John Habib's Track and Field: Memorial star is a Case study in effort
PEOPLE who complain a 24-hour day is not enough to get things done should take note of Manchester Memorial junior Shawn Case.
Aside from going to school every weekday, Case finds time to take an aviation class three times a week after school.
So what's the big deal about that? Well, Case also finds time to practice the triple jump, pole vault and 300-meter hurdles.
"Half the time he practices with us and the other half on his own," said Memorial head coach Tom Lynch. "His aviation class at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is 90 minutes after school three days a week. That means on those days he gets his workouts in for track around 5:30 or 6 o'clock in the morning by himself. That's dedication."
The results in the early going have been nothing but outstanding from Case. In Memorial's opening dual meet against Bishop Guertin of Nashua last week, Case posted a 41-6.50 leap in the triple jump and a 11-6 mark in the pole vault. Case is tops so far in those events in the Division I circuit.
Case's 43.60 time in the 300-meter hurdles ranks second only to William Goulding (43:40) of Nashua North.
On Saturday, Case recorded a winning 12-6 mark in the Haverhill (Mass.) Invitational.
"There were about 25 to 30 schools at the Haverhill Invitational and it was good quality competition," said Lynch. "He entered that meet seeded fourth or fifth. Our coaching staff was just hoping he would place and instead he pleasantly surprised us with the win."
It's not the first time Case has surprised his coaching staff, or anyone else for that matter.
The 5-foot-8, 160-pound standout finished fifth in the state decathlon as a sophomore last season.
"He's off to an awesome start this spring, better than I anticipated," said Lynch. "Compared to last season, in one week he has improved by two feet in the triple jump, two feet in the pole vault and has taken a second off in the 300 hurdles. That type of improvement is done over a period of a season for many others. Shawn has the ability to go as far as he wants to this season. He's versatile, a jack of all trades in our sport."
IN the New Hampshire Union Leader's track and field spring preview, we said the Division II boys team from Souhegan of Amherst would be tough to beat. In their opening week of action, the Sabers lived up to the pre-season billing.
Senior Tanner Kent is tops in the league in the 100-meter dash (11.20) and 200-meter dash (22.90), while senior twin brothers Jacob Kittredge (52.40) and Nathan Kittredge (52.90) are the top two in the 400-meter dash. Nathan is first in the 800 meters (2:01.30), ahead of second-place Jacob (2:01.80). Patrick Lynch posted the best league time in the 1,600-meter run (4:40.80) and Ben DeForest reigns in the 110-meter hurdles (14.50).
NEWPORT had two athletes who shined in last week in Division III. Julia Sullivan won the long jump (14-11.5), finished second in the 200-meter dash (28.06) behind Taylor Morrison of Bow (27.43) and third (13.38) in the 100 meters behind Morrison (12.56) and Brooke Fortin (13.03) of Bow. Nick Greene was third (48.97) for the Tigers in the 300 hurdles behind Kearsarge's Jeff Kozikowski (46.09) and Logan Maville (46.59).
THIS WEEK in Division I , two interesting dual meets to watch finds Pinkerton Academy at Bedford while Bishop Guertin visits Gate City rival Nashua South. The Nashua North Invitational will be held Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the high school.
"Track and Field" appears Tuesdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at email@example.com.