7 records fall at NHIAA Div. II track championship
PELHAM - Seven meet records fell, with the Coe-Brown of Northwood girls breaking four of them, en route to winning a third-straight NHIAA Division II Track and Field Championship Saturday at the Harris Family Track and Field Complex.
It was a delightful day for the Bears, who won six of the 18 events and earned 137.5 points, far surpassing runner-up Merrimack Valley of Penacook (73). The host Pelham girls took third, scoring 46.
The Lebanon boys' championship run was a bit more tense. The Raiders clinched the title after the long jump, the second to the last event.
Lebanon's John Cioffredi figured he needed to win three events and finish second in another in order to help his team take the title. The plan was on schedule heading into the long jump. The senior won the high jump with a 6-foot, 6-inch effort, and leaped 42 feet, 11 inches, to win the triple jump. He then finished second to Portsmouth's Nick Ritzo in the shot put.
Cioffredi contributed a personal-best effort to take an early lead in the long jump when Isaac Nowland of Coe Brown surprised everyone with a 21-feet, 11-inch effort, topping his previous best by nearly 3 feet to win. But Cioffredi's second place finish combined with teammate Will Merchant's fourth place effort to earn enough points to clinch the title.
The Raiders tallied 88 points to sneak past runner-up and two-time defending champ Souhegan of Amherst (82). Milford took third with 38 points.
"Today wasn't about personal glory," said Cioffredi. "It was about doing whatever that needed to be done to win as a team. It feels great to go out in my senior year with both the indoor and outdoor track titles. We had to get by Souhegan both times to get it done."
Coe-Brown's Elisabeth Danis credited her team as contributors to her record-breaking effort (10:46) in the 3,200 meter run.
"I had to beat my personal best by 12 seconds to break the record. My team had me convinced I could do it," said Danis, a sophomore. They pushed me in practice and encouraged me along the track today. I so much wanted to prove I could win a big race and I did it."
Teammate Hannah Parker broke three meet records, finishing first in the 1,600 and 800 runs, plus running a leg on a record-setting 4 x 800 relay team. She ran the 1,600 meters in 4:55.05, but saved enough energy to then run a 2:11.37 in the 800-meter event. She led both individual races from start to finish
"In the mile I was running smooth," said Parker, a junior and celebrated cross country champion as well. "I normally have a kick at the end, but was already in overdrive. And, I had enough left to do OK in the 800."
Parker's classmate, Ariel Clachar, set the meet long jump record with a 17-foot, 8-inch leap. Oyster River of Durham's Dominique Twombly nipped the meet's 100-meter record with a 12.30 dash. She also won the 200-meter race.
Corrine Kennedy, a Lebanon freshman, set a new meet record by running the 300-meter hurdles in 44.56.
The boys' meet didn't break records, though several competitors did well in several events. Souhegan senior Ben DeForest won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and finished second in the high jump.
Jeremy Brassard, a 2013 New England champion, won the 1,600 for the third consecutive year. He also won the 3,200 for the second time. Three-peating the 1,600 was particularly sweet, as the Coe Brown senior outdistanced rival Eli Moskowitz in the race.
"Eli kicked my butt earlier in the season and that was a big wakeup call for me," said Brassard. "My personal goal all season was to win (the 1,600) for the third time. Eli pushed me for the entire race, but I got it done."
Top finishers in the Division II meet advance to the NHIAA Meet of Champions to be held at Londonderry High School next Saturday.