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Ryan brings home Division II triple jump crown

Miller, Livingston, Crawford also qualify for Meet of Champions

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

GRACIE RYAN soars through the air at the Division II State Meet on Saturday in Pelham. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
June 02, 2014
PELHAM — As they have done for the past few years, the duo of Gracie Ryan and Gigi Miller came up big on the big stage.

The Kennett seniors both turned in solid performances in the Division II State Meet on Saturday, May 31, at Pelham High School, earning bids to move on to the Meet of Champions this coming weekend.

"Gracie, she had a great day, and Gigi too," coach Bernie Livingston noted.

Both girls, along with other athletes, competed in numerous events before taking leave of the meet to head to the Kennett prom, which was held that same evening at Attitash.

In fact, Ryan's top performance came in her first attempt in the triple jump finals and she elected to not jump again and that distance held up.

Ryan set a new school record with a leap of 36 feet, three inches and after she was on her way north to the prom, the remaining competitors failed to match her distance and she took the Division II title.

But that wasn't her only top performance on the day.

In the 300-meter hurdles, despite almost missing the start while triple jumping, Ryan finished sixth overall, winning her heat in a time of 47.81 seconds, the second-fastest time in the event in Kennett High School history.

Ryan also brought home points for the Eagle girls in the long jump, where she leaped to fifth overall with a distance of 16 feet, 4.5 inches.

Miller turned in quite a performance in the 400 meters, as she bolted around the track in a time of 60.17 seconds, which placed her second overall in the event.

That came on the heels of her just missing out on points in the 100 meters. She finished eighth in the preliminaries with a time of 13.23 seconds and then improved that time to 13.16 seconds in the finals, but finished in seventh place overall.

Ryan and Miller also joined with Tessa Greenhalgh and Cassie Doucet in the 4X100-meter relay, finishing in a time of 51.64 seconds for seventh place overall.

The Eagles also got a strong performance from sophomore Julianna Livingston in the javelin, where she earned a spot in the Meet of Champions with a fourth place finish at 102 feet, three inches.

The 4X800-meter team of Lisa Carper, India Drummond, Maggie LaRoche and Izzy Forde started the day off right, earning a point for the Eagles with a sixth place finish in a time of 10:11.

Doucet qualified in a couple of individual events for the Eagles, as she placed 15th in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 18.8 seconds and was 13th in the long jump at 14 feet, seven inches.

In the 4X400-meter relay, the team of Greenhalgh, Forde, Zoe McKinney and Carper finished in 18th place overall in 4:42.08. Though the group had not run together all season, Livingston noted the goal was for them to run their best individually and he was pleased with the times they put up.

Overall, the Kennett girls finished seventh on the afternoon, with Coe-Brown dominating the field and Milford finishing in second.

The performance of the day on the boys' side of things came in the discus, where Corey Crawford threw 128 feet, nine inches on his last throw. That put him into the lead, but two other throwers were able to top that, leaving him in third place overall and earning him a bid to the Meet of Champions.

Junior Nick Roberts continued his strong high jump campaign, clearing a personal best of five feet, 10 inches, earning him a fifth place finish overall.

Senior Brian Caputo, who Livingston praised as the "epitome of senior leadership," ran to a sixth place finish in the 100-meter qualifiers in 11.84 seconds and then finished sixth again in the finals with a time of 11.74 seconds. Thomas Chant earned a 10th place in 11.96 seconds. Chant also picked up an eighth place in the 200 meters in 23.47 seconds.

The Eagle boys also earned points in two of the relay events.

In the 4X100-meter relay, the team of Caputo, Kyle O'Keefe, David Mays and Chant finished in sixth place in 45.47 seconds and in the 4X800-meter relay, the team of Mays, Nick Brown, Tyrus Parker and Andrew Casella finished in sixth place with a time of 8:30.43.

The 4X400-meter team of Sam Cawley, Caputo, Cam LaBrie and Todd Desmarais finished in 13th place in 3:44.67.

Parker, Brown and Desmaris also qualified in the individual side of things. Parker was 12th in the 1,600 meters in a time of 4:49.36, with Desmarais finishing 13th in the 110-meter hurdles in 17.8 seconds and Brown taking 13th in the 800 meters in 2:16.65.

"It was a pretty impressive day," Livingston noted.

Miller, Ryan, Livingston and Crawford, by virtue of their top-four finishes, all earned automatic spots in the Meet of Champions, which takes place at Londonderry High School on Saturday, June 7, at 2:30 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com

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