THE KENNETT girls celebrate their Wilderness championship on Saturday in Gilford. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 26, 2014GILFORD — The rain stopped, the sky cleared and the sun beamed brightly on Gilford High School on Saturday, May 24, as the Kennett track team competed in the Wilderness Championships.
In addition to the break in the weather, the Eagles also had some very good performances on the day, leading to a win for the Kennett girls and a fifth place finish for the Eagle boys.
"I don't think we could've had a much better day," veteran Eagle coach Bernie Livingston commented. "I think everyone on our team had at least one season or personal best, if not more."
The Kennett coach noted that he moved some people around, hoping to get as much coverage in events as possible.
"It was a real team performance," he noted. "We stretched people out and people volunteered to do more. A real team effort and they came through."
Livingston also noted the versatility of his team contributed to the stellar overall results.
"I'm so lucky to have a lot of talented people willing to do a lot of things," Livingston noted. "In a meet like this, you need more than the first place finishes, it's a team event. Sometimes people don't understand how much of a team event it is.
The day got off to a great start for the Eagles, as both the boys and girls won the 4X800-meter relay events.
"The 4X800 set us up for a good time," Livingston said. "Sometimes it feeds off each other."
The Eagle girls took all three relays, opening the day with a time of 10:33.1 in the 4X800-meter relay from the team of India Drummond, Maggie LaRoche, Izzy Forde and Lisa Carper. In the 4X100-meter relay, the team of Tessa Greenhalgh, Cassie Doucet, LaRoche and Jillian Castaldo finished first in 53.3 seconds and the team of Castaldo, LaRoche, Greenhalgh and Gigi Miller closed out the day with a win in 4:23.2.
In the 200 meters, Gracie Ryan picked up the win with a time of 26.8 seconds, with Miller racing to third overall in 27.5 seconds. Greenhalgh finished eighth in 29.2 seconds and Marline McCabe was 22nd in 31 seconds.
Miller also turned in a tremendous time in the 400, finishing in 59.9 seconds, a personal best and close to the school record.
Ryan picked up another win in the triple jump, where she leaped 35 feet, 4.25 inches. Teammate Deja Peterson-Rios took sixth at 30 feet, 3.25 inches.
Ryan continued her impressive day with a second place finish in the long jump, leaping 15 feet, 11.5 inches, with Doucet taking ninth at 13 feet and Peterson-Rios in 12th at 12 feet, 6.5 inches.
LaRoche grabbed herself an individual win in the 800 meters, finishing in 2:35.1, with Drummond picking up a point for sixth place in 2:42.9. Zoe McKinney was ninth in 2:45.4 and Lily Brennan was 18th in 3:05.3.
Miller, the defending champ in the 100, was edged out in the finals, finishing second in 12.8 seconds, with Castaldo in fourth in 13.1 seconds. Miller (12.9) and Castaldo (13.2) both won their preliminary heats with McCabe in 22nd in 14.7 seconds.
Kennett was strong in the 3,200, with Forde taking second in 13:01, Carper in fourth in 13:08.9 and Eliza Burke in sixth in 13:44.
In the 1,600, Carper was fourth in 5:51.8 and Forde placed sixth in 5:54.4.
In the 100-meter hurdles, Ryan was second in the preliminaries in 17.3 seconds, with Doucet in fifth in 17.4 seconds and Alexis Sanborn in 21st in 20.3. Doucet took third in the finals in 17 seconds, with Ryan in fifth in 17.8 seconds. Doucet also took seventh in the 300-meter hurdles in 53.9 seconds, with Sanborn in 13th (first in her heat) in 56.3 seconds.
Nicole LaRoche also picked up a point in the high jump for Kennett, placing sixth at four feet, six inches. Drummond also cleared the same height for seventh place.
Hailee Tilton cleared six feet for second in the pole vault, with Courtney O'Keefe in third at five feet, nine inches.
Julianna Livingston, who has been battling back from an injury all season, stepped up with a big second place finish in the javelin, throwing 101 feet, six inches. Castaldo was 18th at 73 feet, one inch. In the discus, Page Sherwood was 25t at 56 feet, four inches and in the shot put, Marissa Harmon was 20th at 24 feet, 11 inches.
On the boys' side, the only win came in the 4X800-meter relay, where the team of David Mays, Andrew Casella, Nick Brown and Tyrus Parker had a tremendous run, finishing in 8:24.8. Livingston called Parker's leg, the second, his best performance of his career.
The other relays also scored points, with the 4x100-meter team of Mays, Brian Caputo, Kyle O'Keefe and Thomas Chant finishing second in 45.6 seconds and the 4X400-meter team of Chant, Garrett Fortin, Mays and Caputo in fourth place in 3:37.2.
In the 100 meters, Caputo (11.4) and Chant (11.7) both won their preliminary heats and in the finals, Caputo was fourth in 11.4 seconds and Chant was sixth in 11.5 seconds. O'Keefe was 14th in 12 seconds and Will Davison was 26th in 12.5 seconds.
Chant also ran to fourth place in the 200 meters, finishing in a time of 23.6 seconds, with Caputo in 10th place in 24.3 seconds, O'Keefe in 19th (first in his heat) in 24.9 seconds and Davison in 31st in 25.9 seconds.
Nick Brown raced to third overall in the 3,200 meters in a time of 10:15.3, with Parker in eighth in 10:41, Alex Brown in 15th in 11:35.2 and Ryan Kenny in 21st in 12:46.9.
Todd Desmaris (17.7) and James Curran (18.6) both advanced to the 110-meter hurdle finals, where Desmaris picked up a point for the Eagles with a sixth place finish in 17.9 seconds. Curran finished in seventh in 19 seconds.
Nick Roberts cleared five feet, eight inches in the high jump to tie for fifth place overall.
In the pole vault, Cain Drouin had his personal best at 10 feet, six inches for third place. Livingston noted that height was three feet more than he was clearing three weeks ago.
Curran also grabbed a point for the Eagles in the triple jump, going 37 feet, 5.25 inches for sixth place.
In the 400, Cam LaBrie just missed out on scoring, placing seventh in 55.4 seconds, with Fortin in ninth in 55.6 seconds, Sam Cawley in 24th in 59.9 seconds and Jonathan Caputo in 26th in 1:00.8. Tristan Anderson won his heat of the 800, placing 12th overall in 2:14.3, with Ben Nordwick in 15th in 2:15.9, Casella in 19th in 2:17.8 and Duncan Allen in 22nd in 2:19.1.
Parker just missed out on scoring in the 1,600, placing seventh in 4:45.2, with Thomas Welch in ninth in 4:51.6, Alex Brown in 17th in 4:57.9 and Nick Whitley in 34th in 5:28.3.
Desmaris just missed out on points in the 300 hurdles in seventh place (first in his heat) in 45.1 seconds, with Kip Beveridge in 12th in 47.4 seconds. Curran was ninth overall in the long jump at 17 feet, one-quarter of an inch.
Corey Crawford was ninth in the shot put at 38 feet, 2.25 inches, with Tyler Morin in 21st at 32 feet, eight inches and Carter Allen in 25th at 29 feet, four inches.
LaBrie also just missed out on scoring in the javelin, throwing 128 feet, six inches for seventh place.
"I am really, really pleased with it," Livingston stated. "I couldn't be happier. I really couldn't have asked for more.
"This meet is really important to us," he continued. "We have a good history here."
The Eagles who have qualified will now compete in the Division II State Meet, set for Saturday, May 31, at 10 a.m. at Pelham High School.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or email@example.com