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Central javelin thrower tops at national meet


Manchester Central junior Jacob Stanko's throw of 181 feet, 2 inches, earned him top spot in the Emerging Elite division in the javelin throw Friday at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Track championships at Aggie Stadium at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C.

Also Friday, Exeter High School freshman Jackie Gaughan finished 15th in the girls' 5,000-meter championship with a time of 17 minutes, 25.38 seconds.

Gaughan was one of only two freshmen to qualify for the championship race, which was run at midnight because of a storm that delayed the event by three hours.

Valentina Vaitones, a senior at Pinkerton Academy, finished 22nd in the one-mile racewalk championship Friday in 9:02.88, and Cameron Daly, a junior Inter-Lakes High School in Meredith, was 11th in the emerging elite boys' mile run, finishing in 4:24.24.

Kyle Faucher of Timberlane finished 20th in the boys' javelin championship with a throw of 160 feet, 5 inches Saturday night.

Sunday action sees Ariel Clachar of Coe-Brown Academy of Northwood in the girls' long jump final, Anna Parker of Coe-Brown in the 800-meter championship, Maegan Doody of Oyster River of Durham in the girls' mile championship race, and Trevor Colby of Inter-Lakes in the 800-meter boys' Emerging Elite race.

Stanko, of Manchester, said the Emerging Elite division is for those competitors whose performances in regional meets don't meet the qualifying standard for the championship meet.

"I knew I had a pretty good chance (Friday) just because I missed the championship qualifing list by 11 inches, so I knew I would be at the top of the list for the emerging elite track meet," Stanko said Saturday.

"I'm definitely looking forward to going back next year," he said. "If I reach my goals next year I'll be at the top of the list for the championship meet.

Stanko credited his Central coaches, Misty and son Decory Francis, for his success.

He said his training regimen has him in the Central weight room three times a week, and there's a weekly meeting with Buzz Gagne, who coaches at Merrimack Valley and with whom Stanko works one-on-one.

He says he also will go to Derryfield or Livingston park in the city and work on technique by throwing on an unoccupied ballfield.

Stanko said he only found out a week ago that he qualified for nationals, and that he had to scramble to register and get to North Carolina. It's his first trip to nationals, and it's been worth it.

"Part of coming here is being able to see and meet people from across the country," he said. "I met a few guys in the meet (Friday) ... giving me some pointers on stuff I can work on."

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