NHIAA Track and Field: Stars make their mark at Londonderry InvitationalBy JOE DUBALL
New Hampshire Union Leader
May 19. 2018 9:36PM
LONDONDERRY - The R.E.A.L. Londonderry Invitational track meet has always served as a springboard for track and field athletes into the NHIAA division championships.
Conor Seleny of Pinkerton Academy and Concord High's Grace Devanny are among those hoping that top results from Saturday's Invitational sets the stage for bigger things in Friday's Division I title meet.
Seleny and Devanny were part of just a handful of multiple winners on Saturday. Seleny, a sophomore, topped all male athletes with three wins (200-meter dash, 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles) while Devanny, a junior, picked up a pair of wins in the 200- and 400-meter dashes.
The trio of wins for Seleny was all part of what has turned into a breakout campaign after easing his way onto the scene for the Astros last spring. Each of Seleny's wins came under some degree of pressure with the exception of the 300 hurdles, an event Seleny has had in his sights all season after placing fourth in the event at the Division I meet last spring. The sophomore finished the 300 hurdles in 41.27, which was 0.31 seconds better than Concord's Jake Nicholas.
"It was tough and I really pushed myself," Seleny said. "I do need to work on it some still. I think there is a chance I can get down to a 40- or 39-second run."
Seleny's wins in the 300 hurdles and the 110 hurdles (15.26) were both personal-best times. The win in the 200 dash was an added perk as Seleny locked into his work in the hurdles. Seleny has been training and competing with teammate Adam Spencer, the defending D-I 110 hurdles champ who did not race Saturday, while setting sights all season on testing Winnacunnet of Hampton's Billy Powers, the defending D-I 300 hurdles champion, on Friday.
"I've been doing really well in bringing these times down lately," Seleny said. "I think these wins will really help me and bring me down to faster heats, where I can push myself more and more."
Joining Seleny as a multiple winner on the boys' side was Bedford distance jumper Lucien Mumpini. The junior first took the triple jump at 41 feet, 8 inches before squeaking out a win in the long jump as his 20-09 effort beat Nashua South's Paul Marchand by less than six inches.
Devanny's efforts in the 200 and 400 dashes on the girls' side bode well for her chances at making a splash in Friday's state meet. Devanny is the defending Division I champion in the 400 dash while she finished second in the 200 dash, which will have a new champion following the graduation of Manchester Central's Katya Levasseur.
Devanny won Saturday's 400 dash in 57.89 seconds, which was over two seconds better than second place while sitting .30 of a second behind her season-best time. The results were solid, but Devanny saw opportunity for a better performance.
"There's definitely more pressure on me with the 400 and I end up psyching myself out before," Devanny said. "It has to do more with individual pressure. I've done well in that race since freshman year so I've been trying to keep times and get better."
Devanny added that the 200 dash, which she won in 25.72, is a race where she can "clear her head and not worry about strategy." The junior doesn't mind winning handily, but she does appreciate a push from other runners when she can get it.
"I like competition a lot," Devanny said. "When I'm running alone, there's no one to stack up and push myself against. It's really just running by myself. When there's someone in front of me, I just kind of have that urge to go and grab them."
Devanny was one of just two multiple winners on the girls' side as Lebanon thrower Kath Merchant trumped Devanny with three wins. Merchant, a senior, swept her throws with triumphs in the shot put (36-04.25), discus (121-00) and the javelin (125-05). The best margin of defeat among her throws came in the javelin, where Merchant tossed 25 feet farther than her sister, Kim Merchant.
There were other lopsided wins in field events on Saturday as Pinkerton senior John King won by almost 37 feet over Alvirne's Jake Donahue in the javelin. King's heave of 186-07 was short of his season-best toss of 190-04.75.
"It all came on the last throw," said King, who has his eye on beating the state record of 200-09. "The first was about getting the steps down. Then it was incorporating the speed with the throw, which really is just getting them in sync."
Milford's Viankah Williams had an eye-popping performance of her own while taking the girls' long jump. The junior's leap of 17-11.50 was over a foot better than Nashua South's Julia Zhang, who came in second at 16-10.
