "Betsy won the event in her last jump by a half-inch. So you could certainly say that by a half-inch, we ended up winning the state title."
Garnick won the long jump in 17-06.50, edging Winnacunnet's Emma Checovich's mark of 17-06.00.
The other event the Cardinals needed was in the 4 x 200 relay won by Londonderry in 1:47.46. Bedford finished second at 1:49.98. "We needed third place for six points and our girls came through,' said DeSisto. The collected efforts of Garnick, Molly McCabe, Sabrina Beaulieu and Sarah Burke allowed the Cardinals (1:50.72) to nudge out Winnacunnet (1:51.86) for third place.
Garnick, the state record holder (8.20) and Division I record holder (8.21) in the 55-meter hurdles, won that event again Sunday in 8.33. She also gained a first-place finish in the 55-meter dash (7.35).
DeSisto said Garnick, Molly McCabe (who won the 1,000-meter run in 3:01.66) and Sarah Burke (who won the 600-meter run in 1:35.70) all qualified for the New Balance Indoor national championships to be held in New York next month. "They're going to decide if they want to compete in the nationals, the New England regional in Boston (Mass.) next month, or both. They're a week apart next month."
DeSisto called Garnick "a very unselfish team leader. If I asked her to run the mile because the team needed her to, she would do it without complaining. She always comes through for the team and I say without any hesitation that she is the most coachable athlete I've ever had in my six years as coach."
DeSisto also lauded former track coach Tony Johnson and current coach Steve Hunt for the team's state title streak.
Sydney Petersen of Exeter won the 300-meter dash (41.02) and teammate Shannon Murdock captured the 1,500-meter run in 4:38.23. Other winners included Alexa Pelletier (10:23.35) of Winnacunnet in the 3000-meter run, Jenny Mara of Bedford in the high jump (5-04.00) and Corina Chao of Winnacunnet (35-01.75) in the shot put.
In the boys' meet, Pinkerton was led by Chris Poggi, who won the 1,000-meter run in 2:37.73. Concord was led by winners Tolbert Nemo (6.67) in the 55-meter dash, George Feliz (7.89) in the 55-meter hurdles and B.J. Smith (9:08.06) in the 3,000-meter run.
Zakari Jenkins of Nashua North won the 300-meter dash in 35.85 and Peter Winslow of Exeter was victorious in the 600-meter run (1:22.64). Bishop Guertin of Nashua's Griffin Gagnon won the 1,500-meter run in 4:06.68. Promise Kpee of Manchester West captured the long jump (20-06.50) and Starlin Ortiz of Londonderry returned home as the champion in the high jump after a winning leap of 6-00.00. Deric Wagner of Nashua North was the shot put champion (48-08).