The R.E.A.L. Londonderry Invitational
Saturday, at Londonderry High
Boys' individual results
100 dash: 1. Dalton Mutz, Concord, 11.06; 2. Adam Knowles, Bedford, 11.25; 3. Noah Woodman, Pinkerton, 11.26
200 dash: 1. Conor Seleny, Pinkerton, 23.11; 2. Zach Verow, Bedford, 23.29; 3. Adam Knowles, Bedford, 23.39
400 dash: 1. Brazden Ellis, Nashua North, 51.08; 2. Davante McKoy-Sophes, Alviren, 51.56; 3. Zach Verow, Bedford, 51.60
800 run: 1. Ryan Devine, Concord, 2:01.35; 2. Nate Nichols, Concord, 2:02.29; 3. Matt O'Brien, Concord, 2:02.77
1,600 run: 1. David Vorbach, Nashua North, 4:22.08; 2. Jeff Allen, Campbell, 4:23.25; 3. Aidan O'Hern, Concord, 4:25.11
3,200 run: 1. Jake Velazquez, Keene, 9:40.34; 2. Dave Reynolds, Merrimack Valley, 9:42.70; 3. Alex Duncan, Concord, 9:46.31
110 hurdles: 1. Conor Seleny, Pinkerton, 15.26; 2. Manolo Feliz, Concord, 15.33; 3. Pat McDonald, Bedford, 16.26
300 hurdles: 1. Conor Seleny, Pinkerton, 41.27; 2. Jake Nicholas, Concord, 41.58; 3. Xavier Provost, Nashua North, 43.71
4x100 relay: 1. Alvirne, 44.70; 2. Nashua North, 44.83; 3. Londonderry, 45.23
4x400 relay: 1. Concord, 3:31.91; 2. Nashua North, 3:36.61; 3. Londonderry, 3:39.44
4x800 relay: 1. Merrimack, 8:29.34; 2. Nashua North, 8:32.62; 3. Pinkerton, 8:37.94
High jump: 1. Danny Crowder, Bedford, 5-10; 2. Colton Boursier, Pinkerton, 5-10; 3. Nate Hillyer, Concord, 5-08
Pole Vault: 1. Scott Rathbun, Keene, 14-06; 2. Nate Miller, Pinkerton, 13-00; 3. Will Shepard, Milford, 12-06
Long jump: 1. Lucien Mumpini, Bedford, 20-09; 2. Paul Marchand, Nashua South, 20-03.25; 3. Brian Genet, Merrimack, 20-00.75
Triple jump: 1. Lucien Mumpini, Bedford, 41-08; 2. Joron Harrell, Pinkerton, 40-09; 3. Xavier Provost, Nashua North, 39-10.50
Shot put: 1. Kaleal Cerafici, Pinkerton, 47-03.50; 2. Pat Hagearty, Londonderry, 47-02.50; 3. Marcus Roper, Lebanon, 46-01.25
Discus: 1. Pat Hagearty, Londonderry, 137-09; 2. Emmanuel Ughu, Milford, 127-03; 3. Liam Devanny, Concord, 123-09
Javelin: 1. John King, Pinkerton, 187-06; 2. Jake Donahue, Alvirne, 150-08; 3. Razz Alkalay, Nashua South, 187-06
Girls' individual results
100 dash: 1. Crismeily Borg, Nashua South, 12.68; 2. Gwen Dahlinger, Pelham, 12.98; 3. Sydney Lewis, Nashua South, 12.99
200 dash: 1. Grace Devanny, Concord, 25.72; 2. Crismeily Borg, Nashua South, 26.43; 3. Viankah Williams, Milford, 26.54
400 dash: 1. Grace Devanny, Concord, 57.89; 2. Macy Graves, Pinkerton, 60.06; 3. Dom Milinazzo, Alvirne, 60.45
800 run: 1. Caroline Fischer, Bishop Guertin, 2:18; 2. Jane Leighton, Souhegan, 2:21.05; 3. Katelyn Pepin, Manchester Central, 2:21.93
1,600 run: 1. Lauren Robinson, Milford, 5:06.66; 2. Britney Johnson, Pinkerton, 5:14.58; 3. Emma York, Merrimack Valley, 5:15.31
3,200 run: 1. Becca Durham, Milford, 11:14.89; 2. Lauren Robinson, Milford, 11:22.66; 3. Arianna Braccio, Nashua North, 11:32.43
100 hurdles: 1. Sydney Lewis, Nashua South, 16.28; 2. Sheridan McGadden, Bedford, 16.90; 3. Skyler Bomba, Alvirne, 16.99
300 hurdles: 1. Brianna CoCo, Bedford, 49.00; 2. Tori Allen, Campbell, 49.42; 3. Jordyn Choate, Nashua North, 49.56
4x100 relay: 1. Bedford, 50.58; 2. Londonderry, 50.67; 3. Concord, 51.59
4x400 relay: 1. Souhegan, 4:10.13; 2. Manchester Memorial, 4:11.30; 3. Concord, 4:14.11
4x800 relay: 1. Bedford, 10:04.38; 2. Londonderry, 10:11.87; 3. Windham, 10:25.37
High jump: 1. Mie Herrling, Pelham, 5-02; 2. Tori Allen, Campbell, 5-00; 3. Elise Lambert, Souhegan, 5-00
Pole Vault: 1. Suzie Moore, Londonderry, 8-06; 2. Megan Qualters, Pinkerton, 8-06; 3. Courtney Christopher, Bedford, 8-00
Long jump: 1. Viankah Williams, Milford, 17-11.50; 2. Julia Zhang, Nashua South, 16-10; 3. Kaylie Longua, Londonderry, 16-06
Triple jump: 1. Alana Choate, Nashua North, 35-09; 2. Julia Zhang, Nashua South, 35-02; 3. Callie Lindsey, Pelham, 34-07
Shot put: 1. Kath Merchant, Lebanon, 36-04.25; 2. Tori Conrad, Nashua North, 34-07.25; 3. Kim Merchant, Lebanon, 32-05.50
Discus: 1. Kath Merchant, Lebanon, 121-00; 2. Robyn Krafft, Milford, 107-07; 3. Lily Jackson, Hollis/Brookline, 98-04
Javelin: 1. Kath Merchant, Lebanon, 125-05; 2. Kim Merchant, Lebanon, 101-03; 3. Theresa Irving, Merrimack Valley, 95-